How To Remove Spray Paint From Concrete Surfaces

Spray paint is a convenient way to evenly cover your projects in a new color. Since the liquid paint is applied in a mist through the air, it can get all the tiny crevices a brush can't. Although, this also means it may tarnish areas you didn't mean to stain, like your concrete patio or driveway. Laying down garbage bags or old newspapers doesn't always give you the protection you need, more so if the wind carries your spray paint away from your project. Mistakes happen — luckily, you can easily clean up this mess with a pressure washer.

A pressure washer is a great way to clean outdoor spaces. It'll work just as well at getting spray paint to chip off your concrete as it does with stubborn dirt. The only difference is that you'll need to let the area soak with a paint stripper instead of soap. You can either purchase a pressure washer or rent one.

Another necessary step before even considering using it to clean up spray paint is ensuring you have the proper protective equipment. Pressure washers can cause severe harm, even though they use water, because of how strong the spray is. That's why wearing safety goggles, gloves, long pants, and thick shoes is essential. Once you have everything ready, you can begin prepping to clean the spray paint off your concrete.

Prep the concrete

Before spraying your concrete with a pressure washer, you must ensure you've cleared the area. Start by sweeping away any debris, split mulch, or stones that have gone astray from your landscaping. Doing this will prevent it from accidentally flying through the air and harming you or your home. If you want to speed the process up, you can use a leaf blower instead of a broom. Then put away any other items you may have out on the concrete, like the other DIY supplies you were using.

Since the stream of water coming out of a pressure washer is very strong, you also want to protect nearby vegetation and areas where the concrete touches your home. Accidentally aiming the nozzle at your siding or windows can damage them. Use a tarp to cover these parts of your home and any plants to prevent this. Just remember to take it off the foliage after a few hours so they don't suffocate.

Then it's time to make sure your machine is ready. There will be a place to connect your garden hose so the device has a steady stream of water. The pressure hose also needs to be attached to the washer. On the other end, you need to fasten the high-pressure nozzle. Lastly, set your machine to 3,000 PSI.

Start pressure washing

Applying a paint stripper to the stained area is critical to making this process easier. It'll help break down the spray paint so it can be scraped away. The stripper you need depends on the type of paint you used. Most spray paints are oil-based, so you'll need an oil-based stripper. If you're unsure what formula your paint is, it's still better to use an oil-based product to remove it.

When the concrete is ready, all you have to do is pour it over the stained area. Then leave it to soak for at least six hours. Although, it's best to let it sit overnight. If you have pets or children, you should refrain from using paint stripper. Instead, use baking soda by pouring it into the reservoir of your pressure washer. Then spray the area with the solution.

Now it's finally time to use the pressure washer. Make sure you're always pointing the nozzle downwards and never toward a person or yourself. It's also important to be aware of your surroundings to prevent any pets or children from getting into the stream of water. Hold the nozzle about 12 to 18 inches from the stained concrete and move it in sweeping motions over the area. Each pass should overlap with the last to ensure you get even coverage. Once all the spray paint is gone, all you have to do is leave the concrete to dry.