ThatPainter is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More
Do you want to repaint a concrete surface for a little project? If so, you should strip away the previously applied paint so your new paint layer can sit smoothly and look glorious!
Whether you want to redesign a piece of concrete or you have spilled some paint on an area that now needs removing, you will want a good paint stripper.
You may have thought that removing paint from concrete was not possible but we are here to give you the good news.
It is possible! However, because concrete is a porous material, it instantly absorbs paint because of its ease of diffusion. Therefore, this makes removing paint from concrete very difficult and time-consuming.
Fortunately, there are paint strippers on the market that can remove this paint. Finding the best paint remover can be difficult but we are here to help you.
After 20 hours of research, we have come up with the 6 best paint strippers for concrete so you can just sit back, relax, and decide which one is best for your needs.
|Klean-Strip QWN285 Quart Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser||
Best grinding wheel
|Dewalt Grinding Wheel||
|Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover||
|Paint Stripper Super Remover New Generation ||
|Sunnyside 658G1A Ready-Strip ADVANCED Paint & Varnish Remover||
|Orange Sol 10151/52 Contractor Solvent||
6 Best Paint Stripper For Concrete
Klean-Strip QWN285 Quart Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser
If you’re looking for a high-quality, all-purpose paint stripper that can work on removing varnish, stains, and lacquer as well as paint, you should certainly consider Klean-Strip Quart Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser.
Once the paint is removed, this helps your new layer adhere excellently for a smooth finish.
When purchasing this product, you will love the amount of paint stripper you receive with quart-sized quantities available. This means you can tackle larger jobs as well as smaller ones.
Whether you want to work on concrete or old wooden panels, Klean-Strip will guarantee your satisfaction every time.
- Helps paint adhere – New coats of paint will stick well to this surface for long-lasting results
- Sold in large 1-quart quantities – Allows you to tackle larger projects or use over a longer period of time, saving you money in the long run
- Multi-purpose – Works on removing varnish, stains, lacquer, and paint on different surfaces such as wood and concrete
- Irritant to eyes – Can cause some irritation for users so it’s best to wear protective glasses when applying the stripper
Dewalt Grinding Wheel
If you’re looking to remove paint from a concrete surface as quickly as possible, you should try the Dewalt Grinding Wheel. You will be able to strip aggressive materials and conventional abrasives using this tool to leave a smooth surface for repainting over.
The Dewalt Grinding Wheel needs to be used with a grinder so if you already have one at your disposal, simply attach this wheel and you will soon remove any unwanted paint or varnishes on your concrete surface.
Compared to other abrasive removal devices, this diamond matrix supplies 350X the life with a heat-treated steel body that increases its durability and wheel longevity so you can use this on many more projects in the future.
- Removes aggressive materials – Very powerful and capable of stripping hardened materials off concrete surfaces that may be hard to remove otherwise
- Very efficient and effective – One of the quickest methods for stripping paint and other materials
- Multi-purpose – Can be used on multiple projects such as granite and concrete
- Not a chemical paint stripper – You will need a grinder to operate this and it will take more skill/labor to complete the paint removal task
- More dangerous – As it needs to be used with a grinder, there are more risks involved so extra precaution should be taken
Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover
With a range of excellent features including its biodegradable formula, Dumond 3332 Advanced Paint Remover is an excellent choice to remove stubborn paint from concrete.
Unlike many other paint strippers, this is safer to use with the absence of methylene chloride. This means it’s not carcinogenic and relatively safe for indoor and outdoor use.
We love that that Dumond 3332 paint remover can strip multiple layers of paint away. This is because it was specifically designed to work safely and efficiently on concrete. Not only is it safe for concrete, but is safe for the user and the environment.
While some can be dangerous to use indoors, this is safe for interior use but you should still err on the side of caution to be safe.
You should be able to remove up to 15 coats of paint without having to neutralize the surface beforehand which can save time and effort.
- Odorless – Leaves no presence of odors in the air after use leaving your surroundings free of chemical scents
- Eco-friendly – Has a biodegradable formula that helps the environment and is safe for outdoor and indoor use
- Non-carcinogenic – The absence of methylene chloride results in a safer to use paint stripper, especially when compared to many of its rivals
- Needs multiple applications – May need to apply more than a couple of layers to completely remove various coats of paint
Paint Stripper Super Remover New Generation
Next up is a very strong paint stripper that doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals such as methylene chloride or NMP (N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone) which can be harmful to your health and the environment.
