Exterior Brick Chimmney

My house has a solid 100 year old exterior red brick chimmney. It's just been repointed with some minor brick replacement. Over the years, and many paint (splatter from the paint jobs) and tar from reroofing jobs it's looking pretty bad. What are the options in sprucing it it. I thought about painting it as a last resort - any other otions on getting the gunk off the brick?
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difficult due to porosity of brick. I strongly recommend you *not* paint over the brick - it converts a perfectly good low maintenance surface, to another regular repainting chore. Re the paint and tar, you might get a chip of the brick, take it to a paint store to have it computer matched and matching ext. paint mixed in a small quantity, then use a small brush to cover on a purely touchup basis, just where the spills are.
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Roger Taylor wrote:

that, my friend is exactly what i'll do. ty
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