How to Remove Paint From Slate

Save

As far as rocks go, slate is fairly porous. That can make paint removal problematic because the metamorphic rock is too soft to clean with a pressure washer or sand blaster, which are go-to remedies for removing paint from brick and concrete, and it scratches easily. If you're just trying to remove a few paint spatters, heat, scraping and slate-safe solvents are all options, but if you're removing paint from a large surface, such as a floor, you need to use a chemical stripper. The procedure is messy, and -- depending on the paint -- it usually involves two stages and two different chemicals.

Removing Paint Splatters

While acidic cleaners are generally not recommended for slate because they can etch natural stone, common paint solvents are safe, provided you use them in moderation. Isopropyl alcohol softens latex paint, allowing you to wipe it off or scrape it with a plastic putty knife. If the paint spatters are oil-based, you should be able to remove them with a rag soaked with mineral spirits, acetone or lacquer thinner.

Warning

  • Paint solvents are noxious and flammable. Wear a respirator, ventilate the room and avoid open flames when using them.

The Slate Is Sealed

Slate floors, countertops and other surfaces are often sealed with a clear urethane finish, which keeps the stone shiny and protects it from moisture. There's always a danger of damaging this seal coat with solvents you use for removing paint spatters. In some cases, softening the paint with a hair dryer makes it soft enough to scrape off without damaging the seal coat, and in others, scrubbing with mild detergent and water may do the trick. If neither works, use a solvent and touch up the sealer when the paint is gone.

Stripping a Slate Surface

You remove a coat of paint from a slate surface, such as a floor or countertop, just as you remove paint from wood -- use a chemical stripper. Because slate has an irregular surface, however, scraping is more difficult and less efficient. Because of this, slate professionals use a second procedure to remove residue; this procedure involves a mild alkaline stripper and a buffing pad.

Stage One

Things You'll Need

  • Paint stripper
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Plastic paint scraper and putty knife
  • Bags

Step 1

Spread a commercial paint stripper on the surface, using a paint roller. Products containing methylene chloride work fastest, but if you want to avoid the fumes and possible skin burns, choose a citrus- or soy-based product. If you do, be prepared to wait as long as 24 hours for it to work.

Step 2

Wait for the paint to start bubbling. If any of the stripper dries out before this happens, apply more. If you're using a stripper that takes a long time to work, it may help to spread plastic sheeting over it to keep it moist.

Step 3

Scrape off the paint using plastic paint scrapers and putty knives. Using plastic implements allows you to scrape aggressively without fear of scratching the slate. Deposit the old paint in bags for disposal.

Warning

  • If the surface predates 1978, it probably has a coat of lead-based paint. If so, you shouldn't strip this yourself -- get a licensed professional to do it.

Step 4

Neutralize the stripper by rinsing the surface with clean water.

Stage Two

Things You'll Need

  • Alkaline stripper
  • 2 string mops
  • 2 sponges
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Buffing machine
  • Stripping pad
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Buckets

Step 1

Mix a commercial alkaline stripping solution with water in a bucket, following the instructions on the stripper container.

Step 2

Spread the solution on a section of the slate surface -- use a string mop for floors and a sponge for countertops. Be sure to wear goggles and rubber gloves.

Step 3

Let the solution dwell on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes to give it time to seep into the pores of the rocky material. If any area dries out, apply more solution to keep it wet.

Step 4

Scrub the surface with a buffing machine. Use a floor buffer and a black stripping pad for floors -- you should be able to get the pad from the outlet that rents you the buffer. If you're stripping a counter, use a hand buffer with a stripping pad. Scrub until the paint residue breaks up and comes off.

Step 5

Pick up the stripper and paint residue with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Put it in buckets and dispose of it as hazardous waste -- don't pour it into a sink drain or toilet.

Step 6

Rinse well with clear water, using a separate mop or sponge to spread the water. Pick up the water with the vacuum. Repeat if necessary.

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Remove Slate Floor Tiles

    While slate floor tiles can look impressive, there are times when people want to remove their existing slate flooring. In many cases,...

  • How to Remove Slate Tile

    Renovating an existing floor or wall area is an issue that comes up from time to time, whether you are purchasing an...

  • How to Refinish Slate Floors

    Slate floors are a durable floor surface with a wide color and texture range. These hard-working stones have been used in entryways...

  • How to Remove Stains From Slate

    Slate is a beautiful and popular medium for fireplaces and patios, but it is highly susceptible to stains from water and hard,...

  • How to Remove Slate Sealer

    Slate is a natural stone product used in multiple areas in and around the home. Because the surface of slate is frequently...

  • How to Paint Slate Floors

    Homeowners looking for moderately priced natural stone tile have hit the jackpot with slate. Available color combinations vary from jet black to...

  • How to Remove Paint From a Fireplace

    You can completely remove paint from a fireplace and return it to its original appearance. Natural stone and brick fireplaces can be...

  • How to Remove Dried Paint From Flagstone

    Exterior painting projects tend to stir excitement in the hearts of many do-it-yourselfers. Unfortunately, when amateurs dive in, drips and splatters often...

  • How to Paint Concrete to Look Like Slate

    Clean concrete; then apply a base coat of concrete paint in a slate color. Once it dries, use a sea sponge and...

  • How to Safely Remove Paint From Slate

    Slate is a beautiful, gray natural stone. It is often painted to look like marble or other, more expensive, stone, or sometimes...

  • How to Remove a Slate Floor From Concrete

    Removing a slate floor from concrete is a labor-intensive job. Slate is affixed to the floor with a concrete-based thin-set mortar that...

  • How to Clean Paint from a Chalkboard

    A common sight in many classrooms, chalkboards are a smooth and reusable black, gray or greenish surface that requires the use of...

  • How to Remove Old Paint From Hardwood Floors

    Removing old paint from hardwood floors must be approached with caution to avoid damaging the wood. Remove old paint from hardwood floors...

  • Can You Paint Slate Tiles?

    Slate tiles – both old, repurposed roofing tiles or slate designed for interior tile projects – may be painted with several different...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!