Brick houses and fireplaces lend an authentic touch to the house and have become quite popular as an interior decoration style in the recent past. Though, many prefer to paint them in different colors to hide the poor quality of bricks and conceal the repairs done on them. Others might do that to give it the decor a completely different feel. However, after a while, the novelty seems to fade away, and you start thinking of ways to get rid of the paint. There are a number of ways in which this can be done but most of the techniques are time-consuming and there is also a risk of causing damage due to its use, if the bricks are very old. These methods also run the risk of affecting the people involved and can prove hazardous to health. Nevertheless, if proper precautions are taken, and the process is carried out effectively, you can get rid of the paint off bricks. A few techniques have been mentioned below in this article.
Sandblasting and Power Washing
It is important to know that both these methods have the ability to damage the bricks very badly. This is because one has to apply a lot of force while using these methods. In case of sandblasting, the paint undergoes vigorous grinding, while in case of power washing, which is also known as pressure washing, water is used to remove the paint. With sandblasting, the protective outer layer of the bricks get eroded, making the bricks weak. On the other hand, with power washing, the color of the bricks is likely to change and make the bricks fragile and introduce cracks in them. The moisture from the surroundings may ooze into the bricks, thus, weakening the structure.
Lye is extremely hazardous because it is an acid which is toxic as well as explosive. One of the most important thing that you need to remember is that while mixing lye in water, you should always put the lye into the water and never pour water over the lye. This is because, the latter can cause the lye to explode. Also, while handling lye, one should wear full sleeved clothes, gloves, and should also make use of a mask. If your skin comes in contact with the lye, make sure you get immediate first aid and later, visit a health practitioner for further treatment.
Paint Removal Solution
This is actually the best and the easiest way of removing paint from the bricks. The solution is found in both gel as well as paste form and you can use any one of them according to your convenience. However, before you use this solution, it is important to do a patch test on a small part of the brick.
First, make the solution by mixing various ingredients as mentioned on the instructional label. Once this is done, apply the solution to the bricks generously. Then, take strips of fabric and place it on the brick which is coated with the gel or paste. When the paste begins to soften, the paint will start sticking to the fabric. Allow the fabric to remain on the wall for the time mentioned on the package and then, gently peel the fabric off the brick. There is a possibility that some of the paint might remain on the bricks even after removing it with this solution. In such a case, you can take off the paint by gently scrubbing the area with a stiff bristle brush to avoid damaging it in any way.
Whatever be your reason for getting rid of the paint from the bricks, make sure that you choose the method which is not only effective, but also the safest.