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Paint removal from brick & Acid brick wash 

Before we could remove the paint from this brick house and acid clean a survey was arranged to test the best paint cleaning method. If you are considering cleaning paint from bricks and acid cleaning brickwork then please read this page:

Thick layers of red Epoxy Floor paint were used to coat this 1940s brick house by the previous owners, (not an easy material to remove).

Before brick cleaning work started

We arrived to carry out the patch paint removal cleaning survey. During the survey a small area of the paint to be cleaned off is selected. Various chemicals are applied and left to work on the paint. We test the softening action and the chemicals ability to dissolve and breakdown the paint layers. Once we have tested the various paint strippers on the wall we select the best type of chemical and the brick paint removal process that is to be used for the job. Good results are dependent on the thickness of the paint, the surface to which is it applied to and the type of paint used such.

Although epoxy paint was used to coat this house this is unusual, normal masonry paints we come across are acrylics, thick resin textured paints (some contain asbestos) old lead paint’s and lime wash etc.

One of the most difficult finishes to remove is old fashioned lime wash

The brick paint removal process and stages

Some jobs can require us to repeat the paint cleaning process up to four times. The cleaning process involves the following stages

Stage 1: Apply the chemical paint remover, Stage 2: Work and scrub the chemical into the surface. Stage 3: Leave for a while for the chemical paint stripper to soften and dissolve the paint. Stage 4: Scrape off the paint residue bag and dispose of the material Stage 5: Hot water jet the walls clean to remove any residue The test patch survey indicated that the brick work was in good condition and that the paint could be removed chemically. (sand-blasting would have damaged the brick making its restoration pointless)

The paint was then chemically removed over a ten-day period and the surface hot washed.

Brick Acid Cleaning

If required, we can acid wash the brick work clean to further enhance it after the paint removal stage Brick acid cleaner was used to clean the brick before it was re-pointed by injection pointing method. The brick acid cleaning stages sometimes have to be repeated twice and more on stone work. The cleaning stages for brick acid wash are:

Stage 1: Dampen surface with clean water. Stage 2: Apply brick acid wash (the acid can be Hydrofluoric or Hydrochloric based of various strengths) Stage 3: Brush the acid into the stone or brick surface to help breakdown the deeply ingrained soot and grime picked up from the industrial coal days Stage 4: Hot water jet the walls clean

Brick Pointing

When pointing brick work the mortar beds should be carefully cut back using a raking tool to at least 15mm deep. The beds should be brushed clean Injection pointing involves the use of a pointing gun, using special pre-mixed grouts available in lime or cement material   the pointing material is “gunned” into the brick joints and finished in a bucket handle profile (inner bevel) Brick Pointing can also be finished in a weather struck profile. After the pointing double boiled linseed oil can be lightly applied onto the brick work this helps protect the brick from water ingress and enhances the looks with an attractive lustre. Please note we mask windows glass etc. during all the cleaning stages