Since its invention in the ‘30s, epoxy has set the stage for an incredibly high range of applications.
Did you know that this multipurpose tool was initially created for dental fixtures?
Well, it has certainly come a long way since then.
From floorings and coatings to its artistic resin uses, epoxy has made its mark in numerous industries, but that’s not the only mark it made.
Accidents happen where you might’ve spilled some epoxy on your concrete floor. Sometimes, you also want to get rid of the epoxy for a recoat or do some touch-ups.
In these cases, I would often wonder how you remove epoxy from concrete. What if it’s cured? It only takes a few steps and methods.
Stick around to get a glimpse of our step-by-step guide to help you get that epoxy stain off.
How Does Epoxy Work?
Before pulling your sleeves back to get started, you might want to consider knowing more about what you’re up against.
That way, you might understand why it can be a grueling task to remove epoxy, as well as take your safety precautions to get it off.
To create epoxy, you’d need to first mix resin and hardener. Now, the whole process of epoxy can be divided into three simple phases.
The first is where it’s still in its liquid form.
The second is when it becomes more of a gelatinous texture.
Finally, it’ll be in its cured and hardened phase.
The crucial parts in each of the steps are open and cure time. The prior is when you first get your mixture prepared.
That’s when you need to shape your epoxy and apply it to your working area before it reaches its next phase, cure time.
If you’re using some sort of clamps or shaping tools to hold your epoxy together, you need to keep them during cure time to avoid any mishaps with your resin.
How fast does it cure?
Since each epoxy blend is different, open and cure times are not all the same. They mainly depend on the temperature of the epoxy and cure speed.
You can pick up the cure time speed with some heat. Higher temperatures usually catalyze the epoxy process, saving you more time.
Does heat speed up drying?
That being said, you’ll need to practice more caution if you use any heating appliances on your epoxy.
If you don’t want to use the heating method, there are safer ways to speed up the process.
From my own experience with resin, I simply purchase a faster hardener since the air temperature is almost always slightly cool.
How to Remove Epoxy Paint from Concrete
Whenever you spill anything, you might get that initial shock and fear that you won’t be able to take it off.
Like with spilled paint on concrete floors, you can cast your worries aside with epoxy!
Luckily, there are several methods to remove it from concrete.
Nevertheless, you do have to take into consideration that concrete is porous, making it a slightly trickier surface to work the epoxy paint off of.
All talk aside, check out our easy-to-follow steps below.
Step 1: Get Your Tools Ready
Seeing that there are more than a couple of ways to go about this heavy-duty clean-up task, you’ll likely have more tool options to prep. In other words, you don’t need to buy all the items on this list.
The two main ways of removal are manual and chemical. Here are the materials you might need for both instances.
- Paint Stripper
- Paint Thinner
- Brush Scrubber
- Nytril Gloves/Respirator Mask/Goggles
- Paper Towels
- Metal Bowl
- Methylene Chloride Stripper
Step 2: Prepare Your Removing Solution
In this instance, we’ll be going with the chemical peel route to get rid of the epoxy paint.
Since you’ll be working with harsh chemicals, you need to have an open working space, preferably outdoors, or you can turn your fan on.
Afterward, you need to put on your protective gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
In your metal bowl, pour in your methylene chloride stripper.
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You don’t need to use a large amount. You should put it little by little, depending on how large the affected area is.
Step 3: Spread Your Solution
Before getting the solution anywhere near the spillage or paint, make sure you clean it up. This is to avoid any damaging reactions to the solution.
In this step, you can opt for a paint stripper spray and generously spritz the area with a thick layer.
This product works great as an organic and less hazardous paint stripper
Alternatively, you can work with the prepared methylene chloride solution and, with a paintbrush, apply it to the space.
Otherwise, you can stick to acetone. Yes, we’re talking about the nail polish remover. You could find a rag and soak it with acetone and wipe it on the affected area.
Step 4: Wait, Wipe, and Scrape
By now, you should have a chemical solution in your space. Give it some time to work its magic before touching it.
If you’re using acetone, you can wait a couple of minutes and then wipe it off.
Other chemicals like paint stripper or methylene chloride might need a bit more time to take effect.
We recommend checking your strippers’ directions to get a better idea of how long you should leave it on.
In methylene chloride’s case, you might have to wait around 15 minutes or so.
You might be tempted to scrape off a large chunk at first, but hold your horses.
You need to check a small patch first to make sure the stripper is working.
If all goes well, you can scrape your way around the edges first until you reach the middle (the same method I use to remove linoleum glue from concrete surfaces).
Then, you’ll want to wipe it off with a paper towel to take out any residue.
Step 5: Prevention
Let’s face it; we can’t control when things spill out of our hands. Even if clumsiness was in question, accidents are bound to happen.
Having said that, you can reduce the likelihood of accidents if you place your epoxy mixture somewhere safer.
How to Remove Cured Epoxy from Concrete
If you want to redo your epoxy job, then you’ll need to find a method for removing it in its already cured and hardened phase.
While you can use the methods mentioned above for smaller surfaces, chances are, you might have a larger surface to remove here.
That’s why you can do a combination of both chemical and manual removal.
After you’ve applied your solutions and wiped them away, you might still notice some epoxy there.
That’s where the hard work steps in. Grab your scraper and heat gun, and go to town on that epoxy.
How to Remove Epoxy Flooring
A whole floor will probably take more time to work on.
While there are a lot of floors in your house that might be epoxy-sealed, one of the most common could be your garage floor.
You might be thinking about how to remove garage floor epoxy. It won’t be easy.
If you think you won’t have the time or patience for this challenging task, then we highly recommend enlisting a professional contractor to give you a hand.
Otherwise, you’ll need to get a mop and your chemical mixture. Once you’ve coated the entire floor with your mix with your mop and left it, you’ll then want to scrape it off.
To avoid any back pain, try using a scraper with a long handle.
We won’t lie; you might not get it off after the first process. You might have to repeat it a few more times before you entirely rid your flooring of any epoxy.
Epoxy is one of the most reliable adhesives on the market.
That being so, its reliability can be its downfall during the removal process, leading you to search on how to remove epoxy from concrete.
With the method mentioned above, we’re sure you’ll be able to get the last of your epoxy out with a bit of elbow grease.