How to Get Spray Paint Off A Driveway [5 Solutions]

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Unless you are an art enthusiast, the site of spray paint on your driveway can be very unsettling. Perhaps you paint job went a little too far, or the children decided to decorate your driveway with some spray paint. Regardless of how the spray paint got to your driveway, do not panic.

Would you like to know how to get spray paint off a driveway? We can show you how. In this article, you will learn:

  • The supplies you will need to remove spray paint from your driveway
  • How to get spray paint off driveway
  • Useful tips to make everything easier

Required Supplies to Get Spray Paint off A Driveway

Even though removing spray paint, especially if it has been a while since it dried, can seem cumbersome, you can get the job done with a few simple supplies. To kick-start your paint removal process, here is a list of the bare minimum supplies you will need for the job:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A respirator
  • Safety goggles
  • Mild dish soap
  • A scrub brush (preferably with firm bristles)
  • Two one-gallon buckets
  • A garden hose

How to Get Spray Paint off Driveway: Five Options

Regardless of your situation, using one or several of these methods combined and help remove spray paint from your driveway. In no particular order, the methods will go through are:

1. Pressure Washer

2. Graffiti Removal Cleaner

3. Soap and Water

4. Mineral Spirits, or Paint Thinner

5. Sand Blasting

1. Pressure Washer

If you are yet to hear about it, a pressure or power washer is a device that helps remove tough stains on hard surfaces using pressurized water shot out of a spray nozzle rapidly. This method is very effective, particularly if you need to clean a large section of your driveway.

Since this method requires you to have a pressure washer, if you do not own one, perhaps you could ask a neighbour or friend to assist you with theirs. If you are interested in renting one, then check out your local hardware store or big-box home improvement store.

Procedure

  • Put on your protective gear and carefully assemble the pressure washer following the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.
  • Prepare the affected area by covering any delicate areas nearby. Remember, pressure washing could easily damage soft surfaces.
  • Fix the nozzle and move at least 10 feet away from the spray-painted area. Point the nozzle at the affected area.
  • Turn on the machine and spray the affected area using a back-and-forth motion, sweeping across the driveway as you deem necessary. Hit the affected areas until the spray paint comes off, and adjust the pressure depending on the stubbornness of the spray paint.

Pro-Tip

  • Always use a 2000-3000 psi pressure washer since anything less may be too mild, while anything more may be too damaging.
  • Be careful when using this tool, and always wear protective gear since pressurized water can cut through your skin.
  • Determine the optimal force and angle of your water stream, then select the best nozzle judging by color-code.

2. Graffiti Removal Cleaner

Graffiti removal cleaner uses special ingredients to disintegrate the paint and weaken its grip on concrete. These cleaners are available in various forms including liquid solutions, sponges, aerosol cans, wipes, pastes and trigger sprayers. Analyze your situation and check the availability of these forms to determine which one will work best for you.

Procedure

  • Mop or sweep the affected area to remove dirt.
  • Wear your protective gear and pour warm water into the bucket.
  • Following product instructions, apply the graffiti removal cleaner and let it sit as required.
  • Scrub the spray-painted area in circular motions using a firm bristle brush.
  • Blot or wipe the area using disposable cloths or paper towels.
  • Rinse the area using warm water, and repeat the process until you achieve your desired results.

Pro-Tip

  • As effective as these products, you may sometimes need multiple applications rather than intense scrubbing.
  • If your driveway is steep-sloped, attach tape and drop cloths below the spray-painted area to prevent the remover and loosened paint from running downhill.

3. Soap and Water

Arguably the easiest and cheapest method, using soap and water is simple yet surprisingly effective provided you take action quickly. However, even if the spray paint is old, you should try this method first.

