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Your outdoor brick shed requires some sprucing up inside and out. There are years of weathering that have taken place and the paint is chipped and flaking, making it look petty tattered. Stripping paint from brickwork might seem like the most laborious and daunting thing to take on, if not impossible. In this tutorial, we will teach you how to remove paint from brick, and our way is the best way to remove paint from brick. We will include all the best products on the market that are designed to remove paint from brick exterior or interior for that matter. If you require this skill, keep reading for some extensive knowledge on removing paint from brick.
Table of Contents
- 1 Reasons for Removing Paint From Brick
- 2 A Guide to Removing Paint From Brick
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
Reasons for Removing Paint From Brick
All walls eventually start to look old and weathered at some point, and let’s face it, it is not the most appealing or aesthetically appealing factor having the paint of your brickwork house start to fade, chip, or crack. The ideal solution would be to repaint the whole wall, but one can not simply paint without having removed the original coat beforehand. This would allow for an even finish, where the uneven layers are not visible or present at all.
Maybe the wall was never painted before, and you just moved into a face-brick house, and that is not your vibe at all as you wish to paint it another color. The chances are, that your brickwork, though it seems clear, is also coated in a sealer or a lacquer, which will help to protect the bricks from crumbling due to weather exposure. This will also have to be removed, and a similar process can be applied.
We strongly advise that you should first remove the paint that was originally there before applying a new coat. This ensures that the new coat adheres to the brick and not the layer of failed paint on it. This will ensure the durability of the new coat. Make sure you have collected all the tools, materials, and equipment you will need before you start.
A Guide to Removing Paint From Brick
The purpose of this tutorial is to teach you how to remove paint from brick surfaces, and it is not necessarily meant only for professionals in the building industry. They will not need to learn how, because they are already professionals. This might be an intense job, but someone new to this type of work can accomplish it. We have laid out some guidelines for stripping paint from brickwork, as we think this is the best way to remove paint from brick. Here are some of the supplies you might need for the job. Make sure you have everything before you start so that you can avoid having to make a disruptive trip to the store.
- Applicator tool for the paint stripper
- Peeling tape
- Paint stripper of your choice
- Plastic covering for the floor around you
- A knife or a paint scraper
- Steel wool, or wire scrubbing brush
Nature is not particularly a fan of paint chips, mainly because they are made with plastics and chemicals that threaten to kill them. To protect your beloved shrubbery, we advise setting up the space you will be working in (if outside) by laying down some plastic sheets to protect the plants or the floor space that is below the wall you are stripping the paint from. The paint stripper will lift the paint from the brick wall and you will be able to scrape it off to fall onto the sheets. The added benefit you can appreciate from doing this is that you can simply roll up the sheets with all the paint chips inside, minimizing the cleanup time and effort.
Tools and Equipment
If you are looking to remove paint from brick, there are several ways you can do this – but one of the least recommended methods of doing this is with a sandblaster. It might have more speed on its side, but there is also a higher chance of the brick wall being damaged by the machine. If the brick wall under the paint is old and weathered, then you might find the pressure of the tool will cause the wall to crumble.
This means we do not recommend this method, and for a good reason. But if you should still wish to use one, we do suggest you read the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure you are preparing your told and applying their power in the right way. A sandblaster will do best with a masonry paint stripper. This type of stripper usually comes with a tool included which makes the application of it a bit easier. You can find a rhythm, and get into your groove for the easiest application.
We cannot say this enough, but make sure you have the most efficient protective gear. Paint strippers contain high amounts of chemicals and fumes that, if inhaled, can be harmful to your health. You will need protective gloves, a respiratory mask, and protective goggles.
Applying Paint Stripper
Now that your workspace has been prepared, your tools have been laid out, and your machinery has been chosen and set up to be used with ease, it is time to start with actually stripping the paint from brickwork surfaces, and to do so, you must apply the paint stripper to the brick wall in question.
Before you can start applying the paint stripper for removing paint from brick exteriors, you must make sure that the brick surface you are working with is clean and free of any dirt and grime. This also means that if there are any flaking pieces of paint, you must scrape those off as well as possible.
It is now time to grab your chosen applicator and paint stripper, once you are sure you have removed all of the loose pieces from under the furniture. Paint strippers tend to have a thicker consistency, so make sure you scoop enough of the applicator so that you can cover a larger area at once. Smooth out the paint stripper over the brick surface, and make sure you get into the gaps where the concrete holds the bricks together. Those little nooks are hard to reach so make sure you are thorough.
