How to Clean Paint Off of a Concrete Floor So That I Can Stain It

Your must remove all paint and stains from concrete before staining.
Your must remove all paint and stains from concrete before staining. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Nothing says neglected garage like stained, dirty and chipping paint on a concrete floor. Many homeowners are now looking to stain their concrete floors as a way to up the attractiveness of the floor without spending a ton of money. While staining a concrete floor gives attractive results, it means the concrete must be clean and free of all stains and paint before staining or it will only show of the concrete's imperfections. Fortunately, cleaning paint from a concrete floor is easily a do-it-yourself project that requires a day of work.

Things You'll Need

  • Small bucket
  • Paint stirrer
  • Scraper
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Slow-acting paint stripper
  • Large bucket
  • Nylon scrubbing brush
  • Scouring cleaning powder
  • Water

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Mix the diatomaceous earth with the slow-acting stripper in the small bucket to create a paste that is creamy in consistency. Stir with the paint stirrer to mix well.

Apply the stripping mix on the painted concrete surface in a 1/2 inch layer.

Open all the doors and windows to the space while you allow the stripping mix to work over the next four to eight hours.

Scrape the stripping mix and paint off of the concrete floor using the scraper tool. If the paint is still hard to remove, allow the stripping mix to work on the paint for another few hours. If most but not all of the paint is coming off, remove what you can and repeat Steps 1 through 3 for a second treatment of the stripping mix.

Sprinkle a generous amount of cleaning scouring powder on the concrete floor after the paint has been fully scraped away. Add water and scrub the floor using the nylon scrubbing brush to remove any remnants of paint or other stains from the floor.

Rinse the concrete thoroughly with water, scrubbing debris and remnants away if applicable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear protective eye and breathing gear when dealing with harsh chemicals like paint strippers.
  • You can also use a faster-acting paint stripper like methylene chloride, according to the Family Handyman, but it is highly toxic and requires greater protective gear and measures to ensure your safety and health while using it.


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