The best way to get paint drips and splatters off brick is by using a paint stripper product. By combining a powerful paint stripper with light scraping, you can safely remove paint from brick. There are even eco-friendly paint strippers on the market for use on exterior and interior brick surfaces. Avoid aggressively sanding, scraping, or blasting brick with a sandblaster or power washer when removing paint from bricks. These methods can damage bricks and mortar.
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Can You Take Paint Off Brick?
You can remove paint from brick, whether it’s just a few splatters or several coats of paint over an old brick wall. The key to removing paint from brick is to use a strong paint stripper product to break down the paint, then lightly scrape the paint.
- Both small and large amounts of paint can be safely removed from brick.
- Always use a paint stripper when removing paint from brick.
- Do not use aggressive paint removal tactics that do not involve a paint stripper—these will damage or destroy your brick wall.
Do not attempt to sandblast, power wash, sand, or scrape paint off brick without first applying a paint stripper. Exposing brick to these methods leads to cracked bricks, crumbling mortar, and may damage the structural integrity of the brick wall.
3 Best Methods to Remove Paint Splatter from Brick
If you’re not familiar with paint strippers, it may seem like a lot of work to use chemicals to remove paint from brick. However, these products truly are the best at removing paint from brick. Plus, they make the job much easier, saving you time and effort. Read on to learn more about these methods and how to easily get paint off your bricks.
Paint Stripper Gel
A citrus-based paint stripper gel is one of the most effective ways to get paint off bricks. First, apply a thin coat of the gel to the brick surface. Then, wait 30 minutes. Finally, use a scraper to scrape away the gel and the paint beneath.
- Use this paint stripper gel to easily remove paint splatters from brick.
- Apply the gel to paint splatters.
- Allow the gel to work for 30 minutes.
- Use this scraper to remove the gel and paint.
- Works for removing both latex paint and oil-based paint.
It shouldn’t take much effort to peel the paint away with a scraper once the paint remover gel has been allowed to work. A gel paint stripper will dissolve the bond between brick and all types of paint. This makes removing paint from mortar or pitted brick a breeze.
In many cases, paint can be removed cheaply and quickly by applying a solution of trisodium phosphate and scrubbing. To make the solution, mix ½ cup of trisodium phosphate with 1 gallon of water. Then, use a scrub brush dipped in the solution to scrub the paint splatters off the brick. When scrubbing brick, make sure not to use an extremely harsh wire brush, as this can damage brick and mortar. Instead, opt for a stiff brush with nylon or brass bristles.
- Protect the area around the brick with drop cloths.
- Mix ½ cup of this trisodium phosphate in 1 gallon of warm water.
- Stir mixture until the trisodium phosphate is dissolved.
- Apply the trisodium phosphate solution to the paint splatters and scrub with this brush.
- Wear hand and eye protection when using trisodium phosphate.
Make sure to wear protective gloves and goggles when working with trisodium phosphate. Also, it is best to use drop cloths to protect the ground and other surfaces in your working area. Unprotected surfaces exposed to trisodium phosphate solution can be discolored.
Eco-Friendly Paint Stripper
If you are searching for an environmentally safe solution for stripping paint from brick, there are some very effective products on the market. The benefit of using a biodegradable paint stripper is that it can be used to safely strip paint outdoors without introducing toxins into your yard. To use it:
- Apply this biodegradable paint stripper to the brick.
- Allow the product to work for 24–36 hours.
- Remove the paint and paint stripper with a paint scraper.
You may also want to consider using an eco-friendly paint stripper indoors. This way, you can avoid exposing your family and pets to the more toxic varieties of paint stripper.
Avoid These Methods When Removing Paint from Brick
When stripping old paint from brick, some methods do more harm than good. Using one of the tactics below can result in damage to the brick wall and mortar beneath the paint. Do not use these brute-force methods to remove paint from brick.
Sandblasting or Power Washing
Both sandblasting and power washing have the capacity to destroy old mortar, ruin the appearance of your bricks, and can cause serious damage to a brick wall. As the paint is removed with high-pressure water or sand, the brick and mortar below can be discolored in areas, leading to an uneven appearance when the job is done.
Don’t use a scraper to remove paint from bricks without first applying a paint stripper solution. Trying to scrape paint off bricks can gouge mortar, scrape bricks, and may even lead to cracked bricks in your wall. It also won’t work to remove stubborn paint from the porous surface of bricks and mortar. Save the scraping for after the paint stripper has been applied and allowed to work.
In the same way sandblasting and power washing can pulverize mortar and discolor brick, using a powered sanding tool to remove paint residue can cause similar damage. Attempting to use a sander to get stubborn paint out of crevices and mortar lines usually leads to damage to the brick itself. You may get the paint off, but your brick will be marred in the process.
Does Vinegar Remove Paint From Brick
Using vinegar to remove paint from brick is not advisable. Vinegar can sometimes be effective at removing dried paint, but it requires allowing the painted surface to soak in the vinegar, followed by aggressive scrubbing. Since you can’t soak your brick wall in vinegar and aggressive scrubbing can damage brick, vinegar is best used for cleaning paint-soaked brushes.
- Vinegar is not very effective at removing paint from brick.
- Even after applying vinegar you will need to aggressively scrub to remove paint, which may damage your brick wall.
- Vinegar is best used for soaking brushes that have dried paint on them.
Since your goal is to remove paint from brick without damaging the brick itself, use a strong paint stripper. These products will do a much better job at protecting the brick from damage than vinegar.
How Do You Get Dried Paint Splatter Off Brick?
If you’ve discovered some paint splatter has dried on your brick, you can easily remove it at home with simple tools. The best methods involve paint stripper solutions. Try these methods:
- Apply citrus-based paint stripper gel before removing the paint with a scraper.
- Mix a solution of trisodium phosphate and water. Apply this to painted areas of the brick and use a scrub brush to remove the paint.
- Use a biodegradable paint stripper for exterior areas where plants or grass may be harmed by typical paint stripper residue.
Avoid any methods that do not include a paint stripper as the first step. Sanding, power washing, and scraping brick commonly leads to brick damage as you work to remove the paint. Plus, the job will go much slower and be far less effective without a paint stripper at work.