Paint removal from exterior house bricks

Have the British elements impeded on the paint on your house?

Or do you just not like the look of your walls being coated?

Do you want to remove the coating?

Then look no further.

This post gives you all the information you need in order to make the right choices when you want to remove paint from your exterior brickwork.

So let’s get started.

If you’ve done your research and simply want to discuss your project with one of our professionals, you can get in touch here


Testing the brick prior to full removal

Before you do anything, think about the chances of damaging your under-surface.

Some of the questions you could ask yourself are:

  • What type of masonry is underneath?
  • How fragile is it?
  • How old is the building?


We talk briefly about patch testing on our building restoration page.

Understanding what type of stone you are working with is key to being able to achieve an outstanding finish.

The best way to ensure the finish you want is to do a patch test on a small, specific part of the wall within the area you plan to restore.

Tip: choose a section that’s hidden away, so if there is any damage once the test has been carried out, then it won’t be visible if, or when, it needs repairing.

Below we explain the challenges of doing it yourself, but first here’s a couple of examples from our SBL portfolio.


Removing Paint using Abrasive Blasting

We’ve been keeping ourselves busy completing a number of smaller jobs for customers this month.  On this occasion, we were asked to remove paint from old bricks so that the owner could re-use them when building his new porch and bay window.

Before the cleaning when we arrived:

Painted bricks to be blasted

After the paint was removed and once the front bricks were cleaned:

Paint removed and bricks cleaned


The challenges of removing the Paint yourself – DIY Style

If you want to do it yourself, you need to be very determined and give yourself quite a few hours in order to get the job done properly.

You can remove paint yourself without damaging the bricks underneath but you need to be very careful.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using a chemical paint stripper – the most common form of DIY.


The pros and cons using a chemical paint stripper

While we would always recommend a professional to do the job, it’s no secret that there are chemical strippers available.

However, these do come at a cost in terms of labour hours among other things.


  • It can be cheaper than hiring a professional – (depending on how you value your time)
  • It works well on smaller areas of concrete or bricks e.g. less than one square meter.



  • You often need to take it section at a time – One square meter by one square meter.
  • Some chemicals require you to wait 48 hours for the reaction to take effect
  • High-up bricks that are painted will be more challenging to reach
  • You still need to use a wire brush or abrasive tool to remove the paint after the chemical reaction has taken place – this causes the possibility of damaging the brick underneath
  • Chemical solutions can change the colour of older bricks


Also, you often need to repeat the steps several times. So be sure to stay determined if you do decide to go for a DIY approach.



Can you restore brickwork on a listed building?

It is most certainly possible to restore a listed building back to it’s former glory.

But you will need to check with the local council as to whether planning permission is needed before undertaking your project.


Just why are bricks painted in the first place

To be honest, there’s no simple answer to this.

There are lots of reasons why people might paint the external brickwork on their house. One of those reasons could simply be to give it a spruce up in Spring or Summer.

There was a time in the UK when the colour red was common on terraced houses. White is also a popular colour to use.

Some say once you’ve added the first coat, you can’t get the standard of finish they were before. On the other hand, we have seen and achieved some amazing results by removing the paint with our professional equipment.



Frequent Questions Asked

There are several other methods for removing paint from exterior brick. They all have their pros and cons but also require a determination and lots of labour.


  • Using sandpaper
  • Scrubbing
  • Using a wire brush