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Removing old paint from brick

Hi all,

I have a 1950's brick rowhouse. The brick is not painted but the wiid trim around the windows is painted white. The previous owner painted this trip and did a sloppy job, allowing significant amounts of paint to drip and streak all over the brick window sill and the front of the house. They also repainted the wood plackard that holds the house numbers, and left a white outline of the plackard on the brick.

I am trying to remove this paint that is at least 4 years old - possibly way older. I have tried powerwashing, and using a paint thinner gel, and while those methods lightened the paint a little bit, they certainly didnt get rid of it.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the paint? Maybe I could use sandpaper to rub it off, though I do not want to damage the bridge because it is the front of the house.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Removing old paint from brick


If you have a porous type brick, you may never be able to totally get the pigment out of the brick.

I would try the heavy bodied type of paint strippers which are water rinseable. Follow up with the power washer to remove the softened paint. A narrow washer tip will concentrate the force on the brick. You might have to hold a baffle to protect the soft wood of the windows from being abraded by the power washer stream.

If the paint is in the form of drips, you might try mixing up a match color of paint to the brick and merely painting the drips with a small artist's brush. Paint companies now sell paint samples in small quantities. Go grab several of the free color charts until you find the right tone.

Re: Removing old paint from brick

if you have small areas & drips i would use a brick of the same type & scrap it across the surface that will remove some of the paint it's like sanding down the surface with the brick i've had some good results doing this

firefly meadow
Re: Removing old paint from brick

You're in luck.................. The amount of paint you're dealing with is so small. Don't worry about disposal as the amount of lead ,if any, is not significant.
NOW FOR REMOVAL: Go to Home Depot and get a Methylene Chloride based stripper. "Klean Strip" by BARR Co out of Memphis, TN They call it a Adhesive Remover on the can.

This will desolve most paints in 10-15 minutes. Paint on 1/16 inch or thicker and don't back brush it like painting of the surface or the chemicals will escape without doing their job. The thick coating scums over like milk heated to hot.... But here the scum top coating traps the chemical so it will go down and attack the paint. You find This will work on most paints & tar , etc on your house.

Wear gloves, and don't breath the fumes as they aren't healthy. After about 25 minute take a stick and see if the paint is ready to wash off with your powerwasher. Key is that the Klean Strip should bubble the paint like chicken skin too close to the fire on your grill. If the chemicals don't do the job get back in touch. NEVER ALLOW THE WATER PRESSURE TO DO THE WORK BECAUSE OF A BAD CHEMICAL SELECTION. This is easy with the RIGHT stripper.

Don't set this material in the sun. Can will balloon like a marshmallow. Keep lid on tight as chemical will escape as fumes.

Re: Removing old paint from brick

All -

Thanks for the suggestions. As it turns out, my neighbor (identical house) had this same problem and used the "Graffiti Remover" that comes in a spray can. They had a lot left over that they just gave me. That seemed to take about 95% off the first time, with the remainder coming off after a 2nd application.

firefly meadow
Re: Removing old paint from brick

You've got a Good Neighbor...... Be nice to him!

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