How to Get Spray Paint Off A Driveway (5 Effective Methods)

Want to know how to get spray paint off of your driveway? We've got you covered!

In this ProPaintCorner guide you'll learn:

  • What materials you'll need to get spray paint off a driveway.
  • How to prepare for removing spray paint from a driveway.
  • Other useful knowledge to have for this task.

And much more!

How to Get Spray Paint off a Driveway

Generally speaking, spray paint doesn't belong on driveways.

Aside from the artistic among us, spray paint on your driveway is generally unwelcome. 

But not to worry, you can get that spray paint off your driveway with a few simple steps!

A variety of spray paint removal techniques are detailed in this guide. For your benefit, this article is organized in sequential order, meaning you should try each method in order, from first to last. 

What You Need to Know About Getting Spray Paint Off A Driveway

As you may have already discovered in our guide, "How to Remove Spray Paint From Brick," one of the main factors involved is how long the spray paint has been there.

Concrete is porous and absorbs paint deeply. So, the quicker you attend to it, the better your chances are to remove the paint easily. 

Protective gear should be worn at each step of the process. These include gloves, goggles, and a respirator.

You don't want these powerful chemicals seeping into your system through your hands, nor do you need any splashing up into your eyes.

Spray paint stains aren't as bad toxins in your body, so stay safe. 

Did you know: The average lifespan of an asphalt driveway is 12 to 20 years.  That's why getting the paint off your driveway ASAP is essential for maintaining its longevity.

Supplies You'll Need to Get Spray Paint Off A Driveway

Here's the simple supply list that included the bare minimum that you'll need to get your efforts underway.

• A firm-bristle scrub brush
• A mild dish soap
• Rubber gloves
• Safety goggles
• Respirator

How to Get Spray Paint Off A Driveway (5 Effective Methods)

1. ​Soap and warm water
2. Graffiti remover
3. Paint thinner and stripper
4. Power washer
5. Blasting and/or grinding

Method 1: Soap and Water

Soap and water are surprisingly effective for removing spray paint on a driveway. Any concrete surface, including a concrete driveway, can be cleaned of spray paint provided you act quickly and know-how.

Even if the paint is old and has settled in, give this technique a try first. It's the cheapest and easiest method and there's always a chance.

Before anything else, give the area a good sweeping with a broom or you could also use a shop-vac. Get all the fine sand, dust, and gravel particles off the area that you are cleaning. 

Now, grab your firm bristle scrub brush, a pail of soapy water, and get to scrubbing. Because you're cleaning a concrete surface, you won't harm your driveway by scrubbing. Use a quality brush. A cheap brush would wear out before you got results.

With your brush and your solution of water and mild dish soap, begin to scrub the affected area. If you're noticing the paint slowly coming off, it's working. 

Rinse the area, blot it with a dry cloth or paper towel, and begin scrubbing again with your water-soap solution. Repeat so long as the paint continues to come off. 

Read More >> How Do You Get Through of Spray Paint Smell?

Method 2: Graffiti Remover Technique

Specialized graffiti removers are often incredibly effective. Mostenbockers Lift-Off formula is a name many professionals know. It's effective for removing paint and other adhesives off a variety of surfaces. You may also consider Ready Strip by Sunnyside.

Like the first method, time is of the essence. If you don't have one of these solutions on hand, either get it fast or order some for next time and proceed to method three.

As good as graffiti removers are, they may also require multiple applications. In some cases, intense scrubbing won't even be necessary. Spray on the product, then allow it to sit a few minutes as directed by the product's instructions. Ideally, the paint comes right up. 

Keep in mind also for steep-sloped driveways, once the solution takes effect, it will cause the loosened paint material to run downhill. You can mitigate this with specialized tape that sticks to concrete such as Scotch's rough surface painter's tape.

Method 3: Paint Thinner or Paint Stripper

Now we're climbing the ladder of cleaning material potency. What makes paint thinner different from other materials is the fact that it's a solvent. This means it can break down or dissolve paint from a surface. 

Solvents such as acetone, turpentine, naphtha, xylene, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), and denatured alcohol all are able to remove paint.

