How To Remove Whitewash from Brick Or Stone

Your building is an investment, and you need to treat it as such. Regardless of whether you have a residential or commercial property, you might be thinking about whitewashing brick or stone. Brick and stone are very popular because they are durable, insulate well, and hold a tremendous amount of value.

You might even want to customize your brick or stone to meet your needs by whitewashing it. What are some of the reasons why you might want to whitewash brick or stone, and how do you remove whitewashing down the road? If you would like to remove whitewashing from your brick or stone, there are a few steps you need to follow.

Why Do You Want To Whitewash Your Brick or Stone?

A whitewashed red brick wall
A whitewashed red brick wall

There are a lot of reasons why property owners may want to whitewash their brick or stone. Your exterior stone already looks beautiful, but you may want to enhance its appearance through whitewashing. You can also add an extra layer of protection to your property if you decide to whitewash your brick or stone. Some of the biggest reasons why people decide to whitewash brick and stone include:

You Can Improve Its Overall Appearance

This is a matter of personal preference, but if you decide to whitewash your brick or stone, you could improve its overall appearance. A lot of people like to whitewash brick and stone because it creates a more uniform appearance on the outside.

You might like to have a bunch of bricks and stones that are slightly different colors, but this is not for everyone. If you want to create a more uniform appearance, you may want to whitewash your brick or stone. If you like the color of whitewashed stone, then this is for you.

You Could Drive Up the Value of Your Property

You might also want to whitewash your brick and stone because it can increase the value of your property. The value of your property is dictated by how much somebody else is willing to pay for it. Right now, a lot of people like houses that have a completely white appearance.

If you want to create more demand for your house, you may want to whitewash your brick or stone as well. That way, when you go to put your house on the market, you might be able to get multiple offers on the table, increasing the amount of money you can get for your home.

You Add an Extra Layer of Protection

You may not realize that whitewashing your home can also apply an extra layer of protection to your building. Do you want to keep your property safe during bad weather? Even though brick and stone hold up against this type of inclement weather, it is not Invincible.

When it starts to rain, moisture can get in between the bricks and stones, leading to significant damage. If the moisture freezes during cold weather, it can fracture the outside of your home. Then, insects can get inside these cracks, further damaging your property.

One of the ways you can prevent this from happening is to whitewash your brick and stone. You can create an extra layer of protection against pests, harsh elements, and other stresses. That way, you can prevent moisture from getting inside the cracks, protecting your home from harm.

You Can Create a Rustic Appearance

A whitewashed brick wall
A whitewashed brick wall

It is true that trends come and go, but right now, there are a lot of people who are looking for a house with a rustic appearance. This is another mood that whitewashing can create for you. When people see a house that has been whitewashed, they usually think about quiet farms. Therefore, whitewashing can give your house a rustic appearance.

Even though paint will eventually fade away, whitewashing will not do the same. This is one of the best ways you can create a rustic appearance on the outside of your home. This could help your property sell faster when you put it on the market.

These are a few of the biggest benefits of whitewashing your brick or stone. On the other hand, there might be situations where you want to remove whitewashing. If that is the case, what do you need to do?

How Do You Remove Whitewashing from Brick and Stone?

If you have already tried to remove whitewash from your building, you probably understand that this can be a time-consuming and painstaking process. Depending on how large your building is, it could take several days to finish the job. Even though it can be frustrating, you can streamline the process if you have a strategy in place.

If you want to save money by removing whitewash from yourself, you need to purchase the right products. Then, take a look at the steps below to put yourself in the best position possible to be successful.

The Materials Required for Whitewash Removal

Before you get started, you need to make sure you have the right materials. The materials you should gather for whitewash removal include:

  • A whitewash stripper, which usually has trisodium phosphate in it
  • A pair of work gloves
  • A good mask
  • Some painter’s tape
  • A strong brush
  • Some cloths to put underneath the work zone
  • Some gloves
  • Eye protection or some sort
  • A trowel

Once you have all the necessary materials, it is time to get started on the removal process.

The Steps Involved

Once you are ready to get started, there are several steps you need to follow. These include:

  • Before you start generously applying your whitewash removal solution to your brick or stone, you need to make sure that it works appropriately. For example, you may notice that the solution you have doesn’t work on your specific type of whitewash. Or, you may notice that the stones underneath the whitewash are not in good condition anymore.

