Removing Paint From Exterior Brick

A portion of the front of our house is brick that was painted white before we bought the house. What is the best way to get back to the natural brick? Sandblasting? Chemicals?
Will sandblasting or chemicals damage the mortar?
I'd like to hear from anyone who successfully got back the natural brick look.
Thanks, Art Harris
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tough either way, but is it red brick or concrete block ?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

There is no easy way. The condition and type of brick and mortar as well as the type(s) and thickness of the paint(s) as well as the location are all considerations. When I faced this question I did some testing and ended up using a chemical removal (made my own cheap from lye and corn starch) and then sand blasted. It was not a fun job on that 2 story home, but it sure was nice when done. I was able to use a low pressure sand blaster which took a lot of time, but did far less damage.
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Joseph Meehan

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On 8 Jul 2006 10:49:10 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Can you start with power washer and go from there, first?
Oren
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Paint it a brick color. That's the easiest way.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Sandblasting will remove the outer finish. I'd try a spot first to see how well it works as the blasting may leave it in worse shape.
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wrote:

softer than the (hopefully fired) surface of the brick. If they painted soft used brick with an already weathered and porous surface, you are likely SOL, since the paint will have soaked into the brick. Even with hard-surface brick, tuckpointing is usually needed, to get the mortar joints looking pristine.
Nobody else mentioned it, so I will- is this real structural brick (like a 3-layer wall, or a fireplace stack), or just some dabs of brick used as trim, over a framed wall? If the latter, I would also cost out simply replacing the brick. You can do the demo yourself easily, and if you present the mason with a clean brick ledge, trimmed bushes, and in general a clear shot at the wall, it may be cheaper than you think. Most masons won't charge for a quick estimate, if the job is a simple one. You can bury the old brick in the back yard, or sneak it into the trash a few bricks at a time, if you don't want to pay for a dumpster. If you do the demo carefully, and the brick is good quality, you may even be able to reuse some of the brick by putting the painted surface to the inside. (Assuming you can find a close-enough match on the new brick to intermix it with the old without it looking funny.)
aem sends...
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How much time do you have???? I am in a 1900 painted brick house and I consulted the historical society about removing the paint who sent me to a historical restorer. I asked him to come over and give me a quote. Before he did he told me that most brick is very porous and you even have to be careful powerwashing it. He said sandblasting destroys the finish and the safest way is chemical removal. He never showed up to give me the quote so I wonder if he drove by and decided a two story with 5 coats of paint was too much. So I bought some paint stripper and some gell paint remover and tried it in a few spots. The gell worked the best but it took forever THEN when refinancing they insisted I paint the house because the flaking paint might be lead, and a kid might eat it? No kids in my yard but whatever. SO I painted it with a diluted interior flat paint so it would be easier to get off. The sun baked it on the south facing wall and 2 years later all layers started peeling off especially everywhere the garden sprinkler had been hitting it or the drain water had leaked. So I think the water penetrates the brick and the sun caused heating and cooling effect and it falls off. I have now begun scraping it off with a simple scaper and a wire brush. I will try the power washer on low and then chemicals for the rest. for the front where it seems easier and for the back and sides.....last month I was in Ireland and twice I drove past a pub that the brick looked great but it was triggering my "something" doesn't seem right button so I stopped. They had individually painted each brick and used very very slightly different colours about 4 to choose from in all. It was the most natural brick coloured paint job I had ever seen. It was the grout that was triggering my "something" isn't right it varied too and I think if they'd used all the same color grout "paint" it would have looked better. Maybe you can hire some art students from the local university?
ameijers wrote:

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