How to Remove Paint From a Concrete Foundation

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Many do-it-yourselfers have difficulty removing paint from relatively sensitive surfaces, which are prone to scarring. Over-aggressive removal techniques often lead to permanent damage to the underlying surface. Fortunately, if you need to remove paint from a concrete foundation, you can embrace aggressive removal methods because the surface is so durable.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Heavy-duty fabric dropcloths
  • Metal putty knife
  • Power sander
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Paint stripping solvent
  • 4-inch oil paintbrush
  • Wire brush
  • Strip as much paint as possible from the concrete foundation using focused water pressure generated by the pressure washer. Wait three to four hours for the foundation to dry.

  • Scrape remaining paint from the foundation using a metallic putty knife.

  • Sand remaining stubborn bits of paint from the foundation using a power sander stocked with 80-grit sandpaper. Stop here if the foundation is free from paint.

  • Apply solvent to a 3-by-3-foot area of the concrete foundation, using a paintbrush specifically intended for use with oil paints.

  • Wait 60 seconds for the solvent to loosen the paint. Scrape the remaining paint from the area using the putty knife. Use a wire brush to remove paint from awkward, sunken areas within the foundation. Continue until you have stripped the foundation bare.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use the power sander while the foundation is coated with solvent, as the intense friction could start a fire.
  • Don't smoke while working with flammable solvents.
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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