Because latex paint is water-based, it’s usually easy to remove from surfaces. In many cases soapy water and a brush are enough, while in other cases you may need something more aggressive. In this guide, we discuss how to get latex paint off the driveway.
I include tips for dealing with small stains or spots as well as removing latex paint off the entire driveway.
What You'll Learn Today
Can You Wash Off Latex Paint?
If you happen to spray or spill some latex paint on your driveway, don’t worry. Latex paint is easy to clean off.
If it’s still wet, you can wipe it off with a wet rag. If it’s a big spot, pour water on the paint and then scrub it off with a brush.
If it’s dry, you can still wash it off with water. That’s because latex paint remains water soluble even when it is dry.
That’s why latex paint is normally not used outdoors. It doesn’t hold up well to rain and snow.
To remove the paint more effectively, use warm soapy water plus a stiff brush.
Here’s a video showing how easily latex paint comes off with just water and soap.
5 Other Ways To Get Latex Paint Off A Driveway?
1. Clean With TSP
TSP or trisodium phosphate is one of the best degreasers. It’s a commonly used cleaner against oils and grease on surfaces.
It’s also great for cleaning latex paint off the driveway. It’s especially suitable for tough paint stains.
TSP is hazardous and needs to be handled with care. Put on protective gear (gloves, mask, long pants etc.) when preparing and using it.
To use TSP, mix it with water to create an alkaline solution. ½ cup of TSP per 2 gallons of water creates a very strong solution that’s perfect for tough paint stains.
If you want a milder solution, mix ¼ cup of TSP in 2 gallons of water.
Apply the cleaning solution onto the paint and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then scrub with a brush and rinse thoroughly with water.
2. Use Paint Thinner or Acetone
If you’ve tried washing off the latex paint but it won’t go away, you are probably dealing with acrylic latex paint.
This is latex paint with some acrylic resins in it. Acrylic resins are not water soluble and don’t wash off with water.
Instead, you need a solvent to dissolve the resins. Paint thinner and acetone are two great choices for the job.
Soak a rag in acetone or paint thinner, then dab it on the spot with latex paint. Once the spot is soaked, try wiping the paint off or scrubbing it with a brush.
3. Use Latex Paint Remover
You can use a paint stripper to get latex paint off the driveway. But paint strippers are too harsh and unnecessary when dealing with latex paint. Leave those for tougher paints like acrylic and epoxy paints.
For latex paint, try a latex paint remover such as Motsenbocker’s Lift Off. Most latex paint removers are safer for you and the environment.
You simply need to spray or pour the remover onto the paint, wait several minutes then clean off the paint with a brush and water.
4. Use Vinegar
Vinegar is another great alternative to harsh paint strippers. Pour undiluted white vinegar onto the spot with paint, let it soak for 20-30 minutes then scrub off the paint with a brush and soapy water.
For stubborn latex paint stains, heat the vinegar in a saucepan until it’s hot, but don’t let it boil. Carefully pour the hot vinegar onto the paint and let it sit for about half an hour.
The paint should come off easily with some scrubbing.
5. Use A Pressure Washer
If you already have a pressure washer at home, it might be all you need to get latex paint off the driveway.
Because latex paint is usually easy to wash off, a smaller 1200-2000 PSI pressure washer might work. Try soaking the area with soap or vinegar first, then remove the loosened paint with a pressure washer.
For stubborn latex stains or if you are dealing with acrylic latex paint, a 3000 PSI pressure washer is ideal.
Use the turbo nozzle to spray water with maximum pressure. If you are concerned about damaging the driveway surface, use the 15-degree nozzle. It’s still powerful, but it’s gentler on the surface.
How To Get Latex Paint Off The Entire Driveway
If your driveway is painted with latex paint, that’s likely acrylic latex paint. Latex paint is typically used only indoors.
Exterior latex paint usually contains acrylic resins to provide better weather protection and improved durability.
Washing off the paint with just water won’t work.
I recommend using a paint stripper. It’s great for removing paint from a large area like a patio, deck or driveway.
First clean the driveway and let it dry. Apply the paint stripper and let it rest for the recommended amount of time (check the label).
Use a pressure washer or a brush to remove the now loosened paint from the driveway.
If you’d rather not use chemicals, here are some mechanical alternatives.
- Grinding – use a diamond grinder to remove all the layers of paint from the driveway.
- Soda blasting – a more gentle alternative to sandblasting.
- Shot blasting – a more aggressive method that’s ideal if you plan to apply an epoxy coating on the driveway. If you plan to just re-paint or stain the driveway, use sandblasting or soda blasting.
Note that grinding and blasting will remove any sealer you have on your driveway. So you need to reseal the driveway soon afterwards.
Does Borax Remove Latex Paint?
You can make a homemade paint remover by mixing a cup of borax, a cup of ammonia and a cup of washing soda.
Add 2 cups of water to the mixture to create a paste. Apply the paste over the paint stain using a brush and let it sit for half an hour.
With gloves on, scrub the area with a stiff brush then rinse with water. The latex paint should come off.