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How to Use Heat to Remove the Paint From a Painted Concrete Driveway

Concrete driveways suffer from the worst wear and tear of almost any surface related to your home. Constant weathering, freezing, thawing and pressure take their toll, often leaving driveways cracked and damaged. The damage may be even more noticeable if the surface is painted. If you choose to resurface or repair your driveway, you will likely need to remove the paint before any other work can take place. A heat gun allows you to remove paint without chemicals.

  1. Sweep or blow all dust, dirt and other contaminants from your concrete driveway. Make sure you remove all leaves, branches and other objects from the area, as the heat gun can easily cause such things to catch on fire.

  2. Remove all loosened or chipped paint using a razor scraper or plastic scraper. Remove as much paint as you can now so that you have less work to do with the heat gun.

  3. Wear protective gloves and a respirator when working with a heat gun. Set the gun to a low heat setting and hold it 6 inches or more above the painted surface.

  4. Apply the heat to the paint and observe as the paint peels away. Increase the heat as necessary as you work. Scrape the paint away from the concrete with the scraper as it bubbles off the surface from the heat.

  5. Deactivate the gun and scrape away loosened paint. Continue to apply the heat and remove the paint until the job is done.

Warnings

  • Paint applied before the 1980s may be infused with lead, which can cause serious health problems if inhaled or ingested. If you are unsure about the safety of removing your paint, do not attempt it; contact a professional for help.
  • Never use a heat gun with a temperature greater than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. You can scorch the concrete.

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.