How To: Remove Paint from Brick
Tastes change and fashions change, so the white-painted brick that looked so great ten years ago may seem a little dated now. Though it's no easy feat to remove paint from brick, a determined DIYer can tackle the project with the right product ands enough time.
ByBobVila | Updated Dec 28, 2020 4:01 PM
If you’ve ever tried to remove paint from brick, you know that it can be a painstaking process. Depending on the scope of the job, it might take you several hours or several days to complete the work. Because of the time and effort involved, many homeowners are unable or unwilling to commit their schedules to the project and choose instead to hire professionals.
If, however, you’re dealing with only a modest expanse of brick, or if you relish a challenge, there’s some good news: Paint-stripping products have improved over the years, making the work friendlier to your health and to the brick itself. These new, safer formulations are the way to go. Many pros and DIYers recommend Citri-Strip. SmartStrip has its devotees, as well. None are cheap, but all are comparably effective.Get a pro to do it for youReceive free, no-commitment estimates from pro painters near you. Find local pros+
You may be tempted to try a shortcut, possibly sandblasting or power-washing the paint, but this may do more harm than good, leaving the building material in a vulnerable condition. Many caustic chemical-based paint-removal solutions compromise brick in a similar way. If you remove paint from brick using any of these potentially damaging methods, you may end up with a problem that’s much more serious than paint.
Particularly if you’re dealing with old brick, it’s critical to not to clean the brick in a way that does lasting harm. Today, the best solutions are gel or paste compounds, followed by fabric-based peeling strips. The paint stripper triggers a chemical reaction that causes the paint to soften and adhere to the fabric. In the final step, the fabric strips are peeled away, taking the paint with them in the process and exposing the natural brick. Know what you’re getting into, though. The right paint stripper can do much of the work for you, but most situations call for a great deal of further scrubbing and/or scraping by hand.Tools & Materials We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
How to Remove Paint from Brick
Dispose of the used strips according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For some products, the chemical reaction stops on its own, while for others it stops only after the addition of a neutralizing chemical. Also important: Do not attempt to remove paint from brick if, within a month or so, there’s any chance that the temperature is going to fall below freezing. If the brick doesn’t dry completely before the frost, it will be especially likely to succumb to damage.Get a pro to do it for youReceive free, no-commitment estimates from pro painters near you. Find local pros+
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