How to Remove Plaster From Brick Walls

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Brick walls are sometimes covered with plaster, for sealing and aesthetic purposes. Structural damage to the bricks may require the plaster to be removed. Removing plaster from a brick wall allows the bricks to be exposed and repaired, if necessary. Over time, moisture can reside between the bricks and plaster, causing the plaster to eventually crack. Whatever the reason for removing the plaster, certain substances can successfully remove plaster from a brick wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Acid-resistant gloves
  • Rubber boots
  • Vinyl-coated coveralls
  • Respirator equipped with acid-grade filter
  • Garden hose
  • Fan
  • 5-gallon plastic bucket
  • 3 gallons of water
  • 1 qt. muriatic acid
  • Stiff brush
  • Put on acid-resistant gloves, rubber boots, vinyl-coated coveralls and a respirator equipped with an acid-grade filter. This gear will protect you from the muriatic acid and should be worn when using the acid.

  • Use a garden hose to spray water onto any nearby foliage, since muriatic acid is harmful to plants. Place a fan near the area where you will be working to allow proper ventilation.

  • Fill a 5-gallon plastic bucket with 3 gallons of water. Carefully pour 1 qt. of muriatic acid into the bucket.

  • Dip a stiff brush into the solution. Scrub the brick wall vigorously with the solution until the plaster is completely removed.

  • Spray the brick wall with water from the garden hose to thoroughly rinse off the muriatic acid. Do not leave even a trace of muriatic acid on the brick wall.

  • Contact your local hazardous materials authority to determine proper disposal of the muriatic acid. Dispose of the muriatic acid solution according to your local authority's recommendations.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use muriatic acid indoors, as the corrosive vapors may cause chemical reactions in metal objects.
  • Never add water to muriatic acid. An exothermic reaction will occur, which can cause the acid to splash onto you.
  • Do not mix muriatic acid with any other chemical, to prevent acid from spewing everywhere.

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References

  • Photo Credit red brick and yellow plaster image by Michael Avdeenko from Fotolia.com
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