How to Get Acrylic Paint Off Concrete

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish washing detergent

  • Rags

  • Stiff bristle scrub brush

  • Paint thinner

  • Muriatic acid

  • Goggles

  • Rubber gloves

  • Respirator


Muriatic acid is available at home improvement stores and hardware stores.


Determine the local regulations for disposing of muriatic acid--do not discard into drains or sewers. Do not use muriatic acid in the presence of children or pets. Concrete surfaces should be protected from paint spills and splatters with a drop cloth to prevent future cleanups.

Paint stains on concrete.
See More Photos

Concrete is a mixture of gravel, sand, cement and water. When the water evaporates from this combination a very strong and durable solid remains. Concrete can withstand much wear and tear, but it is not impervious to stains. Acrylic paint can seem especially difficult to remove, but it is actually fairly easy to do so. Always begin with the easiest method and progress to other methods if the paint stains remain.


Video of the Day

Step 1

Blot up as much excess wet paint as possible with a rag.

Step 2

Mix 2 tbsp. dish washing detergent into 1 gallon of warm water. Dip a stiff bristle scrub brush into the soapy solution and scrub the paint stains. Rinse off the area with water. Oftentimes, scrubbing is all that is needed to remove paint stains.


Step 3

If scrubbing does not work, soak a rag in paint thinner and lay the rag on top of the paint stain for an hour or two to allow the paint to soften. Use a paint scraper to scrape softened paint off of the concrete surface. Rinse the area thoroughly with a hose to remove all traces of paint thinner.


Step 4

If paint thinner does not work, use muriatic acid. Muriatic acid is a strong corrosive and requires the user to wear gloves, goggles and protective clothing. It is to be used only in a well-ventilated area or the user must wear a respirator. Mix muriatic acid according to package directions, usually a weak solution of one part acid to ten parts water is all that is necessary. Dip a stiff bristle scrub brush into the acid solution and apply to the paint stain. Scrub the stain until it disappears. Flush several times with water.