Remove That Ugly Paint From Your Home's Fireplace In 7 Simple Steps

Construction & Contractors Blog

If a previous owner of your home decided it was a good idea to paint over all of the beautiful natural brick of your fireplace, the good news is that the brick can be restored to its original glory.

Materials You Need for This Project

  • paint stripping compound
  • trowel
  • drop cloth
  • old newspapers
  • wire brush
  • stiff brush
  • mild dish detergent
  • bucket

Note: You should wear protective goggles and gloves when working with chemical paint removers. Additionally, you should cover the area around your fireplace with a drop cloth.

Follow these steps to remove all of the paint from the fireplace and surrounding hearth:

Step 1: Apply a Paint Stripping Compound 

Paint strippers that are designed for use on brick are very thick compounds. The thickness allows them to adhere to the paint while they chemically remove it.

You should spread the paint striping compound on the bricks using a trowel. The compound should be spread in a layer that is 1/4 inch thick. Make sure that you have every single area covered so that you will not have any areas where paint remains. 

Step 2: Apply the Backing Strips

Your paint stripping compound will come with fabric or paper strips that you need to use to pull the paint remover from the brick. Once you have applied all of the paint remover, then apply the strips.

Step 3: Cure the Paint Remove Overnight

It will take time for the paint removing compound to strip-off all of the unwanted paint. You should let the area sit overnight and return to this project the following afternoon. This will give the product time to work, and it will save you a lot of time and frustration in the next couple of steps!

Step 4: Remove the Paint Stripper

Grab each of the strips of fabric attached to the paint stripper, and pull them off of the fireplace. The old paint will come off with the fabric strips.

Step 5: Wash the Brick

Using a mixture of a bucket of warm water and 2 tablespoons of a mild dishwashing detergent, scrub down your fireplace with a stiff brush. This will help to remove any paint that was left behind by the stripping product.

Step 6: Vacuum Bricks and Mortar

When you are finished cleaning off all of the residual paint, then you should carefully vacuum your entire fireplace and hearth. Use the hose attachment and make sure you run the vacuum over all of the grout areas, as well as the faces of the bricks.

Step 7: Patch Missing or Damaged Mortar

If your newly uncovered fireplace brick is missing some grout, then you will need to patch it with either grout or a grout caulking product. 

Final Thoughts

If you are unable to complete this masonry restoration process yourself, then you should contact a local stone mason who can come to your house and easily perform this repair for you.

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19 March 2015

Construction Needs in Times of Disaster

I live in the middle of the desert, so I never thought that flooding would be a problem. However, a few months ago my town was hit with a huge storm. These freak storms are called "Hundred Year Storm" because the chances of them happening are once in a hundred years. Needless to say, no one was prepared for the aftermath--especially not the city sewage system. All this extra water had no where to go, and suddenly, I found my basement flooded. It wasn't a fun experience, but we dealt with it the best we could. Since then, I have spent a lot of time looking into different options for sewage, water lines, and other related things. We're now even looking into building a new house. This blog is the result of my ongoing research.