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Old 11-25-2003, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Tampa
Complex Paint removal

I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on this.....
I have a brick fireplace that some dumbass (the previous owner probably) painted to look like brick. Now it looks like an artificial fireplace and I want to take the paint off but it looks like it will be a tremendous pain in the ass. Do I use mineral spirits to get some of it off? Is there any other way?

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Old 11-25-2003, 05:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
You can get industrial strenght paint remover that you simply slop on. It quickly disolves the paint into a bubbling, thick goo that you can then scrape off.

It's very important to wear face & eye protection and to only do this in a well ventilated environment. Obviously, you can't use the room during the few hours this stuff takes to work.

The room will likely pong a little for a while afterwards too.

What is "under" the paint? Is it smooth or actually "dimpled" like real bricks/concrete? If it is, then it's makes things a bit harder.

Mr Mephisto
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Old 11-25-2003, 07:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Tampa
I'm sure it's dimpled brick underneath, with lots of nooks and crannies.......
Scraping will only get me so far. I wish I could take the whole thing outside and pressure wash it.
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Old 11-26-2003, 01:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: in my computer
Then go for the goopy paint remover stuff. If its thick enough, you can apply it with a brush and get it into the nooks. Oh yeah, put lots of plastic down...it'll drip.
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Old 11-26-2003, 02:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Tampa
Thanks, the brush is a good tip. Maybe I'll usa a toothbrush.
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Old 11-26-2003, 07:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
LewisCouch's Avatar
Location: Pacific NW
Rent a sandblaster. It's messy but it will definitely work.
"The gift of liberty is like that of a horse, handsome, strong, and high-spirited. In some it arouses a wish to ride; in many others, on the contrary, it increases the desire to walk."

-- Massimo d'Azeglio
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Old 11-27-2003, 08:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
Location: NYC Metro Area
Zip Strip...a thick paste, brush it on with a paint brush nice and thick...let it sit for about 20-30 minutes and then scrape off scraper and brush...This stuff is a litttle caustic, do not get it on anything else, otherwise it will remove paint from walls or furnitue, or take the color right out of the carpet...Originally made to take layers of paint and varnish off of boats...I restore furniture and this stuff is the best.
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Old 11-28-2003, 04:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
clavus's Avatar
Location: NorCal
Protect the room with plastic.


End of story.
Ass, gas or grass. Nobody rides for free.
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Old 11-28-2003, 05:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
fhqwhgads's Avatar
Yeah, I'm gonna have to vote for the sandblasting method as well. It'll be the only way to get into the crannies...

Find out how much it'll take a professional to do it. If you're mechanically inclined, rent a blaster, lay down a ton of plastic, and have at it. Don't forget the respirator either....

Good luck..
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Old 11-29-2003, 07:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
Location: South East US
The sand blaster will remove the paint, but it also may remove the veneer on the front of the brick. This is no big deal on a fireplace, because it is not exposed to the weather, but on the outside this will cause the brick to absorb moisture like a sponge and lead to spaulting (sp?).
The paint removal pastes work the best, and forget the tooth brush, get a steel toothed one. Steel wool may help in places too.
You also may not care for the look of the brick after the paint is removed. Think about covering it with tile or marble.
'Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)
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Old 12-03-2003, 04:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
Super Agitator
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Location: Just SW of Nowhere!!! In the good old US of A
There is some orange stuff - I don't remember the name but you can get it at Walmart - It smells like orange peel and it really works! Just spread it on fairly thick and leave it alone for a while,
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Old 12-04-2003, 11:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
clavus's Avatar
Location: NorCal
Just one more thing about sandblasting bricks -

If you have really old, crappy mortor (the concrete-stuff between the bricks) you run the risk of blowing it away. This probably won't be an issue with the fireplace. But if you are thinking about doing this to an old brick building GET IT CHECKED OUT FIRST. You don't want to turn a wall into a pile of bricks.
Ass, gas or grass. Nobody rides for free.
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Old 12-05-2003, 12:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
I have delt with bricks like this before (inside trim around fireplace) Paint remover absorbed in and left a hue(?) Sand blasting left inconsistencies. I ended up painting one area all semi-gloss (including grout) white which turned out great and in another area ended up covering the area with mfrd flagstone filet.
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Middle of nowhere, Jersey
I have built nine and recovered three masonry fireplaces. Paint removal of any sort is really the worst solution to any need. At this point in your predicament, you can only add to the existing fascia, or completely remove it and start over. I would strongly recommend against anything that anyone offers which will remove paint from masonry. The mason work should either be spackled/plastered with a portland cement based material or wrapped in hardwood.

Re-pointing the joints after painting the bricks with a quality, color consistent, masonry sealant, would be the most cost effective asthetic answer. Bricks which needed painting in the past is another issue in itself, I think.


It's alot easier to ask for forgiveness then it is to ask for permission.
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Old 12-07-2003, 03:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
i doubt that paint will come off with any chemical

there isnt anything i could use to get off road marking (they tar over it) and im sure this is similair since its on brick
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Old 12-07-2003, 10:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
Location: Tampa
So does everyone agree at least, that it's tacky the way it is and should be painted over with plain white? There's a fine line between charming and trashy.....
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Old 12-07-2003, 03:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
Yeah it kinda looks tacky. Painting it all one color would look best or the ideas j8ear has.
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
jBear hit it right on the head. Some lumber yards sell "fake" brick used for accent wall covering. One plus is you have a choice of what kind/color of brick you want.
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Old 12-10-2003, 09:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
Location: Queens, NY
U can remove the bulk of the paint as suggested but the dimples U'll probably need GOOD work gloves a LOTS of steel wool. I suggest U get a friend or two to help.

To the True Warrior, Death is merely an Ally...
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