How to Renew Old Brick

Written by sal marco
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How to Renew Old Brick
Restore the beauty of old brick. (Design Pics/Valueline/Getty Images)

Old brick adds character and charm to the facade of a house or patio. Unfortunately, some old brick does not look charming; it has stains you have to remove before you can renew the surface. Bricks are strong and durable, yet their lightweight, compact size makes them a favourite building material of masons and homeowners. Begin all brick restoration by cleaning bricks with a mild detergent and a long-handled stiff broom. Wet the brick surface and dip the broom into soapy water, scrub in a circular pattern and rinse thoroughly.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Water supply
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Safety goggles
  • Acid-approved respirator
  • Rubber gloves
  • Muriatic acid
  • Long-handled stiff brush
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Emulsifying agent
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint remover
  • Wire brush
  • Oxalic acid

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Instructions

    Brown Stains - Manganese

  1. 1

    Mix 6 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide in a large bucket.

  2. 2

    Wet the brick with plain water. Dip a scrub brush into the mixture; scrub away stains.

  3. 3

    Flush thoroughly with plain water.

    White Stains - Efflorescence

  1. 1

    Don safety goggles, acid-approved respirator and rubber gloves.

  2. 2

    Mix 1 cup muriatic acid with 10 cups water for dark-coloured bricks or 1 cup muriatic acid with 15 cups water for light-coloured brick.

  3. 3

    Wet the brick with plain water. Dip a long-handled stiff brush into the mixture; scrub the white stains.

  4. 4

    Rinse well with plain water.

    Green Stains - Vanadium Salts

  1. 1

    Wear safety goggles, acid-approved respirator and rubber gloves.

  2. 2

    Combine 1 cup muriatic acid with 10 cups water for dark-coloured bricks or 1 cup muriatic acid with 15 cups water for light-coloured brick.

  3. 3

    Scrub the brick with the diluted muriatic acid. Rinse thoroughly.

  4. 4

    Mix 236ml. potassium hydroxide in 1 gallon water.

  5. 5

    Apply the mixture to the green stains with a scrub brush. Allow to sit for two or three days. Wash off with plain water.

    Oil or Roofing Tar

  1. 1

    Apply an emulsifying agent to the stains. Emulsifying agents break down oils, grease and tar.

  2. 2

    Allow the emulsifying agent to remain on the stain according to the package directions, generally two to four hours.

  3. 3

    Rinse well with plain water.

    Paint

  1. 1

    Apply a generous coat of paint remover with a paintbrush.

  2. 2

    Allow the paint remover to sit on the stain for 15 to 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Brush the paint stain with a wire brush to remove the stain.

    Rust

  1. 1

    Mix 473ml. oxalic acid in 1 gallon water.

  2. 2

    Brush a generous amount on the rust stains with a paintbrush.

  3. 3

    Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off with a strong spray from a garden hose.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear safety gear when restoring brick.

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