Procedure

  • Mop or sweep the area to remove dust, gravel and fine sand particles.
  • Add warm water only in one bucket and mix warm water with mild dish soap in another bucket. Mix the water-soap solution until it becomes sudsy.
  • Wet the spray-painted area with soap-free water, then dip your brush in the soapy water and begin scrubbing in circular motions.
  • Scrub until the paint comes off, and blot the area using disposable cloths to soak up any loosened paint.
  • Rinse the area using warm water and repeat the process until you achieve your desired results.

Pro-Tip

  • Since this method is milder than the others, we advise you to remain persistent.
  • Consider adding white vinegar to your water to increase its potency.

4. Mineral Spirits, TSP, or Paint Thinner

Paint thinners are among the most potent cleaning materials you can find since they act as solvents, i.e. they “thin” or break down paint from surfaces. Some popular solvents capable of removing paint include turpentine, naphtha, methyl ethyl, denatured alcohol, xylene, ketone and acetone.

Procedure

  • Mop or sweep the spray-painted area to remove any dirt.
  • Wear protective gear and cover any openings in your house that may allow fumes from this process to enter.
  • Following product instructions, apply paint thinner to the spray-painted area either directly or using absorbent materials such as clay or cat litter.
  • If using absorbent material, makes it into your paint thinner and stir until it becomes diluted and dissolved. Absorbent material makes removing paint a lot easier since it draws paint off surfaces.
  • Wipe the affected area after each application using a disposable cloth, and repeat the process until all the paint is removed.

Pro-Tip

  • Consider using mineral spirits since they are equally effective and have a weaker odor.
  • To avoid smearing other surfaces with dissolved paint, have plenty of disposable cloths ready before you begin the paint removal process.
  • Some products are corrosive and could burn your skin or cause respiratory issues, hence it pays to wear the appropriate protective gear.


Check out a similar article >> How to Use TSP Cleaner Before Painting Cabinets

5. Sand Blasting

This method should be your last resort since it requires significant expertise, not to mention its potential to cause bodily harm or damage layers of concrete. Excessive sandblasting can permanently alter the look of your driveway.

Procedure

  • Wear your protective gear and move several feet away from the spray-painted area before turning on the sandblaster.
  • Set the right psi and turn on the sandblaster. Advance towards the affected area and blast the paint in quick back-and-forth motions.
  • As you blast the affected area, observe the effectiveness of removal and adjust the psi accordingly.
  • Use a wet or dry vacuum cleaner to remove concrete dust and paint.

Pro-Tip

  • For thorough cleaning, use a pressure washer shortly after sandblasting.
  • To avoid damaging your driveway, do not point to the sandblaster in one section for too long.
  • If it is not possible to get the requisite training, we advise that you hire an experienced professional.

Tips & Tricks

Latex paints derive their name from the rubber base they previously had. Nowadays, latex paints are made using a water-soluble base, hence making them easy to clean up using mild soap, water and some persistent scrubbing.

If your latex paint stains are stubborn, consider using white vinegar or paint remover (avoid stripper). Apply your remover or vinegar, let it sit for some time then scrape-off the paint stains after it dries up.

Oil-based paints, on the other hand, are very durable at the expense of difficulty to remove. You may require some paint absorbent and paint stripper or mineral spirits to remove oil-based paint. Mineral spirits are arguably a better alternative due to their less pungent odor and similar effectiveness.

Mix the absorbent with the mineral spirits and apply the mixture to the affected area. Let this mixture sit for half an hour to one hour, then scrub off the paint using a nylon brush.

Conclusion

Removing spray paint from your driveway is achievable. If your affected area is small, it is better to begin with soap and water. However, if your site is vast, then power washing or sandblasting is a better alternative. Regardless of the method you choose, we cannot stress the importance of practicing caution by wearing the appropriate protective gear.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Kindly let us know your thoughts in the comment section, and don’t forget to share this article if you found it useful.


Resources

Photo Credits

Canva, 2020

Ryan

Ryan

Ryan is a writer for ToolboxAdvice.com. He's been a hobbyist and painter for a long time, and now enjoys teaching others. His content primarly focuses on reviews and guides for painters and construction professionals.

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