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topic 10696

Removing paint from brick


I just purchased a home that within the last three years had a coat of latex paint applied to the brick of an interior fireplace. Needless to say, sandblasting is not an option. I have tried a product called Peel Away [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] on a small area but it is not coming off very easily. A painter has since recommended Muriatic Acid [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. Outside of the hazardous elements involved, will this product work more effectively on this project?

Peggy Brewer
- Westerville, Ohio

The Forgotten Art of
Building a Good Fireplace
from Abe Books



I would like to know how this question is answered about removal of paint from a brick fireplace.


Gloria Ward
- La Habra, California


I am interested to knowing the answer of how to remove paint from an interior brick fireplace.

Chuck Felmlee
- Lynchburg, Virginia


I can't compare the effectiveness of the Peel Away [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] to other paint strippers, but can say that while muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) is appropriate for removing efflorescence and mortar stains, I think it is inappropriate for stripping organic materials like paint. And besides being dangerous and toxic, the fumes will rust everything metallic in the area (including stainless appliances) unless you are able to achieve extraordinary ventilation.

Please see letter 15743 for some additional ideas about removing paint from brick. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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