You might have a beautiful antique brick fireplace hiding behind some outdated layers of paint. A great way to spruce up your fireplace is to remove old pain and let the natural brick shine through and be the focal point in the room. Some would say pressure washing is the way to go, but if you do that you run the risk of damaging the brick or the grout; there is an easier way to remove paint from a brick fireplace.
To remove pain from a brick fireplace, there are a few tools you will need to gather before you get started.
- Phosphate solution
- Putty knife and wire brush
- Safety protection like goggles and gloves
- Drop Cloth
Step 1: Set up a Drop Cloth
You’re going to want to prepare for this by putting on your goggles and gloves, and putting a drop cloth down to protect the floors and walls from any debris that comes off during the process. Take your time to do the setup and cleanup will be much easier when you are all done.
Step 2: Use the Stripping Agent
You are going to want to use a phosphate solution or liquid stripping agent to loosen up the paint. Make sure you test it on an inconspicuous place on the fireplace in case it is a little stronger than you anticipated. After you test it, you can begin applying it to the fireplace and watching the paint loosen up.
Step 3: Use your Tools to Remove the Paint
Whether it’s a putty knife, a wire brush, or a different tool all together, this is when you want to the hard work of scraping the paint off the brick. Take note that the stripping agent should do most of the heavy lifting and you want to be careful not to scratch or harm the brick that is underneath the paint. You will want the stripping agent to soak on there and loosen the paint up. The liquid should do most of the work, with your tools just essentially removing paint that is already loose.
Step 4: Clean up and Finishing Touches
You should be able to see your brick now. If anything requires special care, do that now. You might have some troublesome spots that require a little more elbow grease to remove the paint. You should then be able to clean up your drop cloths and safely dispose of the used stripping agent. Any chemicals should be disposed of safely, and be mindful not to pour anything down your drain that could clog it (like paint chips).
Will the solvent or the scraping harm the brick on the fireplace?
You will want to take your time and approach this project with care. None of it should harm the fireplace, but if you jam the wire brush or putty knife in at the wrong angle, you could inadvertently damage the brick.
Will all the paint come off?
You should be able to remove all the paint. Some of it will be easier than others. You can plan on needing to use some elbow grease on some of the stickier paint, but you will be able to get it all off if you are patient.
Should I just use a power washer?
Using a power washer is not advisable. While it might get the job done, it’s going to cause a big mess and you run the risk of damaging the brick from the force of the pressure washer. You are much better off gently using a solution and tools to chip away at it softer than the way a power washer would remove the paint.
A brick fireplace can be the centerpiece of your home. Unfortunately, it might be buried under some old paint that make it look unsightly. Fortunately, with the right tools and a little elbow grease you can easily remove all that paint and be left with your authentic brick fireplace! If you’ve used our tips and tricks, leave us a comment and show us your finished off brick fireplaces! We love hearing your success stories, so let us know what worked and didn’t work.