How to remove water based sealers from concrete

by Maurice

Q. How can I remove a water base sealer from stamped concrete to replace with a solvent based sealer?

A. You can try a product from Blue Bear. Here is the information from their product data sheet.

Blue Bear Product Data Sheet For Concrete Coatings Removal:

BLUE BEAR PAINT AND URETHANE REMOVER is an industrial strength and consumer friendly paint, urethane, epoxy and acrylic stripper made with 100% American grown soybeans. The low evaporation rate of Blue Bear and its gel formulation make it possible to remove several layers in one application. Blue Bear will not lighten any acid stained, color hardened and integrally colored concrete surfaces (will lighten or remove solvent dyes and water-based stains). Blue Bear contains no methylene chloride, is not an alkaline based stripper and cleans up easily with water. Unlike more traditional paint strippers Blue Bear lets you work without the odor. Indoors or outdoors, you can be guaranteed a safe restoration process.


Due to variances in concrete surfaces and conditions, test in a small, inconspicuous area before using on complete project. Blue Bear is safe to use on concrete, brick, stone, metal, plaster, wood, and many other surfaces. Do not use on plastic, PVC, rubber or dry wall. Blue Bear may be used indoors or outdoors. When used outdoors, protect plant and vegetation with a plastic drop cloth. Blue Bear may be used on vertical as well as horizontal projects.

Apply a thick even layer, generally between 1/16 and 1/8 inch to the coating to be removed by using a gauge rake, squeegee rake, or airless sprayer (piston pumped with tip of 519 or similar). Don’t brush or scrape the surface until the stripper has had time to work. Check the progress of the stripping action by using a scraper to see if the coating is softened down to the surface. If not, wait longer and recheck.

Blue Bear will remain wet and working for several hours. Longer is better. Let the stripper do the work. If left to sit outdoors, cover with a light plastic drop cloth to prolong the stripper's wet time. Once the coating is softened, remove it with a scraper, industrial wet vacuum, or other stripping tool. Re-apply stripper, if necessary. Repeat steps above. After use, clean remaining thin residue with Franmar's EMERGE or water, using a scrub brush and/or mop or power washer. Ensure to scrape or vacuum excess removed coating and Blue Bear before using a power washer for final cleaning. Always use care to prevent over spray from getting on surfaces other than the one being prepped. Allow surface to dry before further preparations.

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