Removing paint from stone

Updated February 21, 2017

Vandalism and painting accidents happen. Not only is paint on a stone surface ugly, it can be disturbing if it includes a message. You don't have to use harsh chemicals or pay to have the paint removed. By using the right tool and being patient, you can remove paint from a stone surface in no time.

Using a Power Washer

Visit your local hardware or home improvement store, or equipment rental business to rent or purchase a power washer to remove paint from such stone surfaces as walls, stones on a section of your house, driveways and large stones in your yard. The device sprays water at high pressure. Before using the power washer, follow any directions provided on assembling the device.

Start with a wide nozzle spray and set the water pressure to low. Work in toward the paint spot. Move from side to side and slowly increase the water pressure. Keep applying water until the paint spot is gone. Be patient. It may take some time to remove the paint if it is over a large area or has been applied with several coats.


When you first start using the power washer, the device will feel awkward. Get used to it before attempting to remove the paint spot. Do not turn the device on full strength at first, start off slowly and build up the water pressure. Be careful not to shoot water on items that are fragile or you don't want to get wet, such as your car or flowers. Never direct the power washer toward people or animals.

Soft and Small Stones

If you have small, softer stones in your yard or stones in a rock garden, use a liquid paint stripper specific to the type of stone you want to clean. Apply the stripper according to the directions on the container. Always wear gloves and eye goggles when working with a paint stripper.

Most paint strippers have to be applied and let stand for a period of time to work on the paint spot. Once the paint stripper has had a chance to work, use a paint scrapper to remove any fragments of paint then wash the stone with water before placing back in your yard or other space.

Protect Yourself

Wear full protection from head to toe whenever you use a power washer or paint stripper. Make sure you wear boots or high-top shoes, gloves, a hat, eye goggles, and jeans or heavy trousers, and you cover your arms in case you drop the power washer and it aims toward you. The pressure in a power washer is very strong, so hold the device with both hands and grip it firmly.

After using a paint stripper, wash your hands thoroughly even after you have removed your gloves in case some of the stripper came in contact with your skin. Failure to do so can lead to skin burns or irritations.

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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.