how to remove paint from brick

Old 05-16-08, 02:13 PM
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how to remove paint from brick

how do i remove paint from brick, its just small amounts (from painting the trim around the brick). this is interior paint BTW.
Old 05-16-08, 03:55 PM
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Oops and Goo Gone are effective for removing dried latex paint. Care would have to be taken to not smear the paint as it is removed. Blot from outside stain toward middle to prevent spreading. Brick is porous, so it will be impossible to get paint out of pores.

I think before I went with the remover, I'd simply try sanding the paint off the brick with some coarse sandpaper.
Old 05-16-08, 04:39 PM
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And then there is "paint remover". The gel may help hold it on vertical surface longer. Then use stiff scrub brush/water.

Also I went out to my work vehicle and got this quart can of solvent that cleans any dried paint from paint brushes. It is called 'water rinsing' Kwikeeze. Cleans and restores hardened paint brushes. They say it works quickly. They say it cleans hardened oil and dry latex paints, enamels, varnish, lacquer amd shellac. It contains acetone, toluene, methanol and methylene chloride.
Old 10-17-08, 10:57 AM
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My son bought a house with painted brick. About half the exterior is brick and half is wood siding. The paint on the brick is peeling a lot. We do not know how long ago that paint was applied. Also, examination of the paint seems to indicate two more layers (different colors with perhaps a primer/sealer coat followed by two paintings of different colors) of paint have been applied. The house is about 80 years old; again, we don't know the history behind it.

My son's original hope for this house was to remove the paint from the brick and get back to the original/natural brick look.

I should mention this brick is fairly smooth on the outer surface and can be scraped to remove lose paint. To remove paint that still adheres, we tried some liquid paint remover. As I see it now, this would take several applications, since it seems to losen mainly the top layer of paint with each application. So, this option seems impractical to me; assuming it's possible to completely remove the paint this way, it would just take too long.

Likewise, we can scrape lose paint, and would do so for all the surface if preparing to repaint, but trying to scrape paint that still adheres is just too labor intensive.

That leaves sandblasting as the only option and I beleive my son would rather not go to the expense of that, and would rather not subject the brick and mortar to the abrasive treatment of sandblasting. He did have some sandblasting done only on the brick chimney and I was amazed at the mess left by the contractor. The soil in that area is now heavily saturated with sand and the cleanup of sand in window sills, etc. that we had to do seemed like effort that could have been avoided by proper preventative measures by the contractor. I thought sandblasting contractors took steps such as covering the ground with tarps, to avoid such a mess. Perhaps my son just got a bad contractor.

I should also mention we did paint a section of brick wall, about 9 feet wide, that's under roof on one end of the house where an enclosed patio is located. I believe that wall had the same coating(s) of paint as the exposed exterior walls, and it had peeling paint. In that case, we did scrape all peeling paint off and then repainted it. Although a close look at the wall shows the uneven surface, due to thickness of old paint, that resulted from painting over a wall with old paint only partially removed, I think it looks pretty good.

In conclusion, I'd like to see my son abandon the idea of complete paint removal and accept repainting as the only practical option. Fall weather is bringing cooler temperatures. So, if painting is going to be done this year, it needs to be done soon. This house is initially going to be a rental unit. Assuming it's ready for occupancy by early winter, the present exterior appearance might have a negative impact on getting a tenant and/or the amount of rent that should otherwise be obtainable.

I understand my son's thinking; I've never understood why some homeowners choose to paint brick. If you don't want the natural look of brick, then why use brick in the first place? As my son said, painting brick converts a low maintenance exterior to high-maintenance. But, that's what we have to deal with now. And, I think repainting is the most practical option now.

What do you experts think?
Old 10-17-08, 12:07 PM
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I'd power-wash and/or wire brush to remove the loose paint, and then prime and topcoat what is left. I agree that removing the existing paint would be pretty darn tough.

Old 10-17-08, 12:57 PM
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I'd go easy with the pressure washer! Beside harming the brick, there is danger of water entering cracks in these old houses. A lot times the paint on these old bricks helps to make them durable. I agree cleaning and repainting is the best bet. If the old paint [after cleaning] is still chalky, you need to either apply an oil base primer or add the appropriate amount of emulsa bond to the 1st coat of latex paint/primer - the chalkier the surface, the more EB is needed.

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