Removing paint from brick fireplace surround

mama_miaJuly 22, 2006

previous owners painted the brick fireplace surround and brick ledge of the hearth. there's probably about 60 sq feet of brick surface since it spans a short wall.

The white paint on the light red brick looks terrible. (paint has flaked on one small part, so I can see the original terra cotta color of the brick) We could repaint it, but would much prefer to have it just be brick. Is this a pipe dream?

I've read other posts in this forum that discuss options of removing paint from exterior brick, but as this is in the family room, the suggestions of sandblasting or pressure washing are just not possible.

Are there any chemicals or products that would remove most of the paint? I wouldn't mind a slight "white washed" look, so 100% removal is not necessary.

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If you can tolerate the paint remaing in the pits of the surface you can remove it.
Latex can usually be removed with a scrub brush and TSP, 409, or even Spic and Span.
Oil based paint is harder to remove and will usually require paint stripper (and this may alter the brick color).
Pressure washing and sand blasting are pretty much non-starters in the finished areas of a house.
Do not use any brushes with plain steel bristles. It can embed in the brick surface and cause rust stains to appear later.
A couple layers of 6 mil plastic and canvas drop cloths on top of the plastic will help protect the floor.
It is hard messy work. You can always give it a try and if you find it to difficult or do not like the results just apply another coat of paint.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 10:21AM
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I have read that Peel Away works. It's a stripper that you put on like frosting, cover with paper, let it set and work, then pull it off; ideally the paint comes with it. Formulas 1 and 7 are supposed to work on brick. It's expensive but you can get just a quart to do a test area. I used PA 7 on some window trim; it did a good job on the newer layers but didn't have much effect on the deepest layer, which was the one I was really trying to remove (lead paint).

I now have a painted brick fireplace (different house) that would look better stripped, so am interested to hear what results you have.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 10:03PM
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Don't give up on sand blasting. I've seen it done successfully on interior brick work. You just need to find an experienced professional sand blasting company. The surrounding areas can be protected from damage.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 2:49PM
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I've used PeelAway1, Ace Hardware concrete cleaner, assorted brushes, rags, water and alot of elbow grease. It got the brick back to like new. Once we got all the paint and 98% of the residue off, wiped the entire surface with a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and mineral spirits. It turned out wonderfully!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 10:51PM
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i would skip the whole paint removal and repaint it with brick-anew-it is cheap and looks like brick.

Here is a link that might be useful: brick-anew

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:27PM
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