    Therefore, you may need to take a different path. You need to uncover this before you start applying the solution to the entirety of your building. As a result, start the process by testing your whitewash removal on a relatively inconspicuous part of the building. That way, if you change your mind based on what you see, you won’t have a large part of your house that looks different from the rest of it.
  • If you are certain you want to continue with the process, take your cloths and lay them on the ground all around your building. You don’t want to damage the environment, and you don’t want to have a bunch of whitewash flakes scattered all over your property. You might also want to take your sheets or cloths to the edge of the building.

    That way, they don’t get blown away by the wind. You may also want to avoid getting your stripping solution on the wood trim of your building. This is where the painter’s tape might come in handy.
  • After you have protected the ground and the rest of the building, you need to make sure you protect yourself as well. When you work with these types of solutions, you need to wear gloves. You want to protect your fingers, hands, and arms from any dangerous chemicals you might be using. You also need to protect your eyes from the flakes that will fly from the building.

    Make sure you wear goggles. You may want to wear a gown on top of your regular clothes as well. That way, you do not ruin them. You should also wear a sturdy mask that will prevent you from inhaling any of these chemicals. You must protect your health and safety before you move forward with the job.
  • Now, it is time to start applying the compound to the exterior of the building. You may have a specialized tool provided by the company that made the stripping solution, but if not, a good trowel should do. Make sure you are thorough as you apply the solution to the whitewashed brick.

    You need to make sure you get the compound into the little crevices in between the mortar and brick as well. You should take a look at the canister to see how thick the stripping solution needs to be. Make sure you apply multiple layers to meet the recommendation.
  • Depending on the type of compound you have, you might need to apply some peeling strips as well. Make sure these are put in place firmly. You should also make sure to overlap the strips so that you cannot see any of the brick underneath. After the strips have been applied to the exterior of the building, allow them to sit for a little while.

    Sometimes, it might take up to 24 hours for the whitewash removing solution to cure completely. You need to be patient. If you remove the strips too early, the job may not be completed.
  • Finally, after enough time has elapsed, you can return to the outside of your building and start to remove the strips. You may need to use the trowel to get underneath some of the strips if they have attached firmly. You need to remove the trip slowly and deliberately. You don’t want to rip them off like a Band-Aid.

    Otherwise, you may leave the whitewash solution behind. If you do not get everything off with the straps, that is okay. You can use the trowel to help you. You may also want to use a sturdy brush to remove anything that might be left behind.

Clearly, this is a labor-intensive process. If you want to remove whitewash from the entirety of your building, it might take several days. You need to be patient during the process.

Alternatively, some companies offer this service and claim to use ‘special’ devices to do so – like in the video below. Of course, this can come at an extra cost compared to just ‘doing it yourself’.

What if You Cannot Remove Whitewashing from Brick or Stone?

Hermadix Q4 white wash screening agent
Hermadix Q4 white wash screening agent

If you do not want to go through the process of removing whitewash from your brick or stone, there are other options available. For example, you may want to simply paint over the whitewash instead of removing it. Just because whitewash is in place doesn’t mean you have to leave it as is. You can paint over it with a different color if you prefer.

Or, if you only have whitewash on a few segments of the exterior of your building, you may want to remove the brick or stone entirely. Keep in mind that this can be expensive, and it can impact the integrity of your building. Therefore, this is only an option you should consider if you can do so safely and if you don’t want to paint over the white-washed area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Whitewash from a Building

There are a lot of questions people have about removing whitewash from the exterior of a building that is made out of brick or stone. Some of the most common questions people have include:

Why do people like to have whitewash on the outside of a building?

There are a lot of reasons people apply whitewash to the outside of the building. First, whitewash can add an extra layer of protection. It can protect your building against moisture, particularly during a thunderstorm. Second, some people like the appearance of whitewash. Therefore, it could help you increase the value of your building.

Is it possible to remove whitewash by myself?

Yes, it is possible for you to remove whitewash from brick or stone by yourself. There are special paints and solutions that can help you strip whitewash from the outside of your building. It can take a long time for you to remove whitewash, particularly if it covers the entirety of your building. You should be patient during the process.

Can I paint over a whitewashed area of my building?

If you do not want to remove whitewash from your building, you may want to paint over it instead. Think carefully about what type of paint scheme you want to use. Then, all you have to do is paint over the whitewash with a new color. It might save time and money.

About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.