Epoxy paint when applied can leave unsightly marks on the floor when it’s not removed properly. Fortunately, there are a couple of proven methods to safely remove epoxy paint from any surface, including tile floors. How to Remove Epoxy Coating from Tile Floor?
Use a heat gun to warm up the surface that has epoxy stains or a layer of epoxy paint. Extreme heat softens the resin making it easier to remove. Expose the area to heat for about 60 seconds or until the coating has softened. Use a heat resistant scraper to carefully remove the resin from the tile surface. Afterwards, wipe down the tile surface to remove any hazy residue. It is important to wear a mask so you can avoid fumes that are produced when the resin is heated. This method is good if you have a thick layer of paint or globs of epoxy that has hardened on the tile surface.
Acetone is a convenient way to remove epoxy resin stains from tile surfaces. If you have removed the layer of epoxy paint but a hazy layer of residue remains, rubbing with acetone can remove this haze and any evidence of the epoxy paint. Apply acetone on a rag and rub over the stained surface. Make sure that the entire surface is covered with enough acetone. Wait for 20 seconds for the acetone to soften the epoxy. You can either rub the stain away or use a scraper to remove the residue. Avoid using sharp objects to scrape the surface since these could damage the tile. Use a tile cleaning solution to give the surface a final polish and remove any hazy residue.
Epoxy is safe to sand within 2 hours. Use sandpaper with 60-80 grit for initial abrasion and see if this is enough to remove the stain. Upgrade to grade 320 for final sanding. Sandpaper may be a good option if you don’t have access to paint strippers or acetone or simply prefer a non-chemical way to remove epoxy stains. Wait for the epoxy to cure completely before starting the sanding process to make sure that the coating is brittle enough to sand off.
Sand and detergent
You can rub sand mixed with water and detergent onto the tile surface to remove the epoxy coating. However, this method is only useful for unglazed tiles which are durable enough to withstand friction without scratching. Make sure to wear a mask to prevent the inhalation of particles while scrubbing the surface.
Use strippers made for epoxy paints. These usually are ones that contain methylene chloride and can be bought from hardware and home improvement stores. Follow safety measures and use protective gear when using these solvents since exposure can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Another option is caustic strippers which work by breaking down the paint chemicals to make removal easier. Caustic strippers are not as strong as epoxy paint strippers but they are effective in removing thick layers of epoxy paint.
You can also try painter strippers like Good-Off but not all of them are effective against tiles especially if the amount of epoxy you need to remove is thick. It is best to test the stripper on a small surface to make sure that it doesn’t damage the tile. You may have better chances of using paint strippers in removing epoxy haze or thin films of epoxy stain.
When using chemical strippers, make sure that the area is well-ventilated. Use a fan to improve indoor air circulation and use respirators and gloves to avoid chemical burns. Protective goggles are essential when sanding tile surfaces especially if you are using an electric sander to remove epoxy paint and stains.
Epoxy paint and residue can be difficult to remove but with time and a little bit of elbow grease, you can effectively remove epoxy paint from tile floors to reveal a clean, shiny surface underneath.