Bought a new home with a distastefully painted brick fireplace? No need to worry. Here are some non-stressful and quick methods to get that original red brick look to your fireplace.
Finding your dream home is often difficult. Getting your new home to look perfect is even more difficult especially if the previous owner has painted the beautiful fireplace in a really disgusting color. The previous owners might have painted and repainted the brick fireplace in your home in layers of different colors. However, there is no need to panic as removing old paint from brick fireplaces has now been simplified. Try any of the below suggested methods to get that authentic and charming red brick fireplace to adorn your living room.
Common Methods to Remove Paint from Brick Fireplaces
Some of the most popular methods to remove paints from brick fireplaces are given below.
Sandblasting/ Grit Blasting
Sandblasting is the most common method of all that is used for removing paint or other substances from the brick or other surfaces. The process works in the same fashion as the sandpaper. The only difference is that sandblasting is mechanized. It involves usage of sandblasters, which blow solid particles of substances at high speed on a surface leaving them smooth, shaped up and cleaned.
Previously, this method involved usage of sand only. Nowadays, sand blasting works really well with metal pellets, steel grit, glass beads, dry ice, walnut and coconut shells, etc. This method is highly effective, but can be really messy on account of layers of dust settling in every corner of your home. So, please make sure to cover all the furniture and use protective glasses before you start the sandblasting process.
High Heat Guns
Heat guns need to be used with caution as they tend to work better with new bricks and can be damaging if used on bricks and mortar that are more than three decades old. Heat guns generate a huge amount of heat, which can easily melt the paint from a surface. The liquefied paint can then be easily removed from the surface to reveal the original bricks below it. Care should be taken not to concentrate the nozzle of the heat gun at one point for too long, lest it damages the surface.
There are some biodegradable or chemical paint removing solutions that are easily available in the market. The popular ones are made from naturally grown soy, lemon or effective chemicals known for their paint removing properties. At times, sodium or potassium hydroxide is used as a paint remover. In this case, the acid is mixed with water and poured on the painted brick fireplace. The acids burn away and loosen the paint on the bricks after a few hours times. You may need to be careful with handling the acid fumes during this process. Use a water jet and cleaning brush to free the paint particles from the brick surface. As a precaution, avoid physical contact with the acid as this may cause severe burning sensation.
Procedure for Using Paint Removers
- One needs to thoroughly clean the painted surface with soap, water and bristled brush before making a start. Ensure that the surface is completely dry before you apply the solution.
- The actual paint removal technique requires one to apply a fresh coat of paint remover for each coat of paint on the original surface.
- After the coat of solution is applied, one needs to stick a broad piece of fabric on the solution layer. Leave this fabric on the surface for the prescribed number of minutes. Later on, the fabric can be pulled off to reveal the brick surface below.
- The fabric removes a major portion of paint from the surface. However, one may need to use a wire brush to remove paint patches in some corners or on some rough patches on mortar.
- Make sure to use a neutralizing solution on the surface of the fireplace after you have removed all the paint. These neutralizing agents will be available at any of the supermarkets in your vicinity.
The downside to this process is that it tends to give out some fumes, which can cause suffocation and discomfort. Hence, usage of such solutions should be avoided in winters when it’s difficult to ventilate your rooms with open doors and windows.
Artificial Brick Look
This method might seem a bit ironic but is opted for by many people wanting an original brick look for their fireplaces. One can actually paint their fireplaces with original brick color.
To save on a whole lot of expenditure, first try the method chosen by you in a non-prominent, less noticeable area of the fireplace. This will help you understand how well the method works. And, my final suggestion to you is to go in for a method that is safe as well as economically feasible.