We strongly advise that you read the instructions. Each manufacturer will have explicit instructions and recommendations for the use of their paint stripper. There you will find out how thickly to apply the paint stripper and for how long you should leave it before scraping it off. The brick wall will need to absorb the stripper within its pores to start lifting the paint from the surface so you can start removing paint from brick exterior walls or interior walls.
Peeling Strip Application
If you prefer to save yourself some time and effort, then you are not alone there. Many people would prefer this procedure to go as quick as possible, and spend a little more on peel-off paint stripping strips, as opposed to manually scraping the paint off with a paint scraper. Make sure that you buy the same brand of paint stripping strips as the brand that your paint stripper of choice was made from. This will ensure they are compatible and you will get better results. When you get to the stage where you can apply your stripping strips, make sure you have read the instructions on the manufacturer’s product label.
The most common peeling strips available on the market are made of paper, but there are also strips made of other materials, so it would be wise for you to check which is the best fit for your application. When you start applying them, there are no gaps in between, so make sure the mortar is entirely covered by overlapping the strips onto each other.
It’s time to lean back and wait for the peeling strips to work their magic – this process can take anywhere from 2 hours to a full day depending on how long the manufacturer recommends. You could start the preparation for the other walls if you are removing paint from brick surfaces, and not just one surface.
Removing the Peeling Strips
We mentioned above that the paint strips can take up to twenty-four hours to sufficiently lift the paint off the brick wall. Once you have waited for the right amount of time, designated by the manufacturer of the product you are using, you can start to peel away the strips, along with the paint. You can use your paint scraper, or a blunt knife, and wedge it under the start of one strip, and lift it off slightly so that you can get a better grip on it with your fingers. Then you can start to peel it off, and you will see how the paint just lifts off effortlessly.
Ideally, you should avoid being too vigorous with the peeling of your paint strips, and you should work slowly with a gradual pull. If you pull too hard, you might leave some of the paint behind on the wall, or you might damage the bricks underneath, especially if the wall is starting to crumble underneath.
Where the strips overlap each other, we advise being cautious. Those edges tend to tear or rip, and you want to avoid this at all costs. Start with one area, and work your way with the paint strips, until the entire area has been stripped of strips and paint. This will make the task less daunting because you can strip just one section at a time.
Taking the time to focus on a particular section of a project will ensure that you do not become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the task and that you remain focused on that portion of the project, and repeat this procedure until all the strips have been removed from the wall. It is an unavoidable factor that not all of the paint will be removed from your first round of paint stripping. You can either repeat the entire process of reapplying the paint stripper and the strips, or you can simply brush over them with your wire-bristled scrubbing brush or a piece of steel wool.
Getting to the Surface
We did not exaggerate when we talked about the fact that removing paint from bricks is not a simple task, but at the end of a very hard day, it gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Now that you have accomplished removing paint from brick exterior or interior walls, you might be able to clean up the peeling paint from the tarp and the bits of paint that were left on it. You should not forget to wear gloves when collecting these pieces and rolling up the tarp as these pieces might be harmful to your health, or your skin sensitivity.
The manufacturer usually thinks of everything, from how thick to apply the stripper, to how long to wait for it to work. They will also include some suggestions on how to accurately dispose of the stripper that has now been infused with the paint you were stripping off the brick wall. You must do so obligingly because the chemicals in the products are not only harmful to your health, but also to the planet.
Often paint strippers come with a neutralizer, and if yours does, please remember to apply this as soon as the stripping process is complete. This will render the stripper powerless, and prevent it from breaking the bricks down to dust.
Learning how to remove paint from brick walls may not have been how you saw yourself spending a Saturday morning, but now that you know the best way to remove paint from brick surfaces, you can apply your knowledge to that wall at the back of your garden that has been driving you mad for years now. It is time to get rid of the old paint job and start anew.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Possible to Remove Paint From Exterior Brick?
It is possible to remove any paint from an exterior brick wall or an interior brick wall. All you need is a little paint stripper, some peeling strips, a paint scraper, and some steel wool. Once you have applied the stripper, you can add the strips on top and then wait the designated amount of time for the stripper to do its job.
What Is the Hardest Part About Removing Paint From Brick?
The hardest part of removing paint from brick surfaces is making sure that you get the paint out of those little grooves between the mortar and the bricks. Apply a thick layer of the stripper, and then make sure that the strips you apply are crossing over each other so that there are no gaps left.
Does Pressure Washing Remove Paint From Bricks?
If you have a powerful enough pressure washer, you could use it to remove the paint from brick surfaces after applying the stripper, and of course, wait the designated time for the paint to lift from the brick’s surface. A sandblaster is also an option, but keep in mind that both methods can potentially damage your brickwork.