Splattered paint can be tough to clean, but it’s especially hard on brick walls. In this article, we’ll cover the best way to clean paint off brick walls and get them looking like new again.
It doesn’t matter whether you were sloppy when re-painting your garage walls or they were already there when you moved in. Either way, they’re an eyesore, especially in areas where people will notice them quickly.
Thankfully, paint splatters on bricks can be removed, even if the entire brick wall has been painted over.
You need to remove these paint splatters without damaging the brick or mortar. All you need are some common tools and supplies to clean the bricks properly, which are easy to find at your local home improvement store.
This article will go through how to remove paint from brick walls or tiles, as well as some popular methods you should actually avoid!
Table of Contents
How to Remove Paint From Brick Walls
You can use a few methods to remove the paint splatters without damaging the brick wall behind them. They vary in difficulty, and you may need some help depending on how messy your wall has become.
Before trying to remove the dry paint from your brick walls, ensure the walls are clean and free from dust or debris.
If the paint splatters are on the inside of your home, take a cloth with warm water and some dish soap and wipe the walls clean. You can use your garden hose to clean the exterior brick walls.
Once the walls are completely dry, you can start with any of the methods below.
Here are the best ways I’ve found to remove paint splatters from your brick walls.
In my experience, the best way to clean paint off brick walls and tiles is to use a paint stripper. Look for a citrus-based paint stripper like Citristrip, since they’ll be most effective on brick walls.
There are eco-friendly paint strippers if you want to be more environmentally friendly while removing the paint splatters.
Simply apply the stripper to the paint splatters in a thin layer. Then allow it to sit for about 30 to 40 minutes while it dissolves the paint.
Then, you can use a paint scraper to remove the paint splatters with the paint stripper. It should flake off easily and fall onto the plastic tarp below.
- Easy to use.
- Stays wet and active for up to 24 hours allowing stripping of multiple layers in one step.
- Removes dried latex and oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane and shellac.
- Strips multiple layers from wood, metal and masonry surfaces.
Paint Removal Strips
Another great way to remove paint splatter from your brick walls is to use paint removal strips. This is the preferred method if you have a lot of splatters to deal with.
Paint removal strips are large strips of sticky paper that you apply directly over the paint splatters. These strips can be cut to size, so a little goes a long way.
You apply the strips with the sticky side to the wall, then leave them to work for about 30 minutes. Then, carefully peel the strips off the brick, and the paint splatters should also peel off.
If you’re on a budget and have a time constraint, this is the next best way to clean paint off brick walls and tiles.
You can purchase some trisodium phosphate at your local Home Depot or other big-box home improvement store.
First, you’ll need to dilute it with water. Create a solution of 1 gallon of clean water with ½ cup trisodium phosphate and mix well.
Apply the solution to the paint splatters using a scrubbing brush. You may need to scrub the paint splatters until they come off.
If the paint splatters aren’t very big, you can use a paint scraper to help remove them from the wall.
Bear in mind that the paint will seep into the bricks. That, combined with the brick’s rough texture, can make it very difficult to remove all the paint.
These are easy to find at most home improvement stores and are relatively cheap.
They do require a fair bit of force to remove the paint splatter. Be careful not to use too much pressure to damage the bricks.
A Graffiti Removing Brush
While it may not be the best way to clean paint off brick, our final option is to use a graffiti-removing brush.
There are several brands to choose from, like Graffiti Buster and Taginator. They’re designed to quickly remove paint from walls, including brick.
The paint removal process is straightforward, but you’ll need some elbow grease. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for using them.
3 Methods To Avoid When Removing Paint Splatters From Brick Walls
As we’ve seen, there are several options you can use to you need to remove paint splatters from your brick walls. However, there are three common mistakes that homeowners make that you should avoid.
While these methods might be perfect for other surfaces, they should never be used on brick walls.
Each can do significant damage to the bricks when removing paint splatters. If the brick gets damaged enough, it can weaken the wall, leading to possible injury.
Sanding With Heavy Grit Sandpaper
Sandpaper with heavy grit is not recommended for paint splatter removal on brick walls, whether you’re sanding by hand or with a sanding machine.
This can take pieces of the brick wall off, along with the dried paint splatters, making the brick look worse and older than it should.
Power Washing Or Sand Blasting
If you have an older house, avoid pressure\power washing or sandblasting your brick walls to remove paint splatters. This can damage the mortar in between the bricks if the mortar is old, making the wall unstable.
