Surface coatings are widely used to protect surfaces from corrosion and provide an aesthetic finish. However, there may be situations where it becomes necessary to remove the coating for various reasons, such as conducting a remaining life assessment, evaluating surface integrity, or making surface modifications.

Several methods can be used for coating removal, including those applicable to different coatings such as phosphate coating, e-coating, epoxy, etc. In this blog, we will further explore various coating removal methods.

How to Remove Coatings?

1. Removing Manually

Coating Removal Methods

You can remove coating like epoxy by hand using lots of scrapers. While the process effectively removes the coating, it demands time and energy that may slow down the process. The steps involve soaking a clean cloth in acetone and rubbing the cloth on the area of the floor where the epoxy coating is present. Then, allowing the acetone to penetrate and break the bonds between the coating and the surface so epoxy starts to pull away from the concrete surface. Scraping tools are used to carefully remove the loosened epoxy coating without causing damage to the underlying wooden or concrete surface.

It’s essential to be cautious and follow proper safety precautions when using acetone or any other chemical for coating removal. Adequate ventilation and protective gear should be used to ensure personal safety. Additionally, the effectiveness of this method may vary depending on the thickness and type of epoxy coating, as well as the condition of the surface being treated. So, test the method on a small area before proceeding with large-scale coating removal.

2. Acid Washing

Acid washing is a highly efficient method for stripping the top layer of a concrete surface in preparation for applying a fresh coating. Stubborn coatings and debris can be effectively removed by utilizing a mixture of hydrochloric acid and water. The acid eliminates various stains, such as minerals, oxidation, contaminants, oil, and grease, leaving the surface clean and ready for further treatment.

3. Using a Grinder or Sander

A grinder with a diamond blade is a convenient and efficient method for preparing a floor surface. Start by clearing away any loose debris from the surface to allow for the smooth grinding of open areas. Next, equip your standard 4.5-inch 5.5-amp grinder with the appropriate diamond cup wheels and accessories to ensure complete surface coverage. Use both hands to maintain steady control and avoid uneven results when grinding.

4. Sandblasting

Sandblasting, also known as abrasive blasting, is a process that utilizes compressed air to propel sand-sized particles at high velocities to clean and prepare flooring surfaces. The abrasive particles effectively remove old coatings and rust while smoothing the surface’s texture. By blasting the granular or powdered substance through a high-speed nozzle, sandblasting achieves efficient results. However, it’s important to note that sandblasting should only be carried out in a controlled environment with proper personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles and gloves, to ensure safety during the process.

5. Shot Blasting

Shot blasting is another effective coating removal method that utilizes small round metal particles at high velocity to remove contaminants such as epoxy coatings, carpet flues, mortar beds, and tile glues. Also, this process crushes the top layers of concrete, creating a well-prepared surface for applying a new coat. Shot blasting offers benefits such as easy cleaning and minimal additional procedures.

In addition, sandblasting is an eco-friendly and safe option that eliminates the need for machinery maintenance or fuel costs. This makes coating removal tasks more accessible and efficient on various surfaces. The absence of harmful emissions or waste makes shot blasting a responsible choice for the environment and user safety.

Removal Methods Guide


Removing floor coatings is crucial in achieving a smooth and consistent surface for applying a new layer. Properly removing the existing coatings ensures the new layer is durable and long-lasting. However, removing industrial coatings can be challenging and require specialized techniques and professional expertise to avoid damage to the original surface.

If you need coating removal services, look no further than Mi Epoxy Floors. Our team of professionals has the necessary expertise to effectively remove residues from your floors without causing harm to the underlying surface. Trust us to deliver exceptional results for your coating removal needs.