Removing Paint from Concrete Porch/sidewalk


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Old 12-03-12, 09:17 AM
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Lightbulb Removing Paint from Concrete Porch/sidewalk

Previous owners, in their INFINITE (not) wisdom, decided to paint (not stain) the entire front porch and sidewalk. Well, it looks like crap and is wearing out. On top of that, some white paint was spilled on top of the pinkish paint, so not only does the original color look bad, but there are splotches of white paint on top of it.

Needless to say, I want it gone. I'd love to have it covered with flagstone or something, but I can't afford it right now. In the meantime, I'd LOVE to just take it back to the original concrete surface.

I have attempted to use Muriatic Acid to strip it, but it has ZERO effect with the painted surface (both diluted and full strength).

My next thought was to some how sand blast it. Is that an option or will that eat up the concrete too much?

Any alternative suggestions?

This is quite a large area, btw....300 sq ft on the porch, then a sidewalk that's about 3' x 75'.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 
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Old 12-03-12, 10:08 AM
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Have you tried a pressure washer yet? Muriatic will not remove paint, you have to go to the other end of the PH scale and use a highly alkaline solution. I stripped a section of red brick with a home made lye solution and it's very effective but I don't think you will want to do this on an entire sidewalk and driveway though. The pressure washer is worth a shot.
 
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Old 12-03-12, 10:36 AM
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Pressure Washer

A good pressure washer will do it. Just watch for the scoring/lines it can make if let in one spot too long -Alfred G Souza
 
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Old 12-03-12, 01:30 PM
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I'm a little skeptical of the power washer being able to remove the paint (since I've power-washed the surface to clean it - granted it wasn't a REAL strong power washer), but I suppose I could give that a shot, that would be the easiest, I'll just need to find one. What's the minimum PSI to look for when renting one?

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-03-12, 03:16 PM
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I'd apply a coat of paint stripper to the concrete, let it work and then use the pressure washer to remove the majority of paint...... your small PWer is probably stout enough for this method. A high pressure washer will make the work quicker but it's also possible to cause damage when using the higher pressure. I have a small PWer that I used to use commercially - it only goes to 1500 psi and has worked fine for anything I've ever had to clean with it.

It might take a couple of applications of the stripper to get the concrete presentable. There is also a chance that removing all the paint might be a futile job - in that case, I'd recommend applying a concrete stain.
 
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Old 12-03-12, 03:19 PM
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Thanks all...my neighbor has a power washer I'm going to try. I'll take some pics (before and after) and report some results as I attempt them
 
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Old 12-03-12, 07:41 PM
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Well, that didn't go so well. I did not use paint thinner/stripper, but I did try a 3,000 PSI power washer. Basically, the only areas where it had ANY effect was on the perimeter of areas that were already showing signs of thinning/wear. It does a good job of cleaning the porch, but didn't strip the paint at all...
 
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Old 12-04-12, 05:14 AM
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It sounds like they used an oil base enamel - it's a lot tougher than latex. Paint stripper should work. Paint thinners don't work well for stripping cured paint.
 
 

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