How to Remove Paint from a Concrete Floor
LESLIE: Michael in Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
MICHAEL: We’re trying to remove paint from a concrete floor and we’re not sure what type of paint it is. But the paint thinner and the really high-dollar paint removers have no effect on it. We painted on top of it and the paint that we put down on top of it was made for concrete and it’s supposed to be the high-durable paint but it just will not stick to it. You can just wipe it off with your fingernail.
TOM: Wow. What kind of top-quality concrete paint did you put down? Was it an epoxy paint?
MICHAEL: Oh, you’ve got me there.
TOM: Was it a two-part? Did you have to mix two parts of paint together to get there?
MICHAEL: No, sir. Well, they did the mixing at the store.
TOM: A couple of things. First of all, I would give it another shot with a good-quality paint remover. We’ve had very good success with Rock Miracle, which is one that is a pretty good paint stripper. So you want to get as much of that old stuff off as you can.
But in terms of the concrete floor, the sort of state-of-the-art way to finish a concrete floor today is with epoxy paint. And there’s a number of manufacturers that make this: Rust-Oleum makes one, QUIKRETE makes one, a few more manufacturers make them.
The way epoxy paint works is it’s a two-part mix. You get a can – a gallon – that’s short-filled; it usually has about two – about three-quarters paint and then an air space. And then you get a quart can that’s got the hardener. And you dump the hardener into the gallon, stir it up and then you apply that as the paint. And they usually also come with color chips that you can put in there to give yourself some texture, some finish to it. And then through chemical reaction, it will dry.
And you will find that the epoxy paint is a lot stickier than, certainly, a latex paint is. And so I would do the two things: I would strip off the paint that’s coming through – the one where you feel like you don’t have a good base – and then I would consider putting an epoxy paint down on top of the whole thing. Because I suspect that the paint that you did put down may not be that durable.
MICHAEL: Alright. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.