A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Exterior Window Prep

paint on exterior brick To prepare for my exterior storm window paint job (which seems like a perfect Labor Day weekend project!), I not only need to wash the windows and aluminum trim but also remove some blobs of white paint that were carelessly slopped onto the brick, apparently before the aluminum trim was installed. (I shudder to think about what the brick looks like underneath that trim!)

The Historic Chicago Bungalow Association used to have several Bungalow Briefs which were guidelines on various subjects like Masonry Repair and Paint Removal. I can’t find them on their site anymore but luckily I downloaded the pdfs and saved them for future reference.

To remove paint from brick or masonry, if you decide to use chemical strippers, which I am, they recommend that you do not use ones that contain methylene chloride (which I would avoid at all costs anyway). I’m using Back to Nature Ready-Strip Plus by Sunnyside Corp. which is water soluble and has a thick consistency that doesn’t drip much. You can let it sit as is for several hours, or place a strip of cloth over it to keep it moist longer. The paint and stripper should cling to the cloth when the stripper has done its job. This particular stripper is supposed to turn off-white or pale green when it’s ready.

I tried it with and without fabric on a test area, but because of the heavy brick texture I still had to wash and scrub it with a brush so it didn’t seem to make a difference to use the cloth. At least it’ll save me a step this way.

Since the front of the house faces west I’m planning to paint on the stripper in the morning and scrub it off around lunchtime before the sun hits it. I’m hoping to get it done before the weekend so that I just have to clean the windows before I get to work painting. So excited!

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