How to remove paint from brick exteriors

Read on for removing paint from brickwork tips to have your home exterior gleaming in no time.

1 July 2019

Garden with an exposed brick exterior wall
Out of home

Key steps

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Make sure you wear protective gear.
  • Lay down sheets to catch falling paint as it’s removed.
  • Always cover and protect areas you don’t want to accidentally damage.
  • Make sure you set aside plenty of time to allow for the process to follow through.

Exposed brickwork on the exterior of your home looks great and ages well with minimal maintenance. To uncover the inner beauty of your walls or even to prepare them for a fresh lick of paint; you’ll need to know how to get paint off brick first. Here, we’ll go through a step-by-step process of getting paint off brick – including what to use and safety warnings to keep in mind.

Always test your chosen paint stripping product on a small, inconspicuous area of brickwork first to ensure there are no adverse reactions on the bricks.

Safety dos and don’ts for removing paint from brickwork

Before you start the process of getting paint off brick there are a few key safety tips you need to be aware of.

  1. DO wear protective clothing, especially when using a paint stripping agent.
  2. DO NOT start removing paint from brickwork if the temperature is due to fall below freezing within a month. If the bricks aren't completely dry, frost can cause them to succumb to damage.
  3. DO follow manufacturer’s instructions on your chosen product.
  4. DON’T FORGET getting paint off brick will be labour intensive. Set aside time to do it, and make sure you take breaks and stay hydrated if it’s warm.
  5. DO dispose of used paint removal strips according to the manufacturer’s instructions as this will need to be done carefully.
  6. DON’T FORGET to take time to cover and protect any areas you don’t want to accidentally strip such as wood trim.

What do you need to remove paint from brick?

When it comes to getting paint off brick there is a few products that you should make sure you have at the ready. These include:

  • Protective clothing
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint removal strips
  • Plastic sheeting (or old bed sheets!)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Trowel (or drywall knife)
  • Stiff-bristled brush

Guide to how to remove paint from brick exterior walls

Now you know what you need, here is our simple guide for how to get paint off bricks and have your bricks walls looking fabulous.

  1. Begin by laying down thick plastic sheeting or an old bed sheet to catch the peeling and flaking paint as you remove it.
  2. Use painter’s tape to attach your sheet to the bottom edge of the brick.
  3. Cover any adjacent wood trim or other areas you don’t want to accidentally damage with your paint stripper with painter’s tape.
  4. Ensure you are wearing your protective clothing before you begin removing paint from brickwork.
  5. Start by scraping away any paint that’s already loose.
  6. Using a trowel (or a specialized tool provided by the manufacturer) apply your chosen paint stripper to the paint covered brick. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying your product.
  7. Making sure the gel or paste is thoroughly covering all areas of the brick, including crevices in the brick and mortar.
  8. Build layers of your chosen stripper to the thickness recommended by the manufacturer.
  9. Once it is in place, press and hold your paint removal strips against the compound until firmly attached. Ensure you overlap the strips and that no brick is visible.
  10. Let them set for the period of time stipulated by the manufacturer; which is often around 24 hours.
  11. Now you can begin lifting the strips. Take care to remove them carefully and not rip them. Use the trowel for any stubborn strips, and if that doesn’t work, a stiff-bristled brush and water rinse will do the job. As the strips come away, the paint should too!

We all want to be able to revitalise our homes, and understanding how to get paint off bricks is a great way to get the exterior looking great. Now you have our guide to removing paint from brickwork you can have your home gleaming in no time.