These high-powered machines can also discolor sections of the brick wall, causing it to have an uneven appearance. Additionally, it can spoil the wall’s appearance, making it look older than it is.
Over Scraping The Wall
Scraping paint off the wall isn’t easy, but you want to avoid over-scraping the wall.
Apply some paint stripper to the paint first to make the job easier. If you don’t, this can damage the brick as you take bits off the brick with the paint.
Before You Start: Safety Precautions
Cleaning paint off brick isn’t just about the elbow grease and the right tools. Safety should be your first priority when tackling such a project, and you must take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries and ensure a successful cleaning process. Here are some vital safety tips to consider:
Protective Clothing: Always wear appropriate clothing when using cleaning chemicals. This includes long sleeves and pants to prevent chemical burns or scratches from the rough brick texture.
Gloves: It’s also essential to wear the right kind of gloves. Latex or gardening gloves will help resist damage from paint strippers or other chemical products. They help protect your hands from harsh substances and help avoid unwanted skin irritations.
Eye Protection: Safety glasses are a must-have to shield your eyes from dust or debris that can spring up when scrubbing or scraping the brick surface.
Respiratory Protection: If you’re working with chemical products, wearing a mask is recommended to prevent inhaling fumes. This is especially important if working in a closed space with minimal ventilation.
Proper Ventilation: Speaking of ventilation, if you’re working indoors, ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. Open windows and doors, and consider using a fan to keep air circulating, diluting any potentially harmful fumes.
Furniture and Floor Protection: Cover or move any nearby furniture to protect it from dust and debris. A plastic tarp or towel can be placed at the base of the wall to catch any falling paint chips or chemical drips, safeguarding your floors.
Ladder Safety: If you’re dealing with high walls, you may need a ladder. Always ensure your ladder is stable and maintain three points of contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) with the ladder at all times to prevent falls.
First Aid Kit: Always keep a first aid kit nearby in case of small injuries, such as cuts or scrapes.
Remember, safety comes first. It’s always better to take the time to protect yourself and your surroundings before you start rather than deal with the consequences of an accident afterward.
Your health and well-being come first, so take these precautions seriously when trying to remove paint from brick walls or driveways.
What are the best products to use for removing paint from bricks? The best products for removing paint from brick include chemical paint strippers, particularly those formulated for masonry, like Dumond’s Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover, Citri-Strip Paint, and Varnish Stripping Gel. A pressure washer or a sandblaster might be necessary for tougher paint removal jobs.
How long does it take to remove paint from brick? The length of time it takes to remove paint from brick can vary greatly depending on the size of the area, the type of paint, the method you’re using, and the number of paint layers. Using a chemical paint stripper, you may need to leave the product on the brick for 3 to 24 hours before scraping the paint off. It could take several days to complete the task for large areas or multiple layers of paint.
How can I protect the brick surface from damage while removing paint? Always start with the gentlest method first to protect the brick surface, like a chemical paint stripper or a paint scraper. Avoid using very aggressive methods, such as sandblasting, unless absolutely necessary, as these can damage the brick. Also, thoroughly rinse and neutralize the brick after using chemical strippers to prevent further damage.
What are the safety precautions to follow when using paint strippers? When using paint strippers, always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. Use protective clothing, including gloves and safety glasses, to protect your skin and eyes from the chemicals. Also, keep children and pets away from the area when working with these products.
How can I dispose of the paint waste and the paint stripper properly? Disposal methods for paint waste and paint stripper can vary by location due to local regulations. Generally, they should be disposed of as hazardous waste. Never pour them down the drain or in a regular trash bin. Check with your local waste management facility for proper disposal instructions.
Wrapping It Up
Figuring out how to remove paint from brick walls and pavers can take some trial and error. Still, with a little elbow grease and the right tools, your walls can look brand new in no time.
We covered several methods how to remove paint from brick walls and tiles, including paint removal strips, trisodium phosphate, a paint scraper, or a graffiti-removing brush. However, in my experience, the best way to clean paint off brick walls is to use a commercial paint stripper.
We also covered why you should avoid heavy grit sanding, power washing, or over-scraping to prevent damaging your brick walls.
Don’t forget that preparation and safety are just as important as the cleaning process itself. Always start with clean, dry walls and have your safety gear on hand.
Now you’re well-equipped with the knowledge and techniques to tackle those pesky paint splatters.
Removing paint from brick might require some patience, but the results are undoubtedly worth the effort.