How To Get Spray Paint Off Concrete Proven Methods

So you’ve got some unwanted graffiti on your concrete walls, huh? How to get spray paint off concrete is simpler than you think.

Before rushing out to buy expensive commercial cleaners, hold up a sec. You can try some simple DIY methods to get that spray paint off the concrete first.

And the best part is that these solutions are all-natural and inexpensive. Not forgetting super easy to make with stuff you probably already have lying around the house.

These proven techniques have been tested and work to remove even stubborn spray paint stains from concrete surfaces.

With some time and elbow grease, your concrete will look clean and graffiti-free again.

Industrial Solvents: The Most Effective Methods for Removing Tough Spray Paint Stains

To tackle tough spray paint stains on concrete, you’ll need to bring in the big guns: industrial solvents. These harsh chemicals can strip about any paint from concrete, but they require safety precautions.

The most powerful options are:


Available at any hardware store, acetone is a potent solvent that dissolves spray paint and lacquers. Apply it liberally to the stain.

After a few minutes, scrub with an abrasive sponge or scrubber.

Brake cleaner

Spray-on brake cleaner contains acetone and other solvents to remove built-up grease and grime from car parts. Follow the directions to spray it on the stain and then scrub vigorously with an abrasive pad.

Again, ventilation, gloves, and goggles are must-haves.

Paint stripper

For large spray paint stains, a gel paint stripper may be your best option.

Apply a thick coat of the stripper according to the directions and let it sit until the paint starts to bubble.

Scrub off the paint with a putty knife or wire brush and reapply as needed. The paint stripper is exceptionally harsh, so be careful when handling it and follow all safety precautions.

While these industrial solvents effectively remove even stubborn spray paint from concrete, they come with risks. Take proper safety precautions and ventilate and neutralize the area thoroughly.

In many cases, gentler methods like sanding, scrubbing, or pressure washing can work and are safer alternatives.

Natural Home Remedies: Environmentally-Friendly Approaches to Cleaning Up Spray Paint

If you want an environmentally-friendly solution to clean up spray paint on concrete, try some natural home remedies first.

Some baking soda will do the trick

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can help lift spray paint stains from concrete. Make a paste from baking soda and water and scrub the area with the paste using a scrub brush.

Let it sit for several hours, then rinse well with water. After one or two tries, the stain should be out.

If this doesn’t do the trick, there are a few cleaning substitutes for baking soda to explore.

Try some vinegar

Vinegar is excellent at dissolving paint and stains. Spray the spray paint stain with undiluted white vinegar.

After 30 minutes, you can scrub with an abrasive sponge or scrubber. Then rinse with water.

The acid in the vinegar helps break down the paint so you can wash it away. You can also make a paste from vinegar and baking soda for extra power.

Commercial solvents are also an option

For tough stains, try using a commercial solvent like lacquer thinner, acetone, or paint stripper according to the directions on the product.

Scrub with an abrasive pad and then rinse thoroughly with water. Be very careful using these chemicals. They can irritate your skin. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves.

Sanding and Repainting Damaged Areas

When All Else Fails, Eliminate Spray Paint by Sanding the Concrete

Sanding Away the Spray Paint

If all else has failed, it’s time to break out the heavy artillery—power sanders.

Using an electric sander with coarse grit sandpaper is the most effective way to scuff up the spray paint and allow the concrete to be repainted.

Start with a lower grit, around 80 to 120, to initially rough up the surface. Then work your way to higher grits, like 220 to 400, to smooth it out.

Wipe away dust with a tack cloth as you go. Depending on how thick the spray paint is, you may need to go over some areas a few times. Be patient and take your time—rushing can damage the concrete.

What to remember;

Wear proper safety gear like goggles, dust masks, and work gloves. The dust from sanding can irritate your eyes and lungs.

Rent power sanders from a hardware store if you don’t have one. Orbital and belt sanders will make quick work of spray paint.

Vacuum and wipe the area thoroughly when done sanding to remove all traces of dust before repainting.

Apply a concrete primer to the sanded surface before repainting. This will help the new paint bond strongly to the concrete.

Once sanded and primed, you can repaint the concrete with quality exterior paint. Acrylic or epoxy paints made for concrete floors and surfaces work well.

Apply at least two coats, waiting for each to dry in between, for best results.

The key is removing enough of the spray paint so the new color has an uneven and gritty surface to grip onto. While sanding concrete can be difficult and time-consuming,

it’s often the only way to eliminate heavy spray paint and start fresh.


Whether it’s a fresh coat from local vandals or an old stain haunting you for years, one of these techniques should do the trick.

With the right chemicals or power tools, you’ll be well on your way to clean concrete again. So don’t despair at the sight of spray paint where it doesn’t belong.

Go ahead and pick a method, from sanding or blasting. Before you know it, your concrete will return to its original spray paint-free state.

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