Can You Remove Paint From Brick?

Painted brick can be downright gorgeous. Depending on the color you go for, the resulting effect can be anything from quintessentially modern to fantastically rustic. Exposed brickwork in general is an exceptionally desirable feature, both indoors and outdoors.

But what happens if you eventually find yourself wishing you’d gone with a different color? Or perhaps, you decide to repaint your interiors or exteriors with a different combination of colors, which will not pair particularly well with your brickwork?

Is it realistically possible to remove paint from brickwork, and to start again from scratch?

Planning on Painting Bricks? Read This First

The answer, in both instances, is a resounding yes.

Removing paint from brickwork opens the door to taking your bricks back to their natural finish. At this point, you can leave them as they are, or apply whatever stain or paint takes your fancy.

However, it’s important to be aware of what you should and should not be doing when removing paint from brickwork. Adopt the wrong approach and you could permanently damage the surface of your brakes, making it difficult to bring them back to their pristine best.

What Not to Do…

Indoors or out, there are three common approaches to removing paint from brickwork which are not recommended:

  1. Sandblasting – the trouble with this technique is that while it will indeed remove the paint, it will also almost certainly cause irreparable damage to your bricks. It’s just too abrasive and powerful to enable you to get the job done with any kind of control or precision.
  2. Sanding – you could attempt to get rid of the paint using sandpaper, or simply rough up the surface a little and paint over it. Sanding can be effective, but can also be an extremely laborious and time-consuming process.
  3. Jet washing – using a power washer could help peel the paint away from the surface of your brickwork, but like sandblasting is also likely to damage the material. Plus, it’s not as if sandblasting or jet washing are realistic options for indoor brickwork, anyway.

Even if you could technically get the job done with any of these three techniques, there’s no point tempting them. The reason being that there’s a better way – as in a more effective way and it much easier way.

The Best Way to Remove Paint from Brick

With fairly few exceptions, the single quickest and easiest way to deal with paint on brickwork is to use a high-quality paint stripper. Chemical strippers are not the most pleasant products to work with, but they can be seriously effective.

All paint strippers work in a slightly different way, highlighting the importance of following the manufacturer’s guidelines to the letter.  In terms of how much to apply and how long they need to get to work, there can be huge differences from one stripper to the next.

In addition, health and safety precautions should be taken when working with products like these.  They should only ever be used in a well-ventilated space, and while wearing the appropriate PPE.

On the plus side, they make the job of removing paint from various kinds of surfaces an absolute breeze.  You simply spread it over the paint you want to remove, giving the time required to get to work (typically around 15 to 30 minutes), and then scrape away the paint as it begins to detach from the surface.

With a decent paint stripper, you won’t need to scrape away at the surface aggressively to fully remove the paint. You’ll therefore be able to fully preserve the look of the brickwork beneath, which is essential if you plan on leaving it untreated or staining it.

Ask the Experts…

Jobs like these are particularly difficult, but nonetheless have the potential to be hazardous to your health. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, it may be better to hire help to get the job done on your behalf.

At Homm CPS, we offer a comprehensive range of interior and exterior painting services of the highest quality. Unless you already have access to all the supplies and equipment you need, you may even find our services a more cost-effective option than handling the job yourself.

All without putting your own health and safety on the line, and minimizing disruption for your household.

For more information on the services we provide or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact a member of the team at Homm CPS today.