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

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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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