There are many places where you may expect to find spray paint. On subway walls? Sure. As part of a large art feature? Of course. But, on your driveway? Definitely Not! It is just a simple fact that your driveway is not a suitable place for spray paint, so if it is on there then this paint is generally not wanted.
Even if you don’t know much about spray paint, you will probably be aware that this type of paint can be an absolute pain to remove. It is, of course, insanely durable, which is why it is so commonly used outside, and it is this feature which makes it hard to remove. But it is important to remember that it is just hard to remove, not impossible.
In this guide, we’re telling you 5 different methods that you can use to remove unwanted spray paint from your driveway in just a few simple steps. So if you want to find out how to do this then keep on reading.
Things You Need to Know
But first things first, let’s take a look at some of the key things that you need to know before you begin removing spray paint from your driveway. There are some things that will hugely impact how easy it will be to remove the spray paint from your driveway, so it is important that you are aware of these before you get started.
The first thing that you need to know is that the length of time that the paint has been there will have a huge impact on how easy it is to remove. The majority of home driveways are constructed using concrete, and this material is highly porous.
Due to this, the material will soak up the paint very quickly which can make removing it quite difficult. This is why it is easier to remove the paint from your driveway if it is fairly fresh. But don’t worry, even if it has been there a while then you should still be able to lift it.
The other thing that you need to think about is the safety precautions that you will have to take for this process. Lifting spray paint from concrete requires you to use some very powerful chemicals, so you should wear protective equipment at every stage. By this, we mean that you should be wearing goggles, a mask and gloves at every stage to ensure that you stay safe throughout.
Now that you know that, let’s take a look at the equipment that you will need to gather in order to lift spray paint from your driveway.
Things You Will Need to Gather
As you can probably expect, the list of equipment that you could need to remove spray paint from your driveway is seemingly endless.
Of course, you won’t always need all of this equipment in order to remove spray paint from your driveway. In fact, gathering some of this equipment can be very difficult to find.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a very basic list of what you will need to gather in order to remove spray paint from your driveway. Some people might suggest that you will need more things along the way, and they are probably right.
But this list is just the absolute bare minimum that you will need in order to get started on removing spray paint from your driveway.
We would recommend getting:
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
- A Respiratory or Filter mask
- Mild dish soap
- A Firm bristled scrub brush
See, we weren’t lying when we said this was a list of the most basic things you might use to lift spray paint stains from your drive.
This list might seem a little unbelievable considering what we said earlier about spray paint being difficult to remove, but sometimes it is best to start with the most basic option and go from there.
So now let’s take a look at some of the different methods that you can use to remove spray paint from your driveway.
Method One: Soap and Water
We couldn’t give you that list then start with a different method, so let’s begin with how to remove spray paint from your driveway using soap and water. When it comes to removing pretty much any stain, soap and warm water is always a good place to begin, and spray paint is no different.
But before we go any further, let’s make it clear that this method will only be effective if the spray paint that you are removing has only recently been sprayed on your driveway. If it is an old stain, then we would recommend moving onto the next method.
As soon as the spray paint has come into contact with your driveway you should grab a sweeping brush and move all the dust and debris away from the area. This will make the cleaning process easier. Once this is done, you should mix your soap and water solution, grab a good-quality scrubbing brush and get to work.
Remember that the surface that you are scrubbing is just your driveway, so there is no need to worry about damaging it in the process. This area does not break or damage when you repetitively drive your car on it, so there’s no need to stress. Simply grab your scrubbing brush, add some soapy water solution and start scrubbing.
With this method you will be able to tell fairly early on if it is working. If you begin to notice that the paint is lifting then you should take a paper towel and blot the area dry, before beginning the process again. You should continue this until no more paint is lifting, then assess the situation. If there is still a noticeable paint stain then we would recommend moving onto the next method.
Method Two: Power Washer
Failing that, we would recommend trying to remove the stain using a power washer. You may also hear this device referred to as a pressure washer, but they are essentially the same thing. Both power and pressure washers use electricity to pressurize water so that it is able to remove tough and embedded stains.
