How to Remove Latex Paint from Concrete

Unlike oil-based solutions, removing latex paint (a water-soluble paint) from concrete is much more comfortable. However, if you apply the wrong paint removal method, then you may experience incomplete paint cleaning at the end of it all. How to Remove Latex Paint from Concrete

In this article, I’ve outlined how to remove latex paint from concrete using soapy detergent, power washer, paint-stripping chemical, scraper, Trisodium Phosphate, or sandblaster/paint grinder.

Alternatively, you use commercial latex paint removers like Motsenbocker’s Lift Latex Paint Remover, Sunnyside Corporation, Dumond Chemicals, and CS UNITEC Electric Paint Stripper. Proper protection and safety adherence should be put in place during the latex removal process.

How to Remove Latex Paint from Concrete (7 Methods)

1. Using a Sandblaster or Paint grinder

A paint grinder machine or sandblaster cleans latex paint by polishing the paint layer without affecting the concrete structure.

The user must be keen when carrying out latex paint removal to prevent accidents and excessive surface erosion – removing latex paint from metal

 Required items

  • Sandblast medium (high-grade sandpaper) and protective items such as gloves, dust coat, and face mask
  • Paint grinder or sandblaster – rated at least 50 psi
  • Pressure washer (for indoor) or dry-wet vacuum (for both indoors or outdoors)

Steps to follow

  • Put on protective gear – eye goggles, gloves, and overall.
  • Brush the latex painted concrete surface to eliminate rough inclusions
  • Connect the grinder/sandblaster to the power supply and switch on
  • Begin sandblasting by maiming the machine nozzle at an angle – 35 to 45-degree inclination
  • Run the machine to and fro quickly along the latex painted surface while pressing gently to pick the thin paint layer along.
  • Continue evenly until the area is thoroughly cleaned. For a thick paint layer, carry out repeated thing layer sandblasting to avoid damaging the machine or dislodging the concrete structure.
  • Finally, spray or vacuum the final surface to achieve a fine finish.

NB: Remember, you need special training when using a sandblaster machine. Alternatively, you can engage a professional. Besides, sandblasting is a little bit expensive method as compared to soap or stripping.

2. Use of Soapy Detergent and Water

Soapy detergents, when mixed with water, can be used to rub off latex paint from concrete.

The mixture works by breaking down the paint molecules into a thick fluid, removed easily (washed out). This method is best suited for small surface areas and wet latex paint removal.

You may use detergents on dried latex paints; however, scrapping is essential to ease the paint removal process.

Required items

  • Warm water and two 5 –liter buckets
  • Strong scrub brush and tough, absorbent paper towel
  • Soapy detergent (dish soap) and protective gear
  • Plastic garden hose pipe (4 feet) and clean rag/cloth
  • Scraper and paintbrush – just like you’d deal with garage floor paint.

Steps to follow

  • Wear protective gear properly – prevents detergent irritation.
  • Wipe the latex painted area with a paintbrush to remove surface debris
  • In one bucket, add water to the soapy detergent and stir appropriately to achieve a uniform solution.
  • Wet the concrete surface with warm water to soften the dry paint bonds. You do not need to wet the surface when cleaning wet latex paint.
  • Soak the brush and begin scrubbing gently over the painted area until the paint is entirely removed.
  • Use a wet towel to blot the cleaned area.
  • Finally, rinse the area with warm water to wash out paint residue from the surface. You can opt to spray using hose pine for outdoor paint removal.

Soap detergent is highly preferred since it’s non-toxic, more comfortable to carry out, and uses readily available material relatively cheap.

See Also: What’s the best method to Remove Paint From Concrete

3. Using Power Washer and Thinner

The power washer with an air compressor uses pressurized water (which may be mixed with detergent) to remove the concrete’s latex paint layer.

This method removes wet paint efficiently upon contact. But, for dried latex paint, you may require prior thinning to soften the paint molecular bonds.

