Removing paint from fireplace bricks

November 20th 2000

Question from: Barb
N. Vancouver, BC

Dear Shell,

In the house we are now living in, the previous owners painted the fireplace bricks in the living room pink (!) and also replaced the mantel with one of the same shade of pink. The bricks under the paint are in good shape and we would like to know if there is a way to strip off the pink paint to expose the natural brick. We would also like to change the mantel. Please keep in mind that we have a toddler, so the substances in the stripper are a factor.

Thanks, Barb

Dear Barb,

Brick is made of a very porous substance (clay), which will allow solvents or paint strippers to permeate into the pores carrying paint deep into the clay permanently discolouring the brick. The best approach would be to use a sand blaster available at most rental outlets. Prepare the area around the fireplace by draping poly from the ceiling in order to keep all the residual dust inside.

Itís Just That Easy.

Shell Busey