How to Remove Paint From Concrete Surfaces

Updated February 21, 2017

Fresh coats of paint are the centrepiece of many remodelling plans. But paint splatters and drips can often mar the project. When paint drips during an exterior painting project and splatters against concrete sidewalks, patios and driveways, the result is a mess that most want to quickly clean up. To remove paint from concrete, use the proper techniques or you risk making the mess appear worse.

Use a pressure washer to loosen the paint from the concrete. Begin on a low setting and stand 4 to 5 feet back to prevent damage to the surface. If paint still remains on the concrete, you'll need to move on to further methods.

Use a metal putty knife to scrape away the paint from the concrete surface. Add a small amount of white spirit to help loosen the paint if necessary.

Add another application of white spirit to loosen the paint. Use a wire brush to loosen the paint from the concrete. Scrape vigorously, moving in a circular motion.

Use the pressure washer to wash away the loosened paint from the concrete.


Occasionally, your efforts to remove paint from concrete will result in a light discolouration on the spot where the paint used to be. This is because you have likely scratched a small amount of the concrete away exposing a fresh, new layer. Because the layer is new, it won't match the rest of the concrete which has been exposed to weather and dirt. You can easily remedy this by working in some dirt until the worn colour matches.


Pressure washers are very powerful and can damage certain types of concrete. Always begin on a low setting to minimise the chances of damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Metal putty knife
  • Wire brush
  • White spirit
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article


About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.