Fixing painted concrete
Q: I have a bad situation with my elderly neighbors, who are making me crazy. Recently they painted their front porch floor red. I saw it and commented how nice it looked - because the old paint had peeled and looked bad. Unfortunately, while I was on a vacation they painted my porch red, too, to use the extra paint and because they thought I would like it. Well I don't, and now I don't know how to get the paint off my concrete. Please help me!
A: Oh, no. I think you have two problems - your red porch and your neighbors! Painted concrete can look great if it's done professionally and in a nice color - but red? A good choice on the right house, but obviously not on yours.
Unless there has been a history of this type of behavior, take the high road. Instead of pressing charges for trespassing and property damage, or suing them for repairs (which you could), tell them you appreciate their efforts, but they should ask before doing anything to any part of your property, shared fences, sidewalks, etc., in the future. Hire a mediator if this conversation is uncomfortable for you.
And here are some ideas for your concrete. Unfortunately, it will never really be the same. The easiest thing to do is to choose a color you like (even if it's concrete color) and paint again. Or, for a different look, you could choose stone pavers or tiles, or even a wood deck.
Paint is extremely difficult to remove from concrete, especially if it wasn't sealed or primed first. And removal requires messy and dangerous chemicals or machines. It's a job for professionals - start with house painters for estimates and information.
I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Let me know how it works out, and good luck.
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her: