What is a best paint stripper for concrete?

Hello folks. Customer texted me a picture of a concrete pad he wants me to pressure wash. It’s a painted concrete. Paint is peeling in some spots and does not in others. He doesn’t know what paint was used to paint the pad and neither do I.
What would be the paint stripper to use on something like this?

Thank you all for a wealth of knowledge being shared on this forum. Loving it!

Xylene and a decent dwell time or Stripeeze. The good stuff has been outlawed.

By the way, that’s probably not even “paint”. It’s a solid color “stain” that doesn’t even penetrate the surface and unless prepped correctly it fails and results in what you have ahead of you.

Here’s a job I did recently.

Unfortunately, the contractor that laid this down had no clue what he was doing and it appears he used a turbo nozzle to clean and prep and etched the concrete.

Thank you for the suggestion.

Do you know approximately usage per sq.ft? The homeowner said it’s about 450 sq.ft.

If what your trying to strip off is a water base stain than use a water base stripper. If its oil base stain than use a oil base stripper.

How would one tell one from another?

Suggest diamond grinding it off… it will take zero time for 450 sq ft, compared to pressure washing it. Expect around (0.35)-(0.50) sq ft for an estimate

Put acetone or nail polish remover on rag and wipe down. If paint is on rag its water base. Another way to tell is oil base paint chips come of in bigger sections And are harder.


Appreciate your insight. Thank you.

What kind of machine would you use for grinding it off?
edit: nevermind. Found one. Thank you for idea!

Stripping is brutal and nasty. @DisplacedTexan is right. The good stuff has been outlawed. And some of it just recently. Charge accordingly.

If you have heat, I’d start there with no chems. And then try a turbo.
I did a driveway yesterday that had a surface sealer on it. I was prepping it to reapply a surface sealer. It was peeling in some spots. When I turned up the heat it really started coming off. One section by the road was badly peeling. I hit it with the turbo and it all came off. No chems.


Have to be careful just going at concrete with a turbo too, though. You can etch it and that’s exactly what happened on that job I had. I also stripped the back patio and he had turbo’d that and left obvious marks. This guy also stained the woman’s fence and left turbo marks all over it. Too many people go straight to pressure when a basic knowledge of the right chems and the proper equipment and you get a much better result.

But, yes, the good stripper has been outlawed but the others still work alright. They just need a longer dwell and some light agitation and you’ll get it right up. Heat definitely helps.

I forget the measurements but I ended up buying two gallons of Xylene and had some left over. I’m guessing 600-800 square feet. The Stripeeze is a gel and has to be brushed on apparently. I rolled on the Xylene and used a turbo and a 15° tip. My best advice is give it plenty of dwell time, mist it and agitate with a stiff bristled brush then use pressure. Use your respirator, that stuff gets thick in smaller areas. Be careful not to etch the concrete with too much pressure. Its not easy money like house washes so charge accordingly.

Why would you want that headache.


Hey, we have that wavy looking concrete up here. It’s impervious to etching. :wink: :joy:

1 Like

I feel like the circle method would be better for this circular designed concrete when cleaning

Do you have that look on the concrete in KC?

No not at all. Just average straight broom lines here. I’m sure there are some like that around here but I haven’t worked on any or really noticed it

1 Like

Forgive my ignorance @DisplacedTexan, but what in the etching causes issues? Does it not bond as well, or is the etching obvious once the stain/paint is put down? I can’t imagine that the etched area due to pressure is chemically different than a none etched area?