Required items

  • Gas-powered or electric powered power washer – rated between 1500 psi to 3000 psi
  • Water-resistant cloth or plastic sheet to collect paint drops
  • Protective gear – goggles, gloves, dustcoat, respirators, etc.
  • Thinner and clean water point
  • Soap detergent –where necessary

Steps to follow

  • Wear the protective gear – eye goggles, face mask, gloves, and overall
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and assemble the power washer.
  • Switch on from the primary connection and pretest the throttle spray velocity
  • Set the best nozzle pressure for your surface texture and start spraying while a few feet away.
  • Run the nozzle back and forth over the painted area at a close range for an effective paint removal process.
  • For dried paint, quench the surface with thinner or paint softeners to improve removal action without affecting the concrete surface.
  • Repeat the process till the whole latex painted surface is cleaned.
  • Rinse the surface with clean water to achieve the perfect finish.

NB: Power washer needs plenty of continuous water from the source. It is the fastest method of removing wet latex paint over a large surface area – no thinning is needed.

4. Use Paint-Stripping chemical

Paint stripper or remover are specially manufactured solvents that break down the paint molecules into a thick fluid (washable) without affecting the concrete structure.

These chemicals have a high affinity for latex paint and work instantly upon application.

Such compounds include Motsenbocker’s Lift Latex Paint Remover, Sunnyside Corporation, Dumond Chemicals, or nail polish/thinner.

Required items

  • Paint stripping chemical including paint removers for wood
  • Clean rag or piece of cloth – for moping
  • Protective gear – gloves, face mask, dust coat boots, and eye goggles
  • Soap detergent – where necessary
  • Paintbrush and sponge
  • Clean water

Steps to follow

  • Wear protective clothes accordingly.
  • Wipe the painted surface to eliminated dirt and debris
  • Prepare the paint stripping chemical – according to instructions given by the manufacturer.
  • Soak the brush in striping chemical and start applying on the latex painted surface.
  • Please leave it to quench for 5 to 10 minutes (waiting time may vary according to instructions) and scrub off using a wet cloth.
  • Rinse the surface with soapy detergent to remove traces of striping chemical
  • Finally, wash the concrete with clean water to achieve a fine final finish.

Notably, most stripping chemicals are highly irritating. Therefore, they should be applied in a well-ventilated room for safety purposes.

See Also: Paint Sprayer for Exterior Walls

5. Trisodium Phosphate

Trisodium Phosphate is a commercially available substance that sufficiently removes latex paint by breaking paint bonds into a thick slurry.

TSP is self-activating and works best for both wet and dried paint without affecting the concrete material.

Required items

  • Warm water in a bucket and stiff scrub brush
  • Trisodium Phosphate – powder or liquid form
  • Scraper and garden hose pipe- for outdoors paint removal
  • 10-liters water bucket and clean mop or cloth
  • Protective gear – mask, overall, gloves, goggles, etc
  • Waterpoint

Steps to follow

  • Put on appropriate protective gear
  • Use the paintbrush to clean the surface debris
  • Mix the TSP with water to achieve the best concertation
  • Soak the brush in the solution and start applying gently over the latex painted area
  • Let the paint cure for 10 to 20 minutes and start to scrub until the entire paint is full dislodged
  • Rinse the surface with warm, clean water and mop with a rag to dry
  • Repeat these steps until you clean all the latex paint.

NB: For effective latex paint removal, proper concentration is required, and paint layer thickness should be a significant factor to consider when diluting TSP.

Besides, you can carry out a drop test experiment to ascertain the action of the solvent.

See Also: What the best Paint to use on Concrete?

Precautions and safety measures  for Latex Paint Removal 

During the latex paint removal process, proper safety guidelines and precautions should be adhered to – this is to prevent accidents and health hazards.

