How to Remove Paint From a Brick Fireplace?

Paint is a great way to brighten up a fireplace, but it can also make a brick surface look less than clean. If the paint on your brick fireplace is fading, chipping, or flaking, it may be time to remove it to keep your fireplace looking its best. 

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If you’re thinking of painting your fireplace, it’s important to know how to remove paint from a brick surface so you can get the job done safely and efficiently. The process is labor-intensive and requires some harsh chemicals, but it’s doable with a little time and effort. 

Step One: Assess Your Fireplace

Before you start removing paint from your brick fireplace, you’ll need to assess the condition of the brickwork and the amount of paint used. This will help you decide how to proceed with the project. If the brickwork is in good condition, you can proceed with the next steps. 

Cleaning Your Brick Before You Begin The Removing Process 

If your brick fireplace is covered in heavy deposits of soot, you may need to clean the area before attempting to strip away the paint. This can be done with a brush, sponge, or wet-dry vacuum cleaner. It’s best to do this on a dry day, as it can be difficult to work with wet paint. 

You can also use a chemical stripping agent to remove the paint, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP). The TSP solution will dissolve the layers of paint and allow you to scrub the bricks clean. 

Step Two: Test Your Brick for Lead

To test your brick for lead, apply a small amount of the stripper to a hidden area and wait for about 10 minutes. If the paint is removed at this time, you’re safe to move on to the rest of your fireplace. 

Step Three: Prepare Your Workspace 

To prep your workspace for a paint stripping project, you’ll need a clean bucket, a stiff brush, and a long stir stick. You’ll also need rubber gloves, protective goggles, and a mask. 

Wearing this protective gear, mix up the stripping agent according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may include a mixture of water, TSP, and some sort of solvent, such as petroleum distillate or acetone. You’ll need to use a large amount of the product, so it’s recommended to purchase more than you’ll need for your fireplace. 

Step Four: Use the Paint Scraper to Remove the Paint

After applying the paint stripper, use a paint scraper to remove all the loose and peeling paint from the bricks. Repeat this step until you’ve removed most of the paint from your brick fireplace. 

Step Five: Scrub with the TSP Solution

Once you’ve removed most of the paint from the surface, it’s time to use a TSP solution to remove any remaining paint. To create a TSP solution, combine a half-cup of TSP with a gallon of warm water in a clean bucket. Once mixed, use a stiff brush to apply the solution to all areas of the brick you want to remove the paint from. Let the solution sit for about 10 minutes before scrubbing again with the same stiff brush.