Paint strippers come in both caustic and non-caustic formulations. The caustic type can burn skin and extra precautions should be taken when using these.

A variation on the thinner/stripper method is TSP, or tri-sodium phosphate. A commercial product available containing TSP is Savogran. Take the same approach as with each other method, but with this formula as your cleaning solution.

Another ingredient you may keep on eye out for is methylene chloride. It's powerful and likely will speed up the process. Be absolutely sure to use a respirator with all strippers but especially those with TSP.

Another power move you may consider is mixing your stripper with an absorbing material. Two of these that may be used are both cat litter and clay. 

Mix a little of one of these absorbing materials into your stripping solution and stir it until the absorbing material is diluted and dissolved. The absorbent material will draw the paint off your driveway making it easier to scrub off. 

Read More >> How to Remove Spray Paint From Plastic

Method 4: Power Washer or Pressure Washer

If you haven't heard of it, a power or pressure washer is a machine that pressurizes water and causes it to shoot out of the spray nozzle rapidly. If you don't have one, perhaps a neighbor, friend or family member could loan you theirs. 

You can also often find these available for rent at local big-box home improvement stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot. A small mom-and-pop hardware store may also offer rentals. Call ahead and ask about availability. 

Ask for a model rated between 2000-3000psi. Anything less may not be strong enough, anything more is excessive. Either electric or gas-powered models are fine. 

Here's a nice walkthrough on pressure washing a driveway if you've never used one or would like a refresher on the best practices. 

Method 5: Blast or Grind It

If no paint removal method up until this point has worked, now is the time to bring out the big guns. A sandblaster or an angle grinder removes the surface layer whereon they're used, taking any paint soaked into these surface layers off as well. 

A sandblaster is a rather advanced tool and should not be used by someone lacking experience. Not only could potential bodily harm result from improper use, but you could also end up harming your driveway. Excessive blasting could alter your driveway's shape and finish.

An angle grinder, while seemingly a small and less imposing tool, is also capable of literally digging into the surface that it's used on. Essentially a type of sanding tool, equipped with various attachments, an angle grinder does what the name suggests; it grinds away the top layer of a surface. 

Experience is absolutely key in using either of these methods effectively. 

Other Valuable Resources on Spray Paint Removal on Driveways 

Some professionals swear by white vinegar as a paint remover. You could try it, but definitely avoid this method if you're dealing with a sealed concrete floor. If you fail to dilute it properly, the acid in the vinegar could strip the sealant off your floor.

Stick with the heavy-duty all-purpose brush we've recommended or one like it. A wire brush will likely damage your concrete floor, should you try to use one.

When using powerful cleaning solutions, test it on a small area first before applying it to a large area. If it damages or discolors the surface, you'll be glad you tested it first.

Read More >> How Do You Remove Spray Paint From Walls?

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

RJ Parker

RJ Parker

My first job as a painter’s assistant at the ripe young age of 13 charted a path ahead in my life that would gravitate around painting. Now as a freelance handyman and writer, I paint both with the brush and with words. If I’m not edging-in trim or rolling on a top-coat, you might find me out in the fields tending to a flock of goats. Literally. No lie. Or, perhaps you may catch me engaged in my other favorite pastime, eating. It’s fair to say that I’ve painted outside the lines, so to speak, prior to finding my natural stroke. Now, these misadventures and mishaps that I’ve experienced don’t have to happen to you. My mission at ProPaintCorner is to continue painting remotely through the advice, inspiration, and confidence that I give to my readers.

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RJ Parker

RJ Parker

My first job as a painter’s assistant at the ripe young age of 13 charted a path ahead in my life that would gravitate around painting. Now as a freelance handyman and writer, I paint both with the brush and with words. If I’m not edging-in trim or rolling on a top-coat, you might find me out in the fields tending to a flock of goats. Literally. No lie. Or, perhaps you may catch me engaged in my other favorite pastime, eating. It’s fair to say that I’ve painted outside the lines, so to speak, prior to finding my natural stroke. Now, these misadventures and mishaps that I’ve experienced don’t have to happen to you. My mission at ProPaintCorner is to continue painting remotely through the advice, inspiration, and confidence that I give to my readers.

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