Paint Stripper Super Remover New Generation has a patent-pending formula that helps to break down coats of paint such as acetone or other harsh chemicals. However, it does this without being a health hazard or affecting the environment.
We loved the short time it takes this paint remover to get into action. Just apply the Super Remover New Generation and it will break down chemical compounds within the paint in just 15 minutes. This is enough to entirely remove the paint from concrete, wood, metal, and more.
This is a versatile product as it can also remove lacquer, varnish, shellacs, epoxies, and polyurethanes so you can use it on a variety of projects in the future.
- Works quickly – Starts to break down chemical compounds in paint within 15 minutes to help completely remove the coating
- Versatile – Works on a variety of surfaces such as concrete, wood, metal, and more removing different materials like paint, varnish, lacquer, epoxies, etc
- Safe to use – Doesn’t contain harmful chemicals such as NMP or methylene chloride resulting in a healthier paint remover
- Flammable – Can become a fire hazard if proper care and attention is not taken
Sunnyside 658G1A Ready-Strip ADVANCED Paint & Varnish Remover
Sunnyside 658G1A Advanced Paint & Varnish Remover is another safe to use paint stripper which doesn’t include the harmful chemicals methylene chloride or NMP.
Coming in a gallon container, this should last you some time and be suitable for any larger projects you may have in mind.
Safe to use indoors and outdoors, you can apply Sunnyside paint remover on oil-based and water-based paints as well as stains and varnishes for an effective result.
Sunnyside claims this can remove 7 layers of coating per application and, while this may need to be properly proven, there is no doubt that it works very well at removing paints. However, you will need to apply several coats to do so.
Sunnyside paint & varnish remover is safe to use on concrete as well as plaster, stone, wood, brick, veneers, metal, marble, and masonry so your possibilities are almost endless!
If you’re sensitive to smell, you will appreciate the almost odorless nature of this remover so you won’t have to put up with any chemical smells filling the air.
- Versatile – Works well on oil-based and water-based paints to completely remove their layers
- Low-odor – No presence of chemical odors after use which can be unpleasant, especially when used indoors
- Works on a range of surfaces – Removes paint and varnish on concrete as well as plaster, wood, stone, veneers, metal,marble, and masonry
- 1 hour activation time – Takes up to 60 minutes to fully activate which is longer than many of its competitors
Orange Sol 10151/52 Contractor Solvent
It’s always useful to find a solvent that can remove an array of materials and not just paint. This is where Orange Sol 10151/52 Contractor Solvent steps in as it can remove just about anything on concrete.
It is able to dissolve adhesive resulting in a very heavy-duty remover.
If this solvent sits for a while, it should be able to remove just about anything such as paint, adhesive, varnish, etc. Even if you get grease on your favorite t-shirt, you can try applying some of this to restore it to its former glory.
There is little odor with Orange Sol Contractor Solvent and is safe to use on hands. However, you should still wear gloves to protect yourself to be on the safe side.
- Rounded Brush Head – This covers more surface area and provides a smoother finish.
- Professional Quality – Made from high quality materials.
- Includes Rounded and Rectangular Brushes.
- Intended for use with chalk paint only.
Now that you have seen the top 6 paint strippers for concrete, you may be eager to jump the gun and purchase one immediately. However, there are some important factors to understand when looking for the best paint remover for concrete.
Read on to discover the different types of paint strippers available and the way in which they work.
Different types of paint strippers
As concrete is porous, it tends to absorb paint very quickly which makes the removal of this paint very difficult. This is why there are some paint strippers that are better than others when tackling this problem. These include:
- Liquid paint strippers (Solvent, caustic, and biochemical)
Liquid paint strippers
This is the main type of paint stripper and this includes three categories; solvent, caustic, and biochemicals.
Solvent is generally the most versatile paint stripper. It uses chemicals to break down the bonds between the coats of paint and the surface. It works extremely well at removing oil-based and water-based paint from surfaces such as metal, wood, and masonry without discoloration.
