How to remove old paint from cinder block walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing old paint from breeze block walls can be a time-consuming, tedious task. If the paint is already peeling away from the surface, you may be able to scrape most of it loose with a metal putty knife. However, if the paint is sealed tightly to the breeze block, you will have to strip it away using a combination of chemicals and friction force. Before you get started, you need to know the proper safety steps that can help you avoid danger.

Skip this step if you are working indoors. Remove as much paint as possible from the surface by focusing water pressure from the pressure washer. Allow the breeze block wall to dry before continuing.

Scrape away the remaining paint using a metal putty knife.

Put on gloves. Wear a respirator if you are working indoors.

Cover flooring with plastic dust sheets. Lay fabric dust sheets on top of the plastic ones.

Apply paint stripper to the paint using an oil-based paintbrush.

Allow the paint stripper to sit for 10 minutes. Then scrape away the remaining paint using a metal putty knife.

Repeat Step five. Then scrape loose any remaining paint using a wire brush.

Loosen small bits of paint by sanding them with 80-grit sandpaper.

Wipe down the wall with a wet rag if you are working indoors. Rinse the walls with a pressure washer if you are working outdoors.


If you need to remove small paint drips or splatters from a breeze block wall, apply white spirit to the blemishes using a rag. Wait 10 minutes. Then scrape away the paint using a metal putty knife or a wire brush.


Paint strippers are flammable. Do not work with a paint stripper next to an open flame or while smoking.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Metal putty knife
  • Gloves
  • Respirator
  • Plastic dust sheets
  • Fabric dust sheets
  • Paint stripper
  • Oil-based paintbrush
  • Wire brush
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • White spirit
  • Rags
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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.