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How to clean paint off bricks


Cleaning paint off bricks is definitely a delicate task, and while you may be tempted to try a shortcut, like sandblasting or power washing the paint, this could do more harm than good and leave the building material in a vulnerable stay. Similarly, many chemical-based paint-removal solutions compromise the brick in the same way. If you remove paint from brick using any of these potentially harmful methods, you’re taking a big gamble and could end up with a problem that’s much more serious than just paint. Especially if you’re dealing with old bricks, it’s really important not to clean them in a way that does lasting damage.

How to clean paint off bricks

The best solution for paint on brickwork is a gel paste or compound, followed by fabric-based peeling strips.

The paint stripper triggers a chemical reaction that makes the paint go soft and stick to the fabric.

During the final step, the fabric strips are peeled away and take the paint with them in the process, exposing the natural brick underneath.

While a good paint stripper will do a lot of the work for you, this isn’t a job for those in a hurry as you’ll likely have to do much more scrubbing and scraping by hand.

READ MORE: How to clean your fence without a pressure washer

Before applying a stripping agent, test the product on a smaller part of the brick installation, as you may find the stripper you’ve chosen doesn’t work as well as you may have hoped.

Doing this gives you a good sense of how much effort removing the paint will entail in this case.

Minimise cleaning up by laying down drop cloths or thick, plastic sheets to get rid of the paint.

Wear the protective gear recommended by the paint stripper you’ve chosen, and before you start applying the gel or paste, scrape off any loose paint.

Overlap the strips so that you can’t see any of the brick.

Once they’ve been applied, let them sit for the recommended period of time.

In most cases, particularly when you’re dealing with multiple lawyers of paint, it can take a full 24 hours for the agent to really work its magic.

Once enough time has passed, return to the work area and start removing the strips carefully.

If necessary, use the trowel to gain purchase behind any sluggish strips.

Peel the strips in a slow way as to avoid ripping them off akin to a waxing strip.

As you peel, the paint underneath should start coming off, and wherever the strips leave behind product, use a trowel to flake off as much residue as possible.

If the trowel doesn’t work, scrub the area with a stiff bristled brush and rinse with water – it should be clear now.

But if it’s not, try and repeat the process in a few days’ time and it should do the trick.


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