So before I started on my brick cleaning adventure (~800 sq. ft. of painted
brick), I did as much research as I could. Sandblasting was quickly ruled
out. I've seen the long-term damage it can cause with my own eyes.
Ultimately, I settled on using the masonry stripper/power washer
Had I known that there would be 60-80 years of paint underneath that shiny
top coat, I might have rethought the whole thing (okay, nahh I would have
done it anyway). Actually, the area that I originally used as a test was
only about 2 coats deep and it was the same color. The "Techinicolor
Nightmare" didn't make itself apparent until I was too far in to turn back.
Three 5Gal. buckets of Prosoco Heavy Duty Stripper and 1 5Gal. bucket of
Prosoco Fast-Acting Stripper (Methylene Chloride) later, I've gotten a lot
of paint off. Quite a lot, in fact (the better part of 6 different colors
in some areas - this is an old corner commercial building). Unfortunately,
not all a lot. The remaining patches of paint are *ON THERE*
. I've gotten a
bit more abrasive than I'd like to have with the pressure washer but still
the remaining paint persists. Multiple applications of methylene chloride
don't seem to phase it. There is too much left to manually scrape off. It's
so well bonded to the brick face that I'd likely do quite a bit of damage
with manual abrasion (scraper) anyway.
Suggestions? I'm open to just about anything at this point. I've even
considered calling it a loss and heading down to the local friendly
sandblaster rental shop. I hope it doesn't come to that but if that's what
I have to do....
P.S. Losing mortar is not an issue...the whole thing needs pointing anyway.