How do you remove paint spots or drops from concrete?

remove paint from concrete

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on removing paint from concrete, a task that many Australian homeowners and DIY enthusiasts face. Whether it's a splatter from a recent home renovation, an accidental spill, or the remnants of a previous owner's project, unwanted paint on concrete surfaces can be an eyesore. Not only does it affect the aesthetic appeal of your property, but it can also lead to long-term damage if not addressed promptly and effectively.

In this blog, we delve into the most effective methods to tackle this challenge, ensuring your concrete surfaces are restored to their original glory. We understand the unique Australian climate and how it can affect both the concrete and the paint, so our solutions are tailored to withstand the harsh sun and varying weather conditions. From eco-friendly options to more robust chemical treatments, we cover a range of techniques suitable for different types of paint and concrete surfaces.

Our guide is designed to be practical and accessible, offering step-by-step instructions that even beginners can follow. We also include safety tips and product recommendations, ensuring you have all the information needed to undertake this task with confidence. So, roll up your sleeves, and let's get started on rejuvenating your concrete surfaces!

So, how do you remove paint spots or drips from concrete?

remove paint drops

Removing paint from concrete can be a challenging yet fulfilling task. The process varies depending on the type of paint (water-based or oil-based) and the age of the stain. However, common to all methods is the initial step of cleaning the area with soapy water and a stiff brush to remove dirt and debris, ensuring a clear working surface.

For water-based paints, a solution of warm water and a mild detergent usually suffices. Gently scrubbing the area with a brush can lift the paint without damaging the concrete. In case of stubborn stains, a mixture of vinegar and water can be an effective, eco-friendly alternative.

Oil-based paints require a stronger approach. Paint strippers specifically designed for concrete are highly effective. Apply the stripper as per the manufacturer's instructions, usually by brushing it on and leaving it to work for a specified time. This breaks down the paint, making it easier to scrape off. Always wear protective gloves and eye-wear when handling chemical strippers.

For those preferring a more natural method, a paste made from baking soda and water can be applied to the stain. After allowing it to sit for several hours, scrubbing the area can help lift the paint.

Pressure washing is another effective method, particularly for large outdoor areas. It's vital to use the correct pressure setting to avoid damaging the concrete.

Whichever method you choose, always test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage the concrete. Patience and elbow grease are often the key ingredients to successfully removing paint from concrete.

Does vinegar remove paint stains from concrete?

Yes, vinegar can be effective in removing paint stains from concrete, especially if the paint is water-based. Vinegar, a mild acid, works by breaking down the paint, making it easier to scrub away. To use vinegar for paint removal, apply a generous amount of white distilled vinegar directly onto the stained area and let it soak for several minutes. Then, scrub the area with a stiff-bristled brush. For tougher stains, you may need to repeat the process or allow the vinegar to sit longer. While vinegar is not as potent as commercial paint strippers, it is a safer and more environmentally friendly option.

Can you pressure wash dried paint off of concrete?

Yes, you can use a pressure washer to remove dried paint from concrete. This method is particularly effective for larger areas or outdoor surfaces. Pressure washing works by using high-pressure water to blast the paint off the surface. However, it's important to use the right technique and pressure settings to avoid damaging the concrete. Start with a lower pressure and gradually increase as needed. A rotating or oscillating nozzle can be more effective for stubborn paint. Additionally, for extra tough paint stains, applying a chemical paint remover before pressure washing can improve results. Always wear protective gear and follow safety guidelines when using a pressure washer. 

What is the best solvent to remove paint from concrete?

The best solvent for removing paint from concrete often depends on the type of paint and the condition of the concrete. However, one of the most effective and commonly used solvents is methylene chloride, found in many commercially available paint strippers. It's particularly efficient for removing stubborn, oil-based paints and multiple layers of paint. Methylene chloride penetrates quickly, breaking down the paint for easier removal. Safety is paramount when using this solvent due to its potent fumes and chemical nature; proper ventilation, protective gloves, and eye protection are essential. For a less harsh alternative, soy-based or citrus-based strippers can be effective, especially for smaller, less stubborn paint stains.


Whether you've managed to get paint on your concrete floors, concrete driveway or concrete garage floor, getting paint off concrete is usually a fairly simple process. There are some great concrete cleaning chemicals available, a range of environmentally friendly paint stripper options and pressure washing concrete is always a great back-up option for those who don't want to use a chemical paint stripper.

We recently published a great video about removing paint from concrete that included advice about paint thinner, wire brush, bristle brush and power washer options.

Remember, always take safety precautions and use things like protective eyewear or safety glasses, knee pads, and plastic sheeting.

At PaintAccess we're experts at getting paint on, but we also know a thing or two about removing paint. Visit us at St Leonards or Matraville for expert advice on the best ways to remove paint from concrete surfaces.