Mar 18, 2013

Removing Paint From Brick - UGH

So... we're getting settled, but unpacking is such a slow process.  Sometimes it can be frustrating, trying to plan out storage, closets, and kitchen cabinets.

As you can imagine, moving into a new house, usually, you want to put your mark on it somewhere.  Well, we did the usual, painted a few rooms to fit our aesthetic and removed the ugly carpet that was obscuring some really beautiful wood floors.  But, by far, our biggest endeavor so far was to remove paint from a brick wall in our family room.

I absolutely understand why people paint over brick, but why would you paint it peach?  Of all the colors you could go with, you choose fleshy, yellow-ee peach....I hated it.  The color doesn't fit the dark gray, 13" tiles with wide grout lines or the weird, tropical ceiling fan.

IT HAD TO GO, and here's how we did it.

  1. Researched the internet as if it were my second job.....
  2. Found this stuff......(Here is the link to the manufacturer site); Soy-Gel
    1. Relatively non-toxic
    2. Almost no smell to speak of (until it started to melt the paint, then a paint smell)
    3. Doesn't burn your skin 
  3. Applied to the walls using a paint brush, but you have to put it on very thick
  4. Covered the entire wall in plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 8-10 hours
  5. Peeled back the plastic wrap in sections, starting at the bottom and began "scraping"
    1. Using a plastic sponge - like this
    2. Then using a wire brush - like this
    3. You need a lot of water, make sure to change it out often and use it generously
    4. This step took us a few days and you can just keep the plastic wrap covering the wall
  6. Allowed the wall to dry (8-10 hours)

Now take a scrub brush and brush down the walls.  This helped to remove the dried up Soy-Gel.  Now you must sweep/vacuum before the last step.

Lastly, take some more of those plastic sponges and clean the remaining paint and soy gel off the walls.  I also used a smaller wire brush to get in between the bricks.  

Make sure to use a lot of water...makes a huge mess, but in the end it's worth it because you're left with this:


  1. Wow, I didn't even know you could do that. Looks like you did a good job!

    S x

    1. Thanks...a lot of effort involved, but it was worth it.