The following are some of the precautions and safety guidelines for the best latex paint removal practice:

  1. Open window and doors (ventilation) hen carrying out indoors latex paint removal
  2. Put on protective gear when removing paint – boots, respirator, dustcoat, eye protectors, and gloves.
  3. Put off the fire of keep of the fireplace when removing latex paint – to prevent fire outbreak due to flammable stripping chemicals.
  4. Do not smell latex paint removers directly – they mainly cause nasal irritation or may even choke you.
  5. If you get into skin contact with latex paint remover, wash the area with plenty of cold water and soap.
  6. Dispose of all containers used during the paint removal process appropriately- avoid leaving them in open places.
  7. All paint stripping chemicals should be kept away from pets and children – swallowing leads to stomach problems or even death.
  8. Grinders and sandblaster machine should be powered only when in use – check on-switch before connecting to the main socket.
  9. The power washer should only be run within acceptable spray pressure to avoid removing concrete grains during the paint cleaning process. 

See Also: Sprayer for Latex Paint in 2024

What’s the Best Commercial Latex Paint Remover

1. Motsenbocker’s Lift Latex Paint Remover

Motsenbocker’s Lift is a water-based latex paint remover that features a biodegradable formula, which won’t have any environmental pollution.

The solvent is packed in a classic container that is highly portable and easier to refill. Motsenbocker’s Lift comes with a simple pull trigger and a classic nozzle that support point application during the latex paint removal process.

Besides, Motsenbocker’s Lift breaks the paint molecular bonds on the surface without affecting the concrete structure. The self-activating base formula is highly penetrative and acts instantly upon application.

Motsenbocker’s Lift is easier to peel and doesn’t require thinner during the stripping process. You can actually clean multiple-layer latex paint in a couple of seconds.

NB: Motsenbocker’s Lift is budget-friendly and works for both wet and dried paint.

2. Sunnyside Corporation

Sunnyside is an advanced latex paint cleaner that features a new base-formula free from methylene chloride. The intense action formulation breaks thick paint layers in a couple of seconds.

Sunnyside is self-activating and comes with a large (1-gallon) portable container, highly stable, and more comfortable to refill. Moreover, this solvent features high penetrative ingredients that won’t stain the concrete’s primary coat during the paint removal process.

Besides, Sunnyside can be used on metal, wooden surfaces, or automobile without any problems. Importantly, this product can be used to clean other stains such as epoxy, oil-based paint, varnish, shellac, lacquer, and polyurethane finishes.

3. Dumond Chemicals

Dumond is a smart strip latex cleaner that features bio-active ingredients, which act instantly upon contact. The compound is specially formulated with 100% biodegradable material that won’t cause any pollution.

Dumond comes in a large container (1-gallon) that is highly stable and covers a vast area in a single application. Indeed, the product integrates a water-based formulation that allows optional dilution during application.

Besides, Dumond comes with a classic handle that better portability during application. The product is manufactured with zero VOC. Furthermore, Dumond does not have caustic or harsh chemicals that may affect the concrete structure.

4. CS UNITEC Electric Paint Stripper

Unitec is a powerful paint stripping machine that features a variable speed control knob, enabling optional regulation of paint stripping velocity.

The machine is designed with a classic, ergonomic handle that allows optional orientation during the paint removal process.

Unitec is a lightweight machine that is electrically powered and comes with a resilient grinding disc, which works for all paint.

Indeed, the rough grit integration grips the paint molecules effectively when polishing, and it’s suitable for all concrete designs.

Unitec features a low clearance profile and classic dust extraction vacuum that effectively removes latex paint.

More so, the milling grid is replaceable while the professional panel can also remove Graffiti, Greasy Dirt, Latex, Resins, Solids, Coatings, and sprays without any problem. 

NB: Unitec can also be used on metal, boat, decks, Wood (even staining swing sets), and Metal. 


The latex paint removal process can be tedious if you select the wrong method or fail to follow the right procedure.

In this regard, use sandblaster/paint grinders, soapy detergent, scrapper, power washer, paint-stripping chemical, or Trisodium Phosphate for your latex paint removal activity.

Notably, follow the precautions and safety rules highlighted in this article to prevent accidents or health problems during the latex paint removal process.

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