Question

Is there a green way to remove paint from bricks?

Asked by Alan mackey
Venice, FL

Live in Florida. The bricks where painted about 15 years ago. I would like to remove the paint and enjoy the look of brick

Answer

Alan,

You have be careful in removing paint from brick especially with high pressure power washers or abrasive sand or media blasters.

If there is any paint prior to 1974 on the home you will have to follow the EPA's Lead Safe guidelines to minimize Lead contamination to the soil around the home and or air quality inside of the home.

Also, power washing or media blasting brick has the potential to make the brick porous, allowing water to enter the surface of the brick as well as eroding the mortar which could also lead to water infiltration in the home.

There are two types of media for blasting which are considered more environmentally friendly.

  • The first is crushed walnut shells and the second is ice.
  • These require very little to no clean up after except for any paint particles. This can be done by just laying down tarps 10 feet out from the walls to catch the debris.

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.