Painted 1830's bricks

Fri, April 25, 2014 3:25 PM | Anonymous
We are restoring an 1830's Greek Revival brick home painted white.  The brick appears to have been painted twice but unfortunately the outer or more recent paint has not adhered well to the initial coat.  We want to repaint the brick but first we need to remove the poorly adhered paint payers. 
       We do not want to sand blast for fear of damaging the soft brick.  We do not want to chemically strip because a nearly neighbor tried stripping their home. The residual stripper absorbed by the brick interfered with the new paint adhesion.  Pressure washing blows out the old soft mortar.
    We have resorted to sanding off the paint with a Norton 24 grit fiber disc mounted on a 4 1/2" angle grinder.  It works pretty well but is awful labor intensive. 
    Anyone have an easier technique? 


  • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:31 AM | Robert
    Susan, The sanding technique is likely to put a lot of dust in the air that contains lead. You might want to consider this issue and the long term impact on you and the soil around your house. If you are going to repaint then using a scraper and a power washer should be sufficient. I would recommend a hot water power washer with low pressure. There is going to be some minor damage to the bricks or the mortar with almost any technique if you are trying to get down to bare brick. But if you are repainting then you just need a sound clean surface. Almost any method is labor intensive but this one seems to me to be the least. There are also some high tech blasting systems such as the Farrow System which use wet blasting to remove coatings. These tools can be dialed to control the destruction but depending on the brick there may be some surface damage and containment can be an issue depending on the location of the house. Lime washes, potassium silicate paints or some sort of breathable masonry coating are your best bet for a paint that will not fail or cause water problems on the interior. Hope that helps... Rob. Preservation Works Ltd.
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