Removing paint from brick isn’t impossible, but it does require special attention to detail and even special tools.
While it is possible that you can remove paint from brick with the supplies you have on hand in your home or garage, we recommend you purchase the tools needed to get the job done effectively as well as a few special products before attempting it.
Save yourself the time and hassle of removing paint from brick by following these step-by-step instructions.
In this article, we will discuss how to prepare the area for paint removal, what products to use, and our favorite methods for removing paint from brick.
Step 1: Protective Clothing And Eyewear
Paint removal is to be done by qualified persons only. Protective clothing and eyewear should be worn at all times. Removing paint from brick is a lot easier than removing it from wood.
On wood, you can use paint remover and a putty knife but it doesn’t really work that well on brick. You need to use something stronger like muriatic acid or hydrofluoric acid.
Protect yourself with rubber gloves, goggles, and strong clothes if you do this because these chemicals are very dangerous.
Step 2: Use Paint Stripper
Paint strippers are very powerful and they can also be very dangerous. Before you start using one of these substances, you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for.
It’s vital that you read the instructions on the container.
Paint strippers can burn or discolor sealants and leave residue on bricks. A thin coat of paint over brick should remain intact, if the paint is not too old.
A good solvent-based paint stripper can remove most latex paints and other coatings from a brick surface.
Check the label to make sure the stripper won’t inflict damage on the brick as some may completely remove the surface layer, scratching the brick too much to be usable again.
Step 3: Use a Scraper
Removing flaking paint from brick can be a tedious process. You end up with a brick covered in little flecks of peeling paint which you have to scrape off.
This can take hours or even days depending on the height of the wall you are working on.
The most popular method usually advocated for removing flaking paint from brick is taping off the area to prevent further damage and then using a chemical stripper to get rid of the flakes or loose paint.
However, you could also try scraping the surface instead of using chemical strippers. Use a blade and scrape the paint along the horizontal surface.
Step 4: Use Warm Water
When removing paint from brick, it is best to use warm water to rinse after scraping. The mild soap will cut through the paint without affecting the brick itself.
Remember, good scrubbing with soft bristle brushes is called for in order to get down into the crevices and holes of the surface. And by all means, don’t scrape over an old painted surface more than one time.
Step 5: Use a Wire Brush or a Heat Gun
Most paint strippers work well as long as you use them correctly. However, some paints are extremely thick and difficult to remove.
Try using a wire brush or a heat gun to loosen up the paint so it will come off with the wall peeling strips. Sometimes repeatedly applying the peeling strips will speed up the process, especially if it’s a project where time is of the essence.
Step 6: Cleaning Up
After giving it a good scrubbing, you’ll easily be able to see the gorgeous brick beneath. The key is not to paint it white because this will obscure the brick and its color.
Painting it any color of your choosing will not only allow you to make use of a decorative element, but also save money in the long run as opposed to constantly repainting the wall.