How to Remove Old Paint From Brick

How to remove paint from brick

Every day when I pulled my car into the garage, I cringed at the old, dried paint slopped onto the brick surrounding my garage door trim. The paint was out onto the brick by at least an inch in several places, and ran from the top of the door all the way to the ground. At least whoever did it was consistent.

How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

Although I’m grateful to have a garage to park in and really shouldn’t complain, I paint for a living, and that made the situation especially painful. I had a hard time getting past the thought that it would have been real simple for the perpetrator to slap up a piece of tape onto the brick to protect it and save me some grief.

But the damage had been done, and since I’d hired someone to replace the rotting trim that you’ll see in the photos, it was time to put on my big girl panties and get to work. Procrastination time was over.

I must confess that I’d been avoiding this project because I didn’t have a lot of confidence that the paint was going to come off. It had been baking in the summer heat, and had prevailed through Central Illinois winters for at least two years, showing some kick-butt stubborn endurance.

So here’s how I got rid of the old paint. This is the product I used to get started.

 How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

I also used a scraper, safety glasses, a rag, and the Mother of all handy tools—my Dremel. If you don’t own one of these little gems, you must buy one. Really. I use it all the time. It’s also worth spending a few extra dollars to buy a cordless one.

 How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

Here’s the grinding stone bit I used.

 How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

I put some Oops! on the paint first. It’s the consistency of water, so keep that in mind if you use it. I managed to get it on my hands a couple of times and it didn’t bother my skin, so that was a plus.

 How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

Next I did minimal scraping just to get the thicker chunks of paint off. After scraping, I tried using a wire brush. It removed the paint, but it also turned the scrubbed area gray so I ditched that idea.

How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

After deciding I didn’t like using the wire brush, I put on my safety glasses (of course), and starting using my Dremel on the softened paint. My brick isn’t real porous as far as brick goes, and it worked like a charm. The reasoning in using the Oops! and doing some scraping first was that I didn’t want to “goo” up my grinding stone with excessive amounts of paint.

How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

I tried to take just the paint off (and the gray color left from the wire brush too) and not go too much into the surface of the brick. Even so, the areas where I used the Dremel left a slightly different color where the surface of the brick was removed.

Since I was desperate, I decided that even if it left a different color behind, I didn’t care. It was better than white globs of paint. You can see that the area right next to the white trim (in the photo below) where I used the Dremel looks lighter.

 How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

But the good news is, when I rubbed the lighter area with a wet rag, it then turned back to the same color as the rest of the brick. And it wasn’t just because the brick was wet. It remained the same color as the rest of the brick even after it dried!! I’m not sure why that worked. I’m just glad it did.

 How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

Unfortunately, I didn’t decide to blog about this until I had already finished the worst side of the garage, so the pictures I have aren’t as dramatic as the earlier brick I cleaned, but you get the idea.

Here are the before and after photos.

How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

How to Remove Old Paint from Brick/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.Wordpress.com

I can’t imagine doing this on a large expanse of brick, but for smaller mishaps it works pretty well.

Now I can smile when I put my car away, and I’ll be smiling even bigger when the rotted trim has been replaced!

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Journeyman Painter and Certified Home Stager/Redesigner. If you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.Wordpress.com.

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