How to Remove Paint from Brick
It doesn’t matter if you were caught up in a recent design to paint your brick fireplace or if you accidentally splashed some paint on it. Your bricks now have unwanted paint on them. Removing paint from the brick isn’t a piece of cake but I have good news and an answer to the issue, “How to remove paint from brick?” before you get too depressed about your painted brick becoming a permanent problem for your beautiful house.
Yes, you can remove paint from your brick surface. As a shortcut, you might consider sandblasting the paint or using a power washer to get rid of this problem, but this could really do more harm than good, leaving the building material vulnerable. In addition, many caustic chemical-based paint-removal solutions may damage the brick.
These potentially destructive methods for removing paint from brick could leave you with a far more severe problem than just paint stains on brick. In this article, we’ll go over some tips for successfully removing paint from brick, as well as some pitfalls to avoid.
Written by: Areej Malik
The Amazing Way to Remove Paint from Brick
Using a paint stripper is one of the amazing ways to remove paint from brick. It is specifically designed to remove paint. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results. The right paint stripper can do much of the work for you, but most situations call for a great deal of further scrubbing or scraping by hand.
Factors to consider when using a paint stripper
If you want to use a paint stripper to remove paint from brick, there are a few more factors to put into consideration:
A paint stripper is used to undo the chemical bond. This chemical bond causes paint to adhere to a surface. If you scrape the paint too early, it won’t take a long time to break the chemical bond. However, it will be harder to remove the paint from the surface when you do so. Therefore, ensure you wait at least 15 to 20 minutes before starting work and follow the manufacturer-recommended wait time in the instructions.
Test the paint stripper to avoid fumes
Make sure to test the paint stripper first as it is a solvent and many solvents give off toxic fumes. Therefore, try to use an eco-friendly paint stripper for safety if you have young children or pets. When you want to remove paint from a brick fireplace in a high-traffic area where kids and pets come and go, apply the solvent during hours when kids are in school or not around. Move pets outside or to a secure area and open windows and doors to provide proper ventilation.
You’ll need to scrape once you’ve let your paint stripper sit for an appropriate time. Even though you’ve applied a paint stripper, you still need to scrape hard enough to get the paint off, but not so hard that you damage the brick. Brick is porous, so you’ll want to make sure you have a scraper that will allow you to get into some of your brick’s smaller nooks and crannies.
How can I Remove Paint from Brick?
Start with a test
Testing before the start will help you a lot. Test the stripper on an inconspicuous part before applying a stripping agent to remove paint from the brick. You may find that your chosen stripper isn’t working as expected. Similarly, you might discover that the brick was painted to conceal its poor condition. Starting with a test gives you a sense of how much effort the job will take. After all, you may still opt to hire a pro or decide you can put up with the paint!
Read the mentioned Article: How to Fix Paint Bubbling & Blistering
Minimize the cleanup
Testing will be messy indeed, but you can minimize cleanup by setting up your work area thoughtfully.
- Firstly, lay down a thick plastic sheeting or a series of drop cloths to catch the flaking and peeling paint that will fall away from the brick. Make sure to tape the plastic or drop cloth to the bottom edge of the brick.
- If you don’t want to disturb the finish of nearby painted areas, take the time to cover it up entirely with painter’s tape.
- Ensure to use protective gear recommended by the manufacturer of the paint stripper you’ve chosen.
Scrap away any paint
- Begin by scraping away any paint that’s already loose before applying the gel or paste.
- Next, apply the compound to the brick using a trowel or a specialized tool provided by the paint stripper manufacturer. Be thorough; push the gel or paste into all the little crevices in the brick and mortar.
- Then build the stripper up to the thickness recommended by the manufacturer layer by layer.
Position the peeling strips
- Start positioning the peeling strips with the compound in place. These strips are typically made of fabric and should be pressed and held against the stripper until firmly attached.
- Now, overlap the strips so that no brick is left visible. Once you apply the strips to the bricks, let them set for the time stipulated by the manufacturer.
- In many cases, mainly when multiple paint layers are involved, it takes almost 24-25 hours for the compound to cure and work its magic.
After the estimated time:
- Return to your stained bricks and start lifting off the strips. You can use the trowel to gain purchase behind any sluggish strips.
- Peel the strips slowly and deliberately; don’t rip them.
- As you peel, ensure that the paint under the strips also comes off.
Note: If the brick still contains compound or paint, use the trowel to flake off as much residue as possible. If the trowel doesn’t cut it, scrub with a stiff-bristled brush and rinse with water. If it wasn’t already clear, now it is.
Removing paint from brick is a labor-intensive project if you do it by yourself. It would be great if you hired experts for removing paint from the brick of your place.
Read the mentioned article: 8 Reasons Why Spring is the Best Time to Paint Your Home Exterior
Dispose of the used strips
Last but not least, follow the manufacturer’s directions for disposing of the used strips. The chemical reaction in certain items comes to a stop on its own. Others require the addition of a neutralizing chemical to bring them to an end.
If there’s a risk that the temperature will drop below freezing in the next month or two, don’t remove the paint from the brick. If the brick is not entirely dry before the frost, it will be damaged.
What Not to Do
Here is a list of Not to Do’s for removing paint from the brick. Let’s go straight into it.
Mostly, people think that sandblasting would be a great way to remove paint from brick, and it must be. However, it’s a little too, or you can say, extremely powerful. Sandblasting will remove the paint, but using this technique increases the chances of damaging the brick. Depending on the age and condition of the brick, you could ultimately do a lot more harm than good by Sandblasting.
2. Power Washing:
Same as sandblasting, the high-velocity water of power washing will most likely remove the paint. Still, the outer layer of the brick could also be removed or damaged in this process. In addition, any method that uses high pressure to remove the paint increases the chance of damaging the material’s surface. So it’s best to avoid these methods altogether.
Although it is a less robust method than sandblasting or power washing, sandpaper is an abrasive substance that can still cause damage to the outer layer of the brick. In addition, using an electrical sander reduces the control you have, and trying to sand brick by hand is just way too much work. There is a better way.
Read the mentioned Article: Go Green at Home with Environmentally Safe Paint
Vinegar is a great all-purpose household cleaner. However, it isn’t as damaging to brick as some of these other methods. Still, it isn’t nearly as effective at obliterating paint from brick. Depending on the surface area you are working with, it may not be the most effective method.
Although some of the ways above will effectively remove paint from brick, the potential damage caused by them to the brick makes them less effective for bricks. Especially if the brick is aged, which will make it more susceptible to damage, if you use these methods to remove the paint, the last thing you want is to damage the brick and spend additional time and money to repair it.
Final words to Remove Paint from Brick
Removing paint from brick is a painstaking process indeed. It might take you several hours or days to finish the work. It depends upon the scope of the job and brick stains. You might not commit your schedule to the project of removing paint from brick. Not a big deal! Hire a pro to do this for you.
I am not saying that it will be an easy task, but it might be possible with the correct method and some time and effort. If you want to save your energy and time, call your local painting pros at WC Painting Services. Our experienced team has the expertise to restore your brick to its original beauty and even more. Request a free estimate today and make your house live a little more.