How to strip plaster from interior brick walls

Updated February 21, 2017

The plaster in your home may cover an attractive interior brick wall. Exposing this brick wall allows you to customise a room. Stripping the plaster from the brick wall is an easy but dusty process that requires a hammer and chisel. You must take steps to prevent the dust from flying all over your room and the rest of the house, and to prevent yourself from breathing it in as you strip the wall.

Remove all furniture items from the work area.

Enclose the work space by hanging plastic sheeting from the ceiling around the wall where you will be removing the plaster. This will keep dust enclosed in that area and prevent it from spreading throughout the room. Attach the sheeting to the ceiling with heavy-duty tape or tacks, and weight down the bottom edges with rocks placed every 1 to 2 feet.

Cover the floor with a plastic tarp. Put on a breathing mask and protective goggles to prevent injury from dust or debris.

Hold the bricklayer's chisel against the plaster in the bottom corner of the wall and gently tap the chisel with the machinist's hammer until you've removed enough plaster so that you are holding the chisel parallel to the exposed brick.

Move up the wall, chipping away at the plaster with the chisel, using light taps from the hammer. Working from the bottom to the top will prevent plaster from falling on you as you loosen it. As you remove chunks of plaster, throw them into a large garbage can.

Move across the wall, holding the chisel parallel to the wall surface as you go. The chisel will slide between the brick and the plaster, easily stripping it from the wall. Continue until you've chipped off all the plaster and disposed of it in the garbage.

Scrub the exposed brick with short strokes, working from the top of the wall down, using a stiff-bristle brush to remove any plaster residue. Vacuum the brick surface and the floor with a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner.

Let the space sit for three to four hours so any remaining dust can settle, and then scrub the brick and vacuum the surface once again.

Fill a bucket with cool water and a household degreaser, according to the degreaser package instructions. Scrub the wall with the solution using the bristle brush, from the bottom of the wall to the top. Rinse the brush and scrub the wall once more with clean water to rinse it thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Tacks
  • Tarp
  • Rocks
  • Breathing mask
  • Goggles
  • Bricklayer's chisel
  • Machinist's hammer
  • Stiff-bristle brush
  • Heavy-duty vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Household degreaser
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About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.