Stripping paint from exterior masonry?


Old 01-20-00, 05:40 PM
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I have a brownstone with a stone top/concrete side exterior steps. There are at least 4 or 5 layers of completely destroyed paint on the steps. I want to remove the paint, patch the cracks, Drylok the masonry, and repaint.

My question is: How do I remove the paint? I tried the heavy-duty Peel-Away and it just didn't do the trick. Rotary wire brushes and the like really don't have the power either. Would a heat gun work? Will I have to sandblast, and would that work anyway? I don't have to remove every speck of paint, just enough to be able to patch and Drylok properly.

Any help, or references to another source of help, would be GREATLY appreciated!

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Old 01-20-00, 08:50 PM
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Peel Away generally does a good job on oil and latex, however, it may be too cold for you to use any type of stripper with any degree of success. Most strippers work best at 68 degrees and above, and some will not work at all during cold weather. If you want to try a stripper go with a paint and epoxy remover (BIX, JASCO, and others) and cover the wet stripper with plastic wrap, then on old towel for a blanket. Sandblasting works no matter what the temperature is. A hot Lye solution may work also, but you must be able to flood the work afterward with clean water.

3 qts. COLD water (never warm or hot) in a Stainless Steel Bucket or Crockery Pot (other containers will melt from the heat when Lye and water are mixed).
Using a Wooden stick add the Lye slowly while stirring constantly.
Remember: Lye is Vert Caustic, wear protection (including your eyes).
Apply with a fiber brush while hot.
Afterward neturalize with an acid (like pure vinegar).
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