How To Remove Paint From Brick

  • The best techniques for removing paint from brick.
  • Home remedies for paint removal that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Remove paint from brick

Though painted brick can look wonderful, removing said paint can take a lot more time and effort than expected. Let’s cut that time in half!

Take the easy way out

Before we get started, it’s probably a good thing for any homeowner taking on this endeavour to know that most professional painters will be able to take on this project for you. Removing paint from brick can be a long process, depending on how much brick was painted.

For a job that could take hours or days, sometimes hiring someone else can be the better solution. But, if you’re willing to take your painted bricks on head-to-head, we’ve got plenty of tips for you.

Products that we recommend

Paint removing products have improved by leaps and bounds in the last few years, which means a project like this is no longer as awful as it may seem.

Here’s some of our favourites for you to look at:

Graffiti GO!

This is a water-based graffiti remover. That might not seem like the kind of paint remover that you’re looking for, but graffiti is notoriously difficult to remove from brickwork.

Graffiti GO! can remove regular paint, spray paint, car paint, pen, crayons, and gum from masonry. It’s actually a fairly perfect product to have in your home, particularly if you have young children armed with marker pens and colouring crayons.

Paint on brick
An older brick wall with colourful paint in a rainbow of colours.

PeelAway 7

A paint remover that makes a difference, PeelAway 7 can remove up to 20 coats of paint from the area that you’re looking to clean off.

It’s a little on the expensive side, but it can be used on anything from wood to brick and concrete, and only needs one application of the product to remove those (up to) 20 layers of paint or varnish.

The drying time for this product is 12 hours, and the manufacturer recommends a litre of the product for each metre squared of painted area.

Unconventional products

This one might seem a bit strange, but WD-40 has often been used to remove paint from brickwork. To do this, you’ll need to spray the liquid over as much of the paint as possible, and then just wipe it off.

We’d recommend leaving the WD-40 for a little while so that it seeps into the paint and makes the removal process quicker.

Alternatively, white spirit vinegar has also been known to work on painted brick. You’ll want to heat up the vinegar first for the best results, because hot vinegar will break down the paint faster than cold white spirit vinegar will.

See Also
Emulsion paint on wood

Both products might not seem like they’ll work, but they are products that any homeowner will already have in their shed or under their sink. Thus, saving you a little money when you need to take old paintwork off of your masonry.

Remove paint from brick
A damaged wall that would require more care to remove the paint on it.

Avoid harsh removal techniques

Power washing is a hugely popular way of removing dirt and grime from large areas of the home’s exterior. But when it comes to masonry, particularly if your brickwork is quite old, you should avoid using these tools and techniques.

Techniques like sandblasting and power washing can leave your old brickwork or other aged masonry in a bad way. Old brick doesn’t react well to pressure being continuously applied, and any chemical paint removers used in the process could end up breaking down more than the paintwork.

When dealing with brick, it’s crucial to take into account the brick, itself, as well as the product that you’re trying to remove. Cheaper brickwork, or masonry that is old and unstable, won’t be able to stand up to powerful methods of cleaning. They require a gentler touch.

That gentler touch usually involves a water-based paint remover, rather than a chemical-based one mixed in with forceful washing.

Recommended tools

For this project, you’ll find to find a good paint remover that works on brick and other types of masonry, but you will also require a few pieces of protective equipment. Such as:

  • Thick work gloves to protect your hands from chemicals and rough brickwork.
  • Protective glasses to stop any particles or chemicals getting into your eyes.
  • A bucket and a clean supply of water for the cleaning process.

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