Removing paint from exterior brick

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Old 10-02-13, 12:16 PM
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Removing paint from exterior brick

My 120yr old house has a brick foundation (about 2ft above ground) which at some point was painted a pinkish color on the exterior. I have no idea how old the paint is but it's in terrible shape and is ugly. It's also really in the surface of the brick.

In my trials the only methods to remove the paint are mechanical scraping and grinding with a 3M paint stripping disc. The discs are $12/pc and get eaten up quick but I'm willing to incur the cost since it makes the brick look amazing.

The grinding takes off a slight amount of the brick face because the paint is really in the pores. Hard to quantify, but maybe 1/64" to 1/32" of the brick face turns into red dust. From what I've read I'm worried that this will damage the brick and cause it to deteriorate more quickly.

Do I need to worry about my bricks? I was thinking of applying a sealer after we're done removing paint and tuck-pointing. Am I better of leaving the bricks alone and just painting them again? They really look much better natural..

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-02-13, 02:26 PM
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The only good way to remove paint off of the brick is with sandblasting BUT I don't know to what extent that damages the brick. I'd probably just paint it a more appealing color. I have seen some where they painted the brick and joints a mortar color and then went back and did some faux painting on the face of the brick to give the illusion of unpainted brick.
 
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Old 10-02-13, 02:30 PM
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Currently I'm playing with one face of the exposed brick foundation. Much of the paint we're able to scrape off using a sharp scraper or chisel. The stubborn stuff we're taking off with an angle grinder and paint stripper disc. We're trying to be as light as possible so as not to tear into the brick much, but we still end up with a light cloud of red dust.

I'm trying to read up on products to apply to the newly exposed brick face and haven't found anything that calls to me yet. Many articles warn against anything to waterproofs. I just want something that will seal up the brick so it stays mechanically sound and maybe give it a bit of a wet look.
 
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Old 10-02-13, 02:34 PM
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Hi Mark,

If I had a huge wall I'd certainly be looking for a sandblasting company. I only have a couple feet of exposed wall around three sides of my house. I just wish I had something cheaper than these paint stripping discs. $12/pc and you only get 8-10sqft out of each one.

I see paint on brick as a lot of upkeep. If I can get my brick nice and natural it'll stay that way for a long time.
 
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