How to Remove Acrylic Urethane Clear Coat From Ceramic Tile

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Ceramic tile gets scratches and dings in the acrylic urethane surface over time.
Ceramic tile gets scratches and dings in the acrylic urethane surface over time. (Image: ceramic tile image by Karin Lau from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

The acrylic urethane clear coat on ceramic tile gets dinged over time. In order to paint the ceramic or re glaze, the clear coat will need to be removed. Sanding this product off is not possible as it will crack the tiles. A strong solvent is needed to break it down. Though this process is relatively labor intensive, the results are similar to new tile at a fraction of the price. Protecting the skin and lungs is an important part of this do-it-yourself project.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Ventilator mask
  • Masking tape
  • Broom
  • Rags
  • Acrylic urethane stripper
  • Putty knife
  • Push broom
  • Cleaning brush
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Mop

Tape off wall edges, faucets, sinks or any areas that might be damaged by contact with the chemical stripper you will use. Sweep ceramic tile floors or damp mop counters before starting.

Pour out an even layer of the stripping agent over the ceramic tiles. Let the product sit on the tiles anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Check the surface of the tiles frequently by scraping with a putty knife. Leave the product sitting until the acrylic urethane starts softening.

Scrub the ceramic tile using a push broom or stiff cleaning brush. Suck up the stripper using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.

Mop the floor with clear water and wet/dry vacuum up the water and stripper. Continue this until the stripping agent has been completely removed. Allow the tiles 24 hours to dry before painting or re glazing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the weakest stripping product you can get away with. Thick layers of acrylic urethane will require the use of a strong stripper. Thinner layers can be removed with much gentler formulas.
  • Do not allow the stripping product to sit any longer than 2 hours on epoxy grout. it will ruin the grout. The fumes from these products sometimes cause headaches and nausea. Keep the area ventilated, wear a ventilator mask and seek fresh air if you experience any adverse reactions to the fumes. Wear safety glasses and gloves using strippers.

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