How To Remove Paint From Brick

As tastes and trends change, what used to be desirable can become less so. The white-painted brick that was so popular 10 years ago may now appear a touch antiquated.

Though removing paint off brick is a tough project, you can easily carry out the task with the right product and enough time.

If you’ve ever tried to remove paint from brick, you know how difficult it can be. Often asked is, does vinegar remove paint? Sadly, it can’t, and as a result, many homeowners don’t wish to dedicate their weekend to the project because of the time and effort required and hire professionals for stripping paint from brick.

bricks

 

If you only have a little area of brick to work with, or if you enjoy a challenge, you will welcome the good news. You can find Paint-stripping products have developed over the last few years, thus making it safer for you and the brisk around your home.

However, in our guide, you can learn much more about removing paint from brick. There are various ways to go about removing dried paint without too much effort. (Learn How To Get Paint Out Of Clothes)

By the end, you’ll learn how to get paint off brick to offer you a near-perfect finish.

How Hard Is It to Remove Paint From Brick?

Removing paint from brick can be challenging as they have a porous surface, which sucks the paint into the tiny pores.

Soap and water will not work for removing paint stains or wanting the brick to its original appearance.

Removing paint from brick will need an aggressive strategy to remove paint while keeping the integrity of the original brick. You may think aggressive scrubbing can help, yet the thick layers of paint will be bonded to the brick because of its porous nature.

How to remove paint from brick as your DIY project

Test Area

It is recommended to test an area first before removing brick paint. The ideal spot is usually the most obscure corner. Testing is recommended to check if the brick color is something you like, or the paint hides imperfections.

Prepare Your Work Area

Most DIYers dislike cleaning up after any job, and paint removal is no different. Preparation can make this task much easier. If you’re removing paint from an internal brick wall, use a tarp or drop cloths to catch dust, paint flakes, and any other debris that can fall off the wall.

Besides using a drop cloth, you need to consider the dust. It is wise to tape plastic sheeting over doorways using painter’s tape to stop dust from passing around your home. Large plastic sheeting is affordable and much easier to use than trying to hang another material. (Read What Is The Difference Between Acrylic And Oil Paint)

protective gear

Protective Gear

Because of the compounds, you’ll be using, every DIY project of this nature needs protective gear to be worn. At the very least, you need to wear protective eyewear such as goggles, gloves, a breathing mask, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if they recommend clothing to wear when using their paint stripper.

Prepare Brick Surface

Scrape away any areas where the flaking paint is peeling with the flat edge of a trowel or stiff-bristled brush.

Start sanding the outer coat of paint with the paint stripper.

If you can see the exposed brick after gentle scrubbing, it shoes you could remove paint with a heat gun. You’ll find heat guns cost-effective and also cleaner to use.

Remove Paint from Brick with Trisodium Phosphate

  1. In a clean bucket, add 1-gallon warm water to 1/2 cup Trisodium phosphate.
  2. Mix the TSP solution using a large stir stick.
  3. Apply and scrub the TSP solution to the brick with a stiff brush.
  4. Allow the TSP solution to sit and cure for about 10 minutes after applying it to all paint-removal areas.
  5. After that, scrub the brick with the same stiff brush. You may need multiple applications to remove stubborn paint.

Rinse Brick Warm Water

Rinse the surface of your old brick wall with normal warm water to remove any remaining TSP solution or paint stripping gel once all the paint has been removed from the brick. Allow the brick to dry completely before inspecting your interior walls for remaining paint and any areas that require a second wipe down. (Learn How To Paint Over Peeling Paint)

You will need to dispose of any unwanted materials and debris from your stripped brick wall in the correct manner from the entire area.

red bricks

Remove Paint From an Exterior Wall

Steel wool and scrapers may appear to be a solid way of removing paint from brick; they can cause more harm than good.

Besides this, it’s unlikely you’ll get rid of all the paint without damaging your wall in the process. The best material to remove paint from brick is to use a caustic paint stripper.

The substance is normally in the form of a liquid or paste paint stripper that penetrates deep into the crevices of the brick and any cracks where paint may have seeped.

You’ll need a masonry paint stripper but ensure it’s a drip-free liquid with no methylene chloride. Methylene chloride harms the eyes, skin, liver, and heart.

Here’s the step by step of how to remove paint from brick:

  • Masonry paint stripper
  • Wire brush
  • Protective gear
  • Plastic sheets
  • Old cloths

Test

It is vital to test before proceeding on at least 2 or 3 bricks in a hidden area. Ensure you follow the masonry paint stripper directions.

Apply some of the paint stripper to the test area. Once you apply it to the bricks, cover the painted area with a plastic sheet.

Wait an hour before you peel off the sheet. What you want to see is the paint peeling off your bricks.

Preparation

Prepare the area by properly cleaning it, as it’s an outer wall, it is crucial.

If workable, use your garden hose. If not, manually clean it with a large bowl or bucket of water and cloths.

While this can help paint removal, it is optional if your brickwork is clean and in good shape.

Let the wall dry completely before using any paint stripping product. In a cool area, this could take 12 hours or more.

Prepare the area surrounding by laying down drop cloths and sheets to catch flaked-off paint and other debris. (Learn How To Get Bleach Out Of Clothes)

Protect Yourself

Paint strippers, dust, debris, and old flaked paint irritate the skin, lungs, and eyes.

It would help if you had protective clothing and work gloves when dealing with harsh paint strippers.

Apply Stripper

Open your masonry paint stripper, and using your putty knife, apply it to the wall or brickwork.

Apply your stripper thickly when in the recommended paste form.

If your brickwork is large, you can apply the stripper first, then apply a sheet to one part at a time. Ensure you smooth air bubbles before applying the plastic sheeting. This ensures when you peel it, all the paint comes off.

After applying your stripper and plastic sheets, leave them for the specified time by the manufacturer. Check the label on the guidance materials.

Remove Paint

After the specified amount of time, the final step is to remove the stripper and sheets from the brickwork.

Grab a corner of the plastic sheet and start peeling strips off your old paint job.

The latex paint beneath should peel away under the sheet, either with the sheet or loosely hanging off the wall.

Don’t worry if any paint remains, as this will be loose and flaky and can be peeled off. To remove residue, use a rough bristle brush or putty knife, or paint scraper, being careful not to damage the exposed brick. (Learn How to Remove Spray Paint from Concrete)

Finish your brickwork restoration by cleaning all paint and debris and washing the wall with white vinegar, and then using a power washer to remove dirt and flecks of paint. Power washing is ideal, yet you can take longer using a bucket of water to remove remnants of the paint stripper.

When cleaning the old strips, you may need to use a neutralizing chemical to reduce the impact of the paint stripper you removed on the back of the plastic sheet.

How To Remove Paint From Brick (2)

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