Stubborn paint


Progress is slow but steady, with a good portion of the paint on the garden level gone. For most part, it’s a pretty straight forward process: apply the goop, cover with paper, wait, scrape, wash. Repeat if necessary. But since this is a learn-by-doing type of project, I found out that removing paint from where the stone has been patched is  nearly impossible. It takes a combination of Peel Away 1 and Peel Away 7, and still the results are ‘meh’ at best. You can see splotches of stubborn pink on the far right of the wall on the top of the stoop, and also under one of the parlor windows. It simply does not want to go away. I’ve experimented with dwell times and it seems that a minimum of 24 hours is necessary. In some cases, 48 is actually better. Rain doesn’t seem to be a problem, so long as the area is covered with the paper stuff.  Just to be safe, I tape up the edges with painter’s tape.

The exposed stone in the photo has not been washed with the citric acid neutralizer yet, so you can still see the white-ish film of alkalinity in some spots. I figured once the garden level wall is finished, I’ll neutralize all at once, since until then it gets constantly splashed and gunked up.

It’s been fairly tedious do get this far, yet it’s also quite satisfying to pull huge chunks of paint off.  The fact that the neighbors constantly remark on my stubbornness to take on this project also means I need to see it through – at least up to where I can safely reach. I am hoping that by Sunday the lower portion of the wall (from the parlor windows on down) will be finished. Fingers crossed!

4 thoughts on “Stubborn paint

  1. I saw what you are doing to your brownstone. I love, love, love it. I just took on a similar project. I actually hired someone to remove the paint from my brownstone facade. I just did a full gut demolition and that was exhausting, so i hired someone to do the paint removal. I was devastated when I saw the finished product. My home looks horrific. I have been so down about my decision to let them power wash it. I started doing a little research and found your photos. If you can offer any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. I am going to purchase peel away 1 and apply it tomorrow. Can I ask, how many applications did you have to complete before getting the results displayed in the photo? I can use any advice you can offer. I, too am located in Brooklyn.

    • It depends on the type of paint that has been used and the condition of the stone underneath. Our home has a hodge podge of different types of paint, and for most part 1 application will remove most of it. You may have to spot treat couple of areas more than once, or use a different type of stripper (I use PeelAway7 or GreenStrip as my backups). They key is figuring out what the dwell time needs to be. I found that 48 hours works great for some of the tougher spots. Just make sure the stuff doesn’t dry. It will get a bit hard, like stiff frosting, and that’s OK. The chemicals will turn the paint into paste. Scrape off what you can, then take a brush and a little bit of water and scrub. This will lift the rest of the paint, then you wash it off. Because I won’t want the runoff of icky paint all over our front yard, I do it the hard way with a brush and bucket. But some people just hose it off. If the stone is very damaged under the paint, it will be much harder to get the paint off (weird, I know). Also, if it has been patched up over the years, you will need to repeat the process over and over in those areas. Anyway, it’s basically a lot of trial and error. I’ve been more or less discovering this as I go. I don’t know much, but happy to share what I discovered. If you have any specific questions, you can PM me at pink brownstone (at) gmail
      Good luck with your project!

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