A person showing how to remove paint from brick

How to Remove Paint from Brick

Restore your brick back to it's original beauty.

DIFFICULTY: Beginner

Overview

This step by step guide shows you how to restore brick back to its natural beauty by removing paint.

Before

Brick wall before removing white paint

After

White paint removed from brick wall
1

Removing paint from brick, concrete and similar surfaces can be challenging because of the porous surface.

Whether you’re removing paint stains or wanting to restore the brick back to its original look, soap and water isn’t going to work. Removing paint from brick will require a more aggressive strategy to get the paint off while preserving the integrity of the original brick in the process.

How to remove paint from brick diy project
2

Test a Small Area First

Before beginning your brick paint removal project, we always recommend testing an area first. The best place is usually somewhere discreet like the furthest corner that’s hidden from view. Some of the reasons why testing is a good idea includes the underlying brick is a shade you don’t like, or the brick was painted to mask other imperfections.

A person testing a small area before removing paint from the brick wall
3

Prepare Your Workspace

The part of a DIY project most people enjoy the least is the cleanup, but you can help yourself out by taking the time to prepare the space you’ll be working in. If you’re removing paint from an interior brick wall, then at a minimum you’ll want to use a tarp to collect dust, paint flakes, small debris, etc., that will fall during this process. Also, a tarp or protective plastic can provide an extra layer of protection for floors, trim, etc., that are in the working space. Lastly, masking off doors and vents in the room can assist in containing dust to one area.

A woman prepping the space to remove paint from the brick wall
4

Protective Wear

For every home DIY project, we recommend protective wear. For this paint removal project, we recommend at the very least protective eyewear, gloves, breathing mask, long sleeved shirt, and pants. If you’re using a paint stripper, ensure you’re also wearing the manufacturer’s recommended protective wear.

A woman using the wagner paint eater to make removing paint from the brick wall easier
5

Preparing the Brick Surface for Paint Removal

Before applying any stripping solutions, use the flat edge of a trowel to scrape away any areas where the paint is already flaking. Then using the Wagner PAINTEATER paint stripper, start sanding away at the outer layer of paint.
Pro Tip: if you can see the exposed brick in these areas, then you might be able to use a heat gun to remove the paint. Not only are heat guns a more economical solution, but it’ll also be less messy.

A woman using a wagner heat gun to remove peeling paint from the brick wall
6

Use a Trisodium Phosphate Solution to Remove Paint From Brick

In a clean bucket, mix in a 2:1 ratio of one-gallon warm water to one-half cup trisodium phosphate (TSP). Using a long stir stick, mix the solution until all the TSP has dissolved. Using the stiff brush, apply and scrub the TSP solution onto the brick. Once you’ve applied the TSP to all the areas you want to remove paint from, allow the TSP solution to sit and cure for about 10 minutes. After the time has elapsed, scrub the brick again with the same stiff brush. Continue to repeat this process (step five) until all of the paint is removed from the brick.

A woman mixing trisodium phosphate solution to remove paint from brick
7

Removing Deep Set-In Paint Stains

If there’s still paint remaining on the brick, then spot treat with a paint remover or paint stripping gel. Then using a scrub brush with a back-and-forth motion, continue to scrub the brick to remove paint that has set deep into the pores of the brick. For incredibly stubborn areas, use a scrub brush and scouring powder. Ensure the area has been brushed with water, then apply the scouring powder and scrub vigorously to remove any remaining paint residue.

Paint stripping gel applied to brick wall to remove deep set in paint and stains
8

Rinse the Brick with Plain Warm Water

Once all of the paint has been removed from the brick, rinse the surface with plain warm water to remove any remaining TSP solution or paint stripping gel. Allow the brick to dry and look for areas that need a second wipe down.

A person rinsing the brick wall with a hose to reveal the original brick work
9

Finishing Your DIY Project

Once the surface of the brick is dry, you can paint the brick a new color or seal it with a FLEXiO Sprayer. For additional home DIY projects visit Outdoor Projects or Indoor Projects.

Brick wall after paint has been removed.
Products Used

Materials

Clean Bucket that can hold at least 1 gallon of warm water

Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) or Paint Stripper (Available in most hardware stores)

Tarp or Protective Plastic

Painter’s Tape

Flat Edge Trowel

Stiff Scrub Brush

Cleaning Rags

Protective Wear (Glasses, gloves, etc)

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