Paint stripper is famously unpleasant to use, and if it’s not handled carefully, can harm your brick. It’s particularly a concern if you’re using an older paint stripper that contains methylene chloride.

You shouldn’t use paint stripper on brick unless you’re sure there’s no lead-based paint on the bricks. If you’re dealing with old brick, it’s critical to not remove the surface of the brick when using a paint remover.

It is important that you use a cleaner that is specially designed for brick.

But if you have old paint on a brick that you are just cleaning up and not repainting, or if you have a kind of brick that seems to be especially tough — say red or brown mortarless brick — consider using something other than a paint stripper for your cleaning process to avoid harming your brick in the long term.

Top 7 Paint Strippers for Brick Comparison Table

PictureNameApplicationPriceRating (1-5)
1. Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint RemoverPaste$4.1
2. Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping GelGel$4.3
3. Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish RemoverGel$$4
4. Safe 'n Easy Graffiti Remover, Spray Paint RemoverGel$$4.4
5. Paint Stripper (Quart - 32oz) Super RemoverGel$4.1
6. MAX Strip Paint & Varnish StripperGel$$3.7
7. Dumond Chemicals, Inc. 1160N Peel Away 1 Heavy-Duty Paint RemoverPaste$$$3.9

Types of Paint Strippers

If you’re trying to determine the best kind of paint stripper for your DIY project, you’ve come to the right place.

There are three major categories of paint, stain, and varnish removers in the prosumer market: water-based strippers, oil-based strippers, and chemical solvents.

All have unique properties that make them better suited for removing particular finishes from specific surfaces.

Some are also more effective at removing epoxy and polyurethane, two long-lasting synthetic coatings that are ubiquitous on such surfaces as garage floors.

Water Based Strippers

Most paints are water based and can be removed with a water-based stripper if it’s the right solution. Water based paint strippers are an environmental alternative to other stripper types.

Their compounds are environmentally friendly, without the drastic health issues associated with some hazardous type strippers. The main draw of water based paint stripper is its gentleness towards skin and eyes as well as its low toxicity.

Oil Based Strippers

Oil-based paint strippers are known to be effective at removing paint, but they need to be used with care. If you don’t know how to use them safely, they can actually cause damage to the underlying surface.

They should not be used anywhere children or pets can get into the area.

These types of paint strippers are the most powerful when it comes to stripping paint because they are much more aggressive and force themselves between the molecules of the paint.

This also makes for a much longer work period before the product begins to attack the underlying material.

Chemical Solvents

Because they rely on chemicals, solvents are incredibly versatile and can be used for a great number of surfaces and for all sorts of projects.

Solvent-based paint strippers typically contain at least 50 percent toluene, xylene or methyl ethyl ketone. These substances effectively dissolve old paint and glue.

Solvent paint strippers are extremely effective, depending on the active stripping agent. Several types of strippers contain a combination of solvents.

It’s best to test them in an inconspicuous area to make sure they won’t damage your surface. Also, be careful not to release vapors from spray cans in a confined space!

Top 3 Best Paint Stripper for Brick Reviews

1. Dumond Chemicals 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

The Dumond Chemicals 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover is a water-based, biodegradable formula that removes multiple layers while leaving behind no odor. It is safe for you, your family and the environment.

It has the ability to steadily dissolve away all types of road paints as well as tractors and pressure washer markings. It doesn’t leave behind any harmful residue on any brick wall or structure after stripping the paint.

It can remove old paint from wood, concrete, metal and brick surfaces.

2. Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel is a safer, non-toxic paint stripper that cuts through old paint and varnish on wide variety of surfaces.

Unlike other products containing methylene chloride or NMP, Citristrip QCSG801 quickly dissolves up to 16 layers of paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, and shellac with no harmful residue left behind.

Above all, it does not contain any methylene chloride or NMP and there are no free Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). CITRISTRIP removes paint from wood, metal, and masonry surfaces such as doors, windows, barn siding, antique furniture, tiles, and brickwork with just one application.

It does not have any harmful chemicals and no fumes but you should still use it in a well ventilated room.

3. Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover

Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover is ideal for removing paint from wood, plaster, concrete, brick, stone, masonry, marble, metal, and veneers. This citrus-based remover removes up to three layers of paint.

It dries in about 30 minutes, and it clings to vertical surfaces. The no-drip formula stays wet longer so you can keep working without having to stop and wait while it dries.

It can be used on just about any surface but should not be applied over a porous surface like drywall or wood panels as it may seep through. It is important to let the surface completely dry before painting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Paint Strippers?

Paint strippers are chemical solutions designed to soften and dissolve the top coat on existing finishes, from paints to varnishes and lacquers.

Although stripping paint is a messy job that requires caution, chemicals that remove paint from exterior surfaces don’t contain much toxic material.

How Do You Paint Over Painted Brick?

Before we get started, make sure you prime the existing surface with a paint color that closely matches the trimwork surrounding your brick. This creates a smooth surface for your top coat and ensures good adhesion.

You don’t have to repaint over the entire wall surface if you’re dealing with a wall that’s perfectly smooth. However, If you’re dealing with an older wall or one that has uneven painted surfaces, then you’ll probably need to paint over the whole thing.

New bricks that have been painted several times often need more than one coat of paint, as do bricks that haven’t been prepped properly before.

Does Paint Thinner Remove Paint From Brick?

Using a paint thinner to remove paint from brick may be done for one of two reasons. The first reason is to remove a top coat, such as latex, acrylic, or oil-based enamel, and expose bare brick beneath.

The second reason is to strip away multiple coats of paint from older brick and restore it to its original raw state.

Paint thinner will remove paint from brick. Paint is, after all, a type of coating that sits on top of the brick. Different kinds of paint require different kinds of thinners for them to be removed.

The most effective paint thinner will depend on the material the coating is made of (water can remove soft shellac, but not alkyd or epoxy coatings). This substance is volatile: it turns from liquid to gas at room temperature.