The Best Way to Strip Paint Off of Brick

Brick image by Luke Haverkamp from

If you plan to paint a brick surface that has already been painted, there's no need to strip off the old paint. Instead, the best course of action is to simply paint over the old coat. However, if you would like to strip off the old paint because you want to expose the original brick as part of a remodelling scheme, you're going to need to demonstrate a great deal of care. Many do-it-yourselfers lose their patience and become too aggressive when trying to strip paint off of brick. Before you get started, you should know the best way to go about it, or you may end up damaging the mortar between the bricks.

Strip away as much paint from the brick as possible by concentrating a direct stream of water using the pressure washer. Begin the washer on a low setting and stand 4 feet away from the brick surface. Increase pressure gradually, and slowly move closer to the surface. Do not bring the tip of the pressure washer closer than 6 inches to the brick surface or you may risk damaging the mortar between the bricks.

Allow the surface to dry completely. Apply paint stripper to the remaining paint using a 4-inch, oil-based paintbrush. Apply to no more than a 3- by 3-foot area at one time. Allow the stripper to sit for five minutes.

Scrape away the paint from the brick surface using a metal putty knife. Scrape away the paint from the mortar filled crevices between the brick using a wire brush. Repeat as necessary.

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