How To Remove Oil-Based Paint From Concrete


Oil-based paint is beautiful and durable----and very hard to remove. Whether you want to fix a stain or strip painted cement back to bare concrete to repaint or stain it, you'll need to put in some hard work to remove oil-based paint. Most importantly, you must wear full protective gear---especially a respirator, goggles and gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint stripper
  • Paint stripper containing methylene chloride (for larger areas)
  • Sawdust or other absorbent material
  • Old towels
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Scraper
  • Pressure washer
  • Respirator with fresh organic filter
  • Gloves
  • Goggles

Removing Wet Oil-Based Paint

  • Blot as much of the wet paint with the towels as you can without spreading it or rubbing it in.

  • Apply absorbent material to the remaining wet paint---use sawdust, crushed-clay kitty litter or a commercial product bought from a home improvement store. Leave it overnight, then sweep it up.

  • Allow any remaining paint to dry for at least 3 days, then follow the steps below for dry paint.

Removing Dry Oil-Based Paint

  • Remove a stain by mixing paint stripper with your absorbent material to make a creamy paste. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrape it up with the scraper.

  • Sprinkle an abrasive cleanser over the stain, and scrub it thoroughly with a nylon brush.

  • Rinse the stain well with a pressure washer.

Removing Oil-Based Paint From a Large Area

  • Put on all of your protective gear. Mix paint stripper containing methylene chloride with absorbent material, and spread over a small area at a time. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Scrape up the paste and dried paint. Move on to the next area and repeat until the entire cement area is paint-free.

  • Go back to where you started, apply an abrasive cleanser and scrub it with the nylon brush. Do not rinse until you have scrubbed the entire area.

  • Use the pressure washer to rinse the entire area at once. If this does not remove the paint, call a professional and have it sand-blasted.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always do a spot test before committing to a difficult or toxic method.
  • Methylene chloride is highly toxic, so use the proper respirator, goggles, gloves and protective clothing. Never use methylene chloride--based strippers indoors.

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