How to get paint off an epoxy floor
Some people would say that the best way to get rid of the paint on your epoxy floor is with a chemical stripper, but sometimes the chemicals can damage or discolor your floor.
This guide discusses how to properly remove paint from an epoxy resin floor without harming it in any way. First, keep reading for some helpful advice on how to accomplish just that task! Then, if you’re looking for results fast – click here to learn about our powerful Epoxy Paint Remover, which can get the job done in a matter of hours!
The first step is to gather up your materials. You’ll need some paint remover, rags, water, and a scrub brush. Some newspapers will come in handy too.
Mix your paint remover according to the instructions on the bottle or can. There are many different kinds of paint removers available on the market today – you want one that says it is safe for painted surfaces on whatever kind of flooring you have.
Also, note that some paints may be more difficult than others to remove entirely – even with multiple coats of paint thinned down and left on for days at a time.
If this particular type of epoxy resin floor happens to be one of those with difficult paint removal, the following method (and even some chemicals) will not be enough to remove all traces of paint.
The next step is to apply your paint remover and let it stay there until you see that it has done its job and dissolved the paint. Once this happens, wipe up any residue left behind and dispose of it in a covered metal bin.
After that, your floor needs to be rinsed with a wet rag and water. Then, let the floor dry completely before you start scrubbing away at any paint that remains on the surface. This step can take hours or even days – depending on how much paint is left over.
Once the paint is gone and the floor has dried completely, you’ll want to put some oil or wax on it as a sealer. You can use concrete cleaners to remove any ghosting that might be left behind from the paint remover solution.
The problem with this is that if you do not remove all of the paint, your new coat will bubble and peel off very quickly. Therefore, it is important to get the old layers of paint off first before applying any more products to protect or color your epoxy floor. Only then can you obtain a good seal that protects your epoxy resin floor.
Removing Epoxy Paint from Concrete
Epoxy paint enjoyed a brief swell in popularity sometime around a decade ago until people realized that other more durable alternatives were available. Although the paint will be impossible to remove, you can easily remove it from it without the help of another contractor.
Take precautions when operating in a high humidity room, keep your skin closed, and avoid contact with solvent or paint. As paint disintegrates, it will then form puddles.
Once the paint bubbles and starts to come off of the floor, you have to scrape. Use a long-handle scraper and start a back and forth pattern over the room. A dry paintbrush is good for brushing away the pieces of paint once they have been removed.
Two types of solvents will help you safely remove epoxy paint: methylene chloride and butyl acetate. You can use either one separately or in tandem to achieve the desired results with ease.
Paint Removal With Butyl Acetate
Use a rag on your application tool – do not use a brush, as this may leave marks on your concrete surface that are difficult or impossible to remove later on. Instead, spread the solvent over the area where you have already scraped off some paint so that there is a thin layer still visible on your concrete surface.
You can use a paintbrush to spread this out evenly if you prefer, but using the rag is usually more efficient.
Next, let it sit for about 20 minutes. Epoxy paint takes two hours to dissolve in the solvent, but sometimes less time may be needed depending on the type of epoxy resin floor you have. If the pieces are still there after twenty minutes, repeat the above step and wait another twenty minutes before moving on to the next step.
Once this has finished, the next part will involve scratching away at some remaining spots while the solvent softens them. Take your scrub brush and start scratching against these areas while they are soft – this will make them easier to remove later on, although it might damage the concrete surface.
The final stage is to remove all of the paint pieces that you were able to scratch off earlier. Use your long-handled scraper (you can also use a plastic putty knife) to get rid of any remaining fragments and make sure every speck of paint has been removed from the surface of your concrete.
You may need to do this multiple times if there are still some spots left behind, although most solvent applications will be enough for epoxy paint removal on most types of flooring.
How To Remove Epoxy Paint From Concrete Using Methylene Chloride
Epoxy paint is resistant to most solvents, so you must use the right materials for removing this type of paint. Methylene chloride is a registered trademark under Dow Chemical Corporation, which is the best solvent for removing epoxy resin floors and tough floor coatings.
With just one application, it can also remove multiple layers of enamel paints, lacquers, and epoxy from cement surfaces. However, when working with methylene chloride, you should always wear rubber gloves and safety eye goggles. They contain harmful chemicals that may cause skin and respiratory problems if mishandled or inhaled.
Step 1: Prepare Your Room
Prepare the room by closing windows, doors, and air vents. In addition, it would be best to pull down your window shades to keep your house cool while you are working on your project.
Step 2 is about making a chemical application of methylene chloride solvent to epoxy paint.
Put on some rubber gloves, then apply the chemical on your concrete floor using a brush or roller – do not spray it with an aerosol can, as this may blow the fumes in unwanted directions towards people instead of containing them.
Brush or roll on the chemical evenly over areas where there were clear signs of leakage of epoxy paint onto the concrete surface of your house flooring.
Step 3 requires letting it sit for ten minutes for every one hundred square feet of coverage area.
Methylene chloride will be left to sit for ten minutes per one hundred square feet of concrete flooring.
Step 4 is when you scrub off all remaining epoxy paint using a stiff bristle brush (such as a number 9 wire brush). Again, it helps to use lots of water at this stage so that methylene chloride has an easier time breaking down epoxy resins on the surface of your concrete flooring.
Step 5 requires that you rinse off all traces of solvent and other residues with clean water. Then, use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up any excess residue over the heavily stained areas unless these are easily removable by mopping or sponging up.
Other methods involve using corona or sandblasting equipment to clean off the epoxy paint residue. These are expensive, however, and the rebound of blasting media may cause damage to your concrete surface anyway:
How to Clean Epoxy Paint From Floor Using Oxy-Acetylene Torch
There is also a method for removing epoxy paint using an oxy-acetylene torch. This will be useful if you need to remove heavy coats of enamel or lacquer paints from your cement floor as well as multiple layers of epoxy resins. This works by heating up the paint with gas flames until it liquefies before scraping away at them into pieces that can easily be mopped up.
Step 1: Prepare Your Room
Prepare your room by closing windows, doors, and air vents. Pull down your window shades to keep the heat in so that they can melt off any paint residue on your concrete flooring more effectively.
Step 2 requires making an application of acetone solvent onto the epoxy paint using a brush or roller. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this step and safety eye goggles for added protection against harmful chemicals (such as acetone).
Step 3 is similar to Step 1, where you allow the chemical mixture to soak into the epoxy paint before removing them with a stiff bristle wire brush. Again, allow at least five minutes of contact time per one hundred square feet of coverage area before scrubbing away all traces of paint using water and another stiff bristle brush.
Step 4 is where you rinse off the space by hitting it with a hose or a wet-dry vacuum cleaner. You can also use a pressure washer for this step to blast away epoxy paint residues from your cement floor’s surface.
Step 5 requires mopping up any residue from your concrete flooring using rags and paper towels. Use a water hose to remove all traces of chemical solvents as well as their dregs from your concrete flooring if possible.
Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to suck up any excess chemical residues if using a pressure washer proved too difficult.
Step 6 is where you use kitty litter or sawdust to absorb any remaining water on your concrete flooring. This will prevent slipping hazards and the resulting falls, which may cause injury to people walking over your epoxy paint residue.
Note: Some people have had success using boiling water to remove epoxy paint from cement floors. However, the super-hot temperature of this method may damage your concrete flooring if it’s not done properly.