Paint removal from brickwork – DIY advice and tips
Paint can successfully be removed from brick exteriors provided the bricks were in good shape before they were painted. Unfortunately, proper paint removal is a tedious job.
The term brickwork describes fired clay units which have a bewildering variation of constituents and properties. While bricks are made mainly from clay earth and fired in kilns, the variety of clay types, manufacturing and firing processes is vast, affecting not only their colour and surface texture, but also their performance and the way they respond to cleaning.
Bricks in historic and traditional walls vary from ‘red rubbers’, which can be carved with a finger nail, to highly fired and vitrified blue bricks, and from roughly textured stocks to shiny glazed bricks. Even within a single brick, variations in surface texture and hardness will be found which may prevent the safe use of abrasive cleaning, or reduce the pressure at which water jets can be used safely. Porosity also varies, and high absorbency may eliminate or stringently define the parameters of a chemical cleaning regime.