Are you annoyed by the graffiti on a nearby concrete wall or mistakenly got some spray paint on it?
Whatever it is, one thing’s for sure- you want it gone! But it’s not that easy. Concrete quickly absorbs paint, and spray paint coats multiple layers on top of each other.
You might be asking, how do you get spray paint off concrete?
This article will show you the proper method to make your concrete clean again with minimal effort.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents - Click to Skip
About The Author
Meet the expert behind this article.
Co-owner & Service Director
Hey there, I’m Cody.
A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you.
Reading from Washington State?
Contact our team for a quote and you might meet me in person.
Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming in the article.
We’re discussing four methods to get spray paint off concrete:
- Soap and water.
- Vinegar, nail polish remover, or paint thinner.
- Tri sodium phosphate (TSP)
- Paint removing chemicals
Quick questions before starting
You should know a few important questions before diving deeper into the topic.
How difficult is this to do?
Getting spray paint off concrete lies in the easy to medium category. It’s not difficult, but if the stains are too harsh, it might require 2 to 3 rounds.
How long does it take?
It can take 15 to 30 minutes to remove a small stain and 30 minutes to 1 hour for graffiti.
How much do materials cost?
- Goof Off or other chemicals: $15 to $30
- Paint scraper: $6 to $9
- Stiff bristle brush: $8 to $10
How to remove spray paint from concrete
There’re multiple methods you can choose from.
We’ll discuss several and tackle the ultimate question of how to remove spray paint from concrete.
The first method is the simplest and ideal for minor sections of spray paint.
- Use sandpaper or a paint scraper to remove the top layers
- Use soap or detergent and scrub the surface with a hard brush
- Once the paint is dissolved, rinse it with hot water
- Dry the surface with a towel or cloth
The paint might have been partially gone, do another round following the steps from the start to properly clean it.
Try the second method if the stain’s too tough and doesn’t go away with soap.
Pro Tip: Use hot water whenever you have to rinse. The temperature will help in melting the paint.
Again, this method is for small surfaces.
- Scrape the paint with sandpaper or a paint scraper
- Pour the vinegar, paint thinner, or nail polish remover on the stain
- Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes (the paint will slowly soften)
- Use a hard bristled brush and scrub the surface
- Rinse it with hot water
The acid in the above solutions is what does the trick.
Our next method uses a Tri sodium phosphate (TSP) chemical. You can use this technique for both graffiti removal and small house stains.
- Wear gloves as you’re dealing with chemicals
- Dilute TSP with water
- With the brush, apply it on the surface in a circular motion
- Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes
- The paint should be melted at this point
- Scrub with the same brush
- Rinse with hot water
Mostly the paint comes out easily in one go.
However, if there’s still some paint left, it means the stains are too tough. So go for another round until you’re satisfied with the result.
Professionals who offer graffiti removal services follow our last method, which involves using chemicals specifically made to remove spray paint from concrete.
We aren’t suggesting a specific brand, but typically, you can find these products at any local hardware store.
Remember, it’s better to test chemicals before applying them to the entire area. Then, use it in a small space and see how things are going.
Here are the steps:
- Wear your gloves
- Use a spray bottle and apply the solution to the area
- Let it sit for 10 minutes
- Reapply the chemical after 3 to 4 minutes if instructed (not all substances have the same composition and work differently)
- Spray the soapy water with a pressure washer
- Rinse everything off using a pressure washer
We might be biased, but this is the best way to remove graffiti from concrete.
Pro Tip: Don’t be impatient after applying the chemical. The most important thing is to let it sit long enough to melt the paint, or else you’ll have to start all over again.
You have to be cautious about three things when getting rid of spray paint.
1. Wear gloves
Whenever dealing with chemicals, always put on your gloves. These chemicals usually contain acid, which can burn the skin.
2. Cover the plants
If the surface you’re removing spray paint from has plants under or nearby, cover them beforehand because the chemicals can damage them.
3. Don’t put the pressure washer nozzle too close to the surface
Stand at least 3 to 4 feet from the surface you’re cleaning to safeguard the surface from streaks.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some questions that people often ask us.
Will vinegar remove spray paint from concrete?
Vinegar can remove both water and oil-based paints from concrete. It can even remove the toughest stains. Just pour some vinegar or apply it with a brush or cloth and let it melt the paint.
Will WD-40 remove spray paint from concrete?
WD-40 can remove spray paint from concrete. You can use it for small areas in the house but not for graffiti removal.
Will acetone remove spray paint from concrete?
We don’t recommend using acetone. It’s not a robust solution, and it might take you a couple of rounds and a lot of scrubbing.
Will bleach remove spray paint from concrete?
Never use bleach to remove any sort of paint from concrete. It can fade the actual color of concrete.
Will paint thinner remove spray paint from concrete?
Yes, paint thinner is used for removing minor house stains from concrete. However, it’ll require scrubbing.
We hope you learned something from our guide on removing spray paint from concrete.
Remember, the best method for house stains is the second method, and for graffiti removal from concrete, the last one is the professional way.
Thank you for reading!