Learning how to remove paint from brick surfaces is an important skill to learn if you’re doing any sort of restoration. Paint that has been applied to a brick surface is often difficult to remove because the paint gets stuck in the grooves and between the bricks themselves. The good news is our easy-to-follow tips, in conjunction with new products on the market, will have your bricks free of paint in no time.
Check the Temperature
Before starting this project, check to see if the temperature is going to drop below freezing in next few days. If it will, the bare brick will be susceptible to damage and you should consider waiting for the temperature to rise.
Prepare the Area
As with any painting project, the first step is to put on protective clothing and eyewear. Then you’ll want to lay down protective drop cloths so the paint stripper doesn’t damage flooring (if the brick is inside) or plants (if the brick is outside). Make sure the drop cloths stay in place by taping them to the base of the brick.
Test the Paint Stripper
Before you apply the paint stripper to the front of the brick, you’ll want to test it in an inconspicuous location to make sure it works correctly and won’t damage the brick underneath. The test will also show you the condition of the brick beneath the paint and you will get an idea of how long the entire project will take. You may find that the project will take longer than expected, in which case you might consider hiring a professional to finish the project.
Use a Scraper to Remove Flaking Paint
After you’ve tested the paint stripper and decided to continue the project, use a paint scraper to remove any flaking paint from the surface of the bricks. Since this paint is already coming off the bricks there’s no point in wasting paint stripper on these areas.
Apply the Paint Stripper to the Brick
This step will vary depending on the type of paint stripper you’re using. Whether you decide to use a gel or paste, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the paint stripper to the brick surface. Once the paint stripper is applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications, place the peeling strips on the brick and give them time to adhere. After the specified amount of time, slowly remove the peeling strips and the paint should come off with the strips.
If any paint remains after all the peeling strips have been removed, you can use a wire brush and warm water to scrub off the remaining paint. Once you’re ready to dispose of the peeling strips, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instruction on disposal.
Now that the paint has been removed from the brick, you have a blank canvas to either repaint or leave as is — the choice is up to you. If you’re unsure what to do with your freshly uncovered brick, read our blog about the basics of color theory to get ideas.