How to remove paint from a brick fireplace?

by Melanie

In our home we have a fireplace that was painted white, but turned yellowish. I always hated that paint and hoped there was red brick behind it. To my surprise there was red brick! So we put a paste on the brick and covered it with plastic. This Peel Away paste was suppose to help eat up the paint. Safe and odorless. Unfortunately it didnt remove all the paint off. So we had to wire drill brush it off. That was a huge mess. Now Im left with this dusty red brick. I really want that bright red brick... how can I clean this up without making a mess.

  6 answers
  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Nov 05, 2018

    Vacuum & then brush with stiff brush(clean stiff toilet brush works well getting mortar too)vacuum again, get a bucket with warm water and sponge and dab them( don't wipe it'll push grime/dust into brick more) really well bricks are porous so if they aren't sealed during the removal of paint & dust the residue gets into them. You may need to do this several times & can also try adding some white distilled vinegar(1/4 cup-1 gal) to water. it may help with any salts or mineral deposits left on them. Make sure you use sponge and dab them repeatedly after using the vinegar. Cover your walls and hearth with tarps so you don't get the residue all over especially if you need to use brush. You can clean up brighten the fireplace screen with baking soda white vinegar and a little dawn dish in hot water. use the toilet brush on this too & only after your done using it on brick.Do the screen outside & put it in big plastic tub it'll be much easier to clean.It looks good already

  • William William on Nov 05, 2018

    Working on interior brick walls requires slightly more care. Begin by removing dust with a dust rag, feather duster or vacuum. Warm water is sufficient to treat moderately soiled brick, while heavier soils may require a deeper clean. As with exterior walls, interior walls can be cleaned with a solution of vinegar and water using a thick rag or brush. Use an old toothbrush to scrub mortar. Follow up by applying a neutralizing mixture of 2 ounces baking soda dissolved in a gallon of water.

  • Cindy Cindy on Nov 06, 2018

    Hi Melanie. My name is Cindy. Start with a clean surface. Spray the bricks with a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar then use a rag to clean off any residue so the paint will stick. Choose primer and paint made to withstand high temperatures. Use a 2" brush to get in between the bricks and nooks and crannies. Then finish with 6 and a half inch roller with a half-inch nap. Put on the primer and wait for it to dry. Dry times will be printed on the can. Then put on the paint. I hope these recommendations help. Good luck from Cindy.

  • Suzette Suzette on Nov 06, 2018

    Hi Melanie, Here's a link that may help to restore the color to your brick:

    Good luck!

  • Mtnmike Mtnmike on Nov 06, 2018

    Try a needle scaler on an area where it will not show. If the brick is too soft it will eat away too much material. but if not, it is the tool professionals use.

  • Bijous Bijous on Nov 06, 2018

    Hi. I'm going to be the grinch here. Brick is porous. The water/paint has been adsorbed into the brick. No telling how far. There's no way to get it back to it's original form. Paint each brick the color you love. That's your only answer. Sincerely, The Grinch.

    • Melanie Melanie on Nov 07, 2018

      I actually truly appreciate your honesty. I can't tell you how much hours I've put into this. Its so frustrating.