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My house is Georgian brick (about 1780). A garage was added and the part of the wall attached to the garage was painted white. I want to remove the paint and expose the brickwork. The garage is going to be converted into a conservatory.

The garage is totally empty so I was going to sandblast the wall, but is this the best option?

Speaking to a friend there seems to be variations on sandblasting, such as soda-blasting. What is the most effective method for totally removing paint and that will cause least damage to the brickwork?

The wall is about 4 metres by 3 metres.

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Sand blasting is generally too aggressive for brick, especially old brick. It would remove the paint, but it will also begin to remove the outer surface of the brick, which basically ruins the look of old brick.

There is a relatively new process called dry ice blasting. Instead of using sand, it uses frozen carbon dioxide (CO2), a.k.a. dry ice. The dry ice sublimates into the atmosphere on contact, and does not leave any additional residue to clean up besides what you are removing. It has a wide array of uses, and is used on brick quite a bit.

Below is a few before and after pictures showing that it is effective without damaging the underlying brick surface.

Before and After Before and After Before and After

  • wow this looks like a much larger gun than I have Mine is for smoke dammage – Ed Beal Feb 23 '16 at 23:58
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Soda blasting usually will not take off paint, does very little damage to sheetrock. Sand blasting would work better with fine sand to cet into the smaller holes. Dont use the larger stuff that looks more like rock chips. The larger size rock will do more damage. Any time with open sandblasting you should wear a dust mask. With old paint especially prior to 1980 make sure to wear a respirator as there will probably be lead in the paint.

  • Good point about the lead, is there an easy way I can check if paint does have lead, is soda blasting same thing as dry ice blasting or different ? – Paul Taylor Feb 23 '16 at 23:48
  • Home depot caries a lead test kit this way you will know. Dry Ice blasting actually uses a special gun and liquid CO2 it takes Smoke light oil off well but my unit won’t really take paint off. The nice thing about Dry ice blasting there is no additional residue except what is removed. Look at @jason Hutchinson example Just saw it it will probably require very large duer of CO2 – Ed Beal Feb 23 '16 at 23:55
  • Im stil unclear is Dry Ice blasdting the same thing as Soda Blasting, Im English dont relaly know what you mean my 'Soda' – Paul Taylor Feb 24 '16 at 8:50
  • Soda blasting uses baking soda and compressed air and in some cases water. I have seen it used to clean smoke damaged interior walls but it left a mess. The Dry Ice method uses a special gun that takes liquid CO2 and allows it to expand and freeze as the crystals come in contact they vaporize and float the smoke residue off. I have even cleaned windows without damaging the glass but my gun is much smaller than the one in the photos @JasonHutchinson showed. – Ed Beal Feb 24 '16 at 13:58

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