How to Remove Paint From a Fireplace

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Stripping paint from a fireplace restores the rustic appeal.
Stripping paint from a fireplace restores the rustic appeal. (Image: finnish fireplace image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

You can completely remove paint from a fireplace and return it to its original appearance. Natural stone and brick fireplaces can be damaged by some paint stripping tools and chemicals. Paint over spray and layers of paint that were purposely applied can be stripped away from the inner and outer surfaces of a fireplace. Make the fireplace the centerpiece to the room again by removing all the old paint to give it a clean natural look.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's plastic film
  • Masking tape
  • Chemical-resistant gloves and goggles
  • Paint removing paste
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Laminated breathable paper sheets
  • Spray bottle
  • Nylon bristle brush
  • Paint remover neutralizer spray

Cover all the surrounding areas on the wall and floor for at least two feet in every direction using painter's plastic film and masking tape. Open the fireplace flue as well as the windows and doors in the room to generate airflow and ventilation. Cover hands and eyes with chemical-resistant gloves and goggles.

Smear a quarter-sized dab of the paint removing paste on an inconspicuous paint-covered section of the fireplace and allow it to set according to the manufacturer's directions for the specific product you are using. Some strippers work in less than an hour, some do better after a couple hours of dwell time.

Peel the paste and paint from the test section using the plastic putty knife to determine the effectiveness of the paint remover. Return the paint remover for a different kind if the paint was not stripped away or damage was caused to the surface of the fireplace.

Apply the paint removing paste to all the paint covered areas of the fireplace in an even 1/8-inch thick coat. Press sheets of breathable laminated paint stripping paper onto the moist paste until all the air bubbles are pressed out and allow the remover to rest according to the manufacturer's instructions on the paint removal product.

Slide the putty knife between the paint remover paste and the surface of the fireplace as you gently pry away all the paper sheets.

Clean any residual remover paste from the surface of the fireplace with a spray bottle of water and a nylon bristle brush. Work the bristles into the grooves of the fireplace to get ever last bit of dissolved paint.

Spay a light even coat of paint remover neutralizer over all the treated surfaces on the fireplace and allow them to air dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint stripping should always be done at temperatures above 60 degrees F and below 85 degrees F for best results.
  • Read all the warnings on the label before using paint stripping chemicals. Contact poison control immediately if any of the paste gets into mouths or eyes.

References

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