If you don’t own a pressure washer then it is worth asking your friends, family, and neighbors if they have one that you can borrow as these devices are quite expensive to buy. Failing that, you may also be able to rent one of these devices from a local hardware store.
Once you have acquired your pressure washer simply follow the instructions to get it set up. After that is done we would recommend testing out the machine on an area of your driveway where there isn’t any paint so that you can get the hang of it. When you have mastered the art of controlling a pressure washer, you can then move on to using it to remove the spray paint stain.
However, we recognize that even this method might not be totally effective. So, if you find that there is still some spray paint on your driveway, try out our next method.
Method Three: Blasting and Grinding
When it comes to removing tough stains, this is when you bring out the big guns. Both sandblasters and angle grinders are incredibly heavy and powerful machinery, so if you want to use a method that will definitely remove the spray paint stains then this is the one for you.
But before you choose to use this method, you should be aware that it might also cause some damage to your driveway in the process. Both sandblasters and angle grinders work by removing the top layer of the material that they are used upon. This will guarantee that the spray paint stain is removed from your driveway, but it will also mean that the top layer of cement will be removed too.
Both of these machines are very difficult to use, so if you decide to go down this route it is probably best to call a professional in. With both a sandblaster and an angle grinder it is very easy for something to go wrong as both machines are capable of taking holes out of your driveway.
So while this is a perfectly viable way for removing spray paint stains from your driveway, it is probably best to really think about using this method before you jump in and do it.
Method Four: Paint Thinner or Stripper
Going down the more chemical route, you could alternatively use a paint thinner or a paint stripper to remove the spray paint stain. Both of these options are solvents which means that they will break down the paint on the surface.
This generally means that they are good on the job they are supposed to do. However, it is worth noting that they contain some pretty strong chemicals, so you will definitely need to wear safety equipment if you go down this route.
Be very careful when you are buying the paint stripper for the job as they are available in two types: caustic and non-caustic. Caustic solvents are insanely good at removing paint stains, but they can also be very dangerous for you and your skin, so be very careful if you use one of these solvents.
For the best results, we recommend mixing your stripper with another material that will be able to absorb the paint. In particular, we recommend clay or cat litter as these do the job well without being unpleasant to touch. So all you need to do is take your absorbing mixer and add a very small amount of paint thinner to it and stir until it has dissolved.
Once you have done this, you can then get started on the stain. The absorbing mixer that has melted into the thinner will draw the paint out of the concrete, while the paint thinner will actively work to break down the stain. These two processes combined will be incredibly effective, and you should find that the spray paint stain easily lifts to the point where you will not be able to notice it.
But, on the off chance that this does not work, we have one final method which you can use to lift paint stains.
Method Five: Graffiti Remover
If none of the other methods work, then you always have the option of using a graffiti remover to lift the spray paint stain from your driveway. There are a huge variety of graffiti removers available on the market, with lots of variation in sizes and prices so that you can buy the one that is perfect for the job at hand.
However, even though this method can be used on old stains, it is most effective on new stains. So if you want to completely lift the stain using graffiti remover then time really is of the essence.
Due to their name, it can be easy to assume that graffiti removers might be the most effective way to remove spray paint stains from your driveway. But they actually aren’t. Graffiti removers are excellent, but if you have a stain that won’t budge you would be much better off using a paint thinner or an angle grinder.
If you do choose to use a graffiti remover, simply follow the guidelines on the packaging. This usually requires you to spray the product onto the surface, leave it to sit for a little bit, and then scrub it off. But bear in mind that you may have to do this a couple of times to lift the stain completely. Failing that, you can always use one of the more hardcore methods that we mentioned earlier to lift any tough spray paint stains.
In short, this has been a complete guide to how to remove spray paint from your driveway.
So if you find that you have unwanted spray paint on your drive, and don’t know how to remove it then you are in the right place.