This is a continuation of the series offering tips and suggestions for cleaning your garage floors.
So far we’ve covered general cleaning tips and the best equipment to use for cleaning your garage floors. We discussed specifics for cleaning oil and grease stains from garage floors. Last week we offered some tips for cleaning rust stains off your garage floor.
And this week we’re going to conclude the series with one of the WORST type of garage floor problems: paint stains.
Have You Been Lucky?
The other types of garage floor stains we’ve discussed – oil and grease, rust, and just general dirt – can be found on most garage floors.
But paint stains are a little different; not every garage floor has them. After all, if nobody has done any painting in your garage, then you won’t have any of those stains. If that’s the case, just consider yourself lucky (and maybe hang onto this email for future reference).
But if you haven’t been that lucky, then I believe the tips below will help. So let’s get started. We’re going to focus upon two methods of removing paint stains from your garage floor…
#1: Using a Chemical Stripper
When you think “chemical stripper,” you might also think “nasty, toxic chemicals.” And you would be correct; many chemical strippers are quite nasty and toxic. But not all.
A company called Franmar Chemical, for example, makes stripper products made from soybeans. One of their products made specifically for stripping paint is called “Soy Gel.”
You still have to be careful with these products, but they’re far safer than many of the traditional alternatives. And they’re also pretty effective. Just follow the label directions, and it’s likely that these safer, more natural products will get rid of most any paint stain on your garage floor.
Just be aware that these products are somewhat more expensive, and will likely take longer to work than harsher, more toxic strippers.
#2: Use a Floor Grinder
If you prefer, you can go in a completely opposite direction from using chemical paint strippers. Instead, you can remove paint stains mechanically using a grinder.
If you have a large area of stains to tackle, this might be the best solution.
Floor grinders are expensive, and you probably won’t want to purchase one just for this job. But they are also commonly available for rent from a variety of sources. Most Home Depots, for example, offer floor grinders for rent. (Tip: If you rent a grinder, try to find one that comes with a dust shroud attachment. It will make the job much less messy!)
If much of your floor is stained, you may just need to plan on grinding the entire floor. For that job you’ll need to rent (or buy) a standup floor grinder. But if you just have isolated areas of paint stains, you can probably get by just renting a hand-held grinder.
Before you start using the grinder, sweep your entire garage floor. If you have any oil or grease stains on your floor, it would be best to clean those first. Then follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper operation of the grinder.
Once you’ve finished with the grinder, be sure to clean all of the dust residue off your floor. That task may itself be quite a cleaning job, but it’s important.
To test whether you’ve removed all the dust residue, try pressing a strip of duct tape to your garage floor. It should stick reasonably well to your floor, and then be free of dust residue on the sticky side when you pull it up.