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Best way to remove multiple layers of paint from concrete?

I've recently moved into a house that has concrete planters on the porch....problem is they are attached to the porch itself and covered in countless layers of old paint. I want to repaint them, but am having a very hard time removing the old paint. Even with heavy duty thinners and wire brushes, it is endless. Any tricks to this?
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Posted 2013-07-19T21:04:07+0000  by Lrairden Lrairden

Hi Lrairden,


Thank you for your question and welcome to our community.  It is no fun when you have to make a project right, especially when the homeowners before you chose not to do the project the right way.  Never fear, there is an easier way to remove those layers of paint. 


I have found that a “Heat Gun” will soften up the old paint and make it easy to scrap off.  It works better if you have an assistant to help with the scraping while the other heats up the paint.


                 Heat gun-DeWalt.jpg  Bosch Heat Gun- heavey duty.jpg


Be sure the area is well ventilated while you are heating up and scraping off the paint.  Keep nearby windows and doors closed. Since you are going to be up close and personal with the paint fumes, it will be a good idea to wear a respirator that will remove the potentially harmful vapors.


Be sure to have a good scraper handy to help remove the paint.   I like the Stanley bent blade scraper.  It is a sturdy wood handle scraper, strong enough to peel up tile heated up with a heat gun.  Remember, the higher the watt or amperage of the Heat Gun, the better it works.

                                         Scraper-Bent blade.jpg

Instead of waiting for the paint remover to work, all you have to do is heat up the area and scrape off the old paint. Paint removal is not a fun job by any means but the Heat Gun will make the job a lot easier to do. 

Be sure to take a video of your paint removal project, before, during & after and share it with us in our Project Library under "I Did This".


Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Posted 2013-07-19T23:16:40+0000  by Rick_HD_OC

 If you go the heat strippping route, a propane torch is much faster than an electric heat gun as it puts out several times more heat. Fortunately, working on and around  concrete, non-combustible surfaces you do not have to worry about starting a fire.


I prefer the torches that have the ppiezo electric spark ignition button which allows the flame to be turned on and off at will. It is awkward having a flame next to you while you are scrapeing and too easy to accidentally burn yourself or accidentally set something else on fire. If you want the surface really clean, you might want to finish the project with a light coat of chemical stripper. The stripper will readily work on the thin remaining paint residue. Chose on of the strippers that is water soluble . It makes washing away the residue much easier with the use of a garden hose or pressure washer.

Posted 2013-07-19T23:32:36+0000  by ordjen
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