One downside of using a solvent stripper is that it’s a high volatile organic compound (VOC) meaning it is more hazardous to your health than others. They also have the strongest odors and fumes out of all paint strippers but an advantage of using this type is that it is corrosive and ideal for heavy-duty paint removal.
Caustic paint strippers have the active ingredient of sodium hydroxide or lye. This helps convert dried paint into a soapy substance resulting in the paint becoming loose from its surface. Caustic strippers are ideal for masonry surfaces like concrete and walls but not so good when working on epoxy, acrylic, or polyurethane.
You can use caustic strippers effectively on water and oil-based paints while other paint types may become discolored. One disadvantage of using this type is that it tends to attract more moisture which can damage a wooden surface.
Biochemical paint remover is a more eco-friendly version when compared with the previous two options. There is very little odor with this paint stripper due to its natural ingredients. Although it has lower VOCs and fumes, it can still cause health hazards such as respiratory and reproductive issues as well as irritate the skin. This is why safety gear is essential when working with these paint removers.
This type of stripper is great at removing oil and water-based paints from concrete and other surfaces. However, it isn’t the most efficient at stripping away paint as it usually takes quite a long time to activate and remove all of it.
Another type of paint stripper you can use is Zero-VOC. This doesn’t contain NMP, lye, or methylene chloride making it one of the safest options. Nonetheless, it can still irritate your skin and lungs so safety gear should be worn at all times when using this paint stripper.
It is practically odorless due to the use of naturally-occurring solvents in its makeup that break down oil and water-based paints to loosen them.
You can use Zero-VOC on metal, masonry, and wood on some occasions. One downside is that it isn’t very efficient when removing epoxy or polyurethane.
It tends to be more expensive than other types of paint removers but if you don’t like the idea of using more dangerous paint strippers, this may be the best option.
Aside from using chemicals to remove paint from concrete, there are other options such as using heat. If you decide to use heat to strip away paint, you must do so with extreme caution. This is especially important if you are using a heat gun or a torch.
Both tools can become fire hazards and create toxic fumes. This is why many individuals prefer using a low-intensity infrared heater. Although these have limitations with how much paint they can remove, they are ideal for softening up the paint so it can be scraped off easily.
Another option to remove paint from concrete is by sanding. This can be done through the use of a machine or by hand. This process removes paint from surfaces through friction and can be very effective on smaller areas of singular coats of paint.
You should be careful when using this method, however, as sandpaper can be intrusive, possibly resulting in some layers of the surface being stripped away too.
Power washing can be a great way of stripping paint from concrete and other exterior surfaces. Again, you must be very careful when using a power washer as it can be challenging to operate.
If you choose the wrong pressure amount, you could easily damage a surface so ensure you know the correct amount of pressure beforehand.
Lead paint test kits
Whichever method you use to remove paint, it’s important that you determine whether the paint is lead-based or not. If it is lead-based, the process of paint stripping creates dust that can easily be inhaled, absorbed, or ingested leading to lead poisoning and possible death.
You can use a lead paint test kit to know whether the paint is safe to strip off immediately. If you are working on a larger scale, you should consider investing in a bulk buy of these kits as the basic kit won’t be big enough to test all areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use a paint thinner to remove paint from concrete?
Paint thinners are quite effective at removing paint from concrete. Just like paint strippers, the thinner works by breaking down or thinning the paint before it becomes loose to peel off.
Such paint thinners are solvent which is good at dissolving substances like paints and work as effectively as acetone, turpentine, denatured alcohol, and more.
Can baking soda remove paint from concrete?
If your concrete surface has stubborn, dry paint covering it, baking soda, as well as industrial bicarbonate, works well at cleaning it away.
The best way of doing this is to use a soda blaster where you blast the solution onto the desired area to remove the paint.
Can you remove acrylic off concrete?
As acrylic paint is water-based, it is possible to remove it from concrete as well as most surfaces.
It is considered easier to remove acrylic paint from concrete than other paints so you shouldn’t have a problem.
Richard Jenkins is a 33-year-old Professional Painter that applies paint on the interior and exterior surfaces. Qualified in painting technology knowledge, physical fitness, stamina, teamwork, and attention to safety. Read More.