Removing paint from concrete walls
Whether on walls or ceilings, on concrete, wood, or metal – removing old paint is always quite a hassle. However, with the right technique, everything goes a little easier.
There are a number of methods that can be used alone or in combination to get rid of old paint.
Below we will tell you about these methods.
Why do you need wall cleaning?
Removing old paint from concrete is almost always torture, hard and monotonous work. Why not just leave it as it is? What can happen to a new finish if the paint is hopelessly absorbed? Or should we suffer and sleep well, without worrying that the wallpaper will fall off? These questions may have asked anyone who has been to the crossroads of removing or preserving the paint layer on the concrete wall. Making a decision: to remove or not paint coating, depends on what kind of finishing work you’re going to do.
To know how to remove paint from a wall quickly and easily, you need to know its type and the type of surface on which it was applied. After all, different paints have different ways and methods of removing them from the wall. Some are easy and quick to remove, others you will have to struggle with.
The adhesion (bonding) of the old paint with the new coating will be very poor, so there will be a risk that the new paint or plaster will eventually just peel off and fall off, so it is recommended to remove the old paint from the floor, wall or ceiling surface after all.
Each method of removing paint from the surface of walls, floors, or ceilings has its own advantages and disadvantages. Choose the right method should be based on the type of paint (and the number of its layers) and the type of surface, as well as your financial capabilities to buy special tools and tools.
The main types of paints:
- Water emulsion
The most difficult process is the removal of oil paint from the concrete surface. It is not always possible to visually determine what was once painted on the wall, so you may have to experiment with methods of removing paint from walls to find the best solution.
Tools for removing paint
Tools and materials that can be used to remove old paint from a floor, wall, or ceiling surface:
- Putty knife, wide chisel, iron scraper.
- Chemical paint remover.
- Brush, roller.
- Heat Gun.
- Personal respiratory and eye protection equipment during work (respirator, goggles).
SEEKONE Heat Gun
Ideal for varnish and paint removable, decorating, home improvement, upcycling, thawing frozen pipes, loosening rusted bolts, bending plastics, and much more. It has two heat and airflow settings (840℉and 1200℉) for more control depending on the application. Its built-in overheating protection design that makes your heat gun safer, and more reliable.
Wagner Spraytech PaintEater
Rotating palm sander is tough on paint but gentle on surfaces, making this the ideal power rotary paint removing tool. The Wagner Paint Eater has received the Member Tested and Recommended and the Contractor Tested and Recommended Seal from the Handyman Club of America.
Sunnyside Paint & Varnish Remover
Multi-Strip ADVANCED is a unique, safe paint remover that is designed to remove up to 15 layers of paint and varnish. A lighter coat will remove 1 to 4 layers quickly while a heavier coat will remove multiple layers over time. It is biodegradable, non-flammable, low odor, and contains no Methylene Chloride, NMP, or Caustic.
Ways to remove paint from the surface
As we have said, the hardest thing to remove from the walls is oil paint.
The chemical method of paint removal
The chemical method or method of paint removal from the surface consists of the following actions: you should buy a special chemical solution for paint removal. Use such a tool should be careful and careful: it can cause burns and poisoning, and plus all at a price it is very expensive. The essence of the work with such a tool in general terms: the substance is applied with a brush or roller to the old paint layer, left to soak for a few minutes, and then the paint is simply scraped off mechanically with a spatula, metal scraper or brush with a metal pile. This method is relatively fast, but before it is used, be sure to ensure good ventilation of the room, because the vapors of the paint remover are very harmful. By the way, paint in several layers will have to be removed with this tool in several stages.
- Advantages: fast and easy.
- Disadvantages: high toxicity of the product, a pungent specific smell, the need for special disposal, high price.
CAUTION! Precautions must be taken when working with chemicals: the room must be well ventilated, skin, eyes, respiratory organs must be protected, children and pregnant women must not be in the room.
Thermal method of paint removal
This method consists of the use of high temperature, as can be seen from the name of the method. It requires the obligatory presence of a heat gun, which should heat the painted surface until the paint softens, after which it can be removed from the floor, wall, doors with a spatula or scraper.
Be attentive and careful! This method is not allowed to work in places with electrical wiring and near decorative coatings.
The thermal method can only be used in well-ventilated rooms, you must wear personal protective equipment for skin, respiratory, and eyesight.
- Advantages: relatively fast.
- Disadvantages: difficult to work with, corrosive smell, toxic substances are released into the air when heated.
Removing old paint with a spatula
If the surface is flat and smooth, the paint can often be removed with a spatula or scraper. This is especially easy to do when the old paint is already starting to flake off.
In principle, however, it is quite a pig’s work, which takes patience, strength, and time badly. You should really only go through the trouble if you really want to get rid of the old paint once and for all. If it’s just going to be a new texture, you’ll get there faster and easier with a thin coat of smoothing filler.
If the surface is rough, you won’t get far with a spatula or scraper.
Here you will have to resort to other methods to remove the old paint. For example, to a wire brush or one of the other options that I will present.
Removing paint with a wire brush
Wire brushes are particularly suitable for loose old paint or metal. However, you can also use them to sand paint from plaster surfaces. However, this is a dusty affair and quite strenuous by hand.
Wire brushes are also available as attachments for drills or angle grinders.
But be careful: This creates even more dust. So be sure to wear a protective mask.
Also, protect your hands and eyes from flying particles.
Sanding off old paint
Use an orbital sander or belt sander to get the old paint off the wall. That’s the good news. But there are also risks and side effects that doctors and pharmacists do not warn about.
First, it creates a lot of dust, which you’d better not inhale. Who knows what all is in the old paint. In addition, working with high-speed sanders is quite exhausting and noisy. And also not completely harmless.
If you still want to get at the wall with a sander, there is one thing you should keep in mind: you will definitely destroy any existing structure. Perfect if you prefer a smooth surface anyway. Not so good if you want to remove the paint, but not the structure.
Advantages: relatively fast.
Disadvantages: the complexity of work, caustic odor, toxic substances are
How to remove acrylic paint from walls
Acrylic paint on floors, ceilings, and walls can be removed with an ordinary metal brush. You can also use coarse sandpaper (sandpaper). Protect your hands before working: wear protective construction gloves. Good paint will be difficult to remove, so it is quite effective to use the previously described methods. By the way, acrylic paint adheres perfectly to an old layer of acrylic paint if it is still in excellent condition.
IMPORTANT: When using any paint stripping method, you must wear eye, hand, and respiratory protection (respirators, goggles, protective construction uniforms, etc.), and you must consult with an expert before using a particular tool, method, or technique.
How to Remove Paint from Concrete - Video
FAQ - Remove Paint from Concrete
To remove paint or for getting grease out of concrete, use the sponge or paintbrush to work the hot vinegar into the affected area. Allow it to soak in for a minimum of 15 minutes. For incredibly stubborn paint stains, reapply with more hot vinegar after 15 minutes and let it soak for the same amount of time.
WD40 is a light penetrating oil that can be effective in loosening latex spray paint from concrete surfaces.
Acetone is one of the most potent solvents, so it can remove paint from concrete. If your stain is stubborn or has been there too long for other types of paint thinners, it might be worth using an acetone paint thinner.