First things first, here are our before and after photos:
Brick and stone stripped, new carpet in and the paint is done! Ignore the plastic wrap on the beam, it was protecting our new stain job from splashing. Just a few small things left: polycrylic on the beam, sealer on the stone and the floating shelves at some point in the future.
So we’ve been working non-stop for the last three weeks and boy do we hate people who paint brick and stone now! Seriously though, we have some pretty good tips for people who are planning on doing a large DIY paint stripping project. First, Peel Away is a magical product, but only if used properly. We had a huge paint stripping project and we did a lot of research. Peel Away 1 seemed like one of the best products for what we were looking to do so we ordered one of their 8 oz. samples and it was perfect!
Of course, we had researched the product pricing and saw that the Amazon prices were at around $60 for a 1.25 Gallon kit that included the special paper and the neutralizer. We budgeted at that price and were incredibly surprised to find the same kit at Sherwin Williams for only $49.99 and then I got it on sale for only about $35.00 during a 20% off sale. This was very exciting for our budget since we ended up needing two. This is what it looked like when we had it applied:
(You can also see how well the Peel Away stripped the paint from the brick) We also experimented and found that you can definitely use any cheap plastic wrap as long as you tape it well. The whole point of the paper is to stop the product from drying out while it sits for the 24 hours that it needs to work its magic. DO NOT LET THE PEEL AWAY DRY! While it can be fixed by either a) adding more Peel Away or b) water and a metal brush, it’s best to just be extra careful not to let it happen. I actually recommend using the plastic wrap instead of the paper, because it worked so well. Another quick note: only prep the amount that you can actually strip comfortably in a couple of hours the next day. We did all of the brick along the bottom at once and it took us days to do it. A lot of the Peel Away dried. It was horrible.
Well, we did get some help with the job. Our brother Luke and his fiancé Jess came up and helped with the monstrosity of a task. We also got a bit of a surprise, the stone under the paint wasn’t what we were thinking. Beautiful, yes, but unexpected. As it turns out, the whole concept of a test patch kind of doesn’t really work when it turns out all of the stones are different:
After we got a majority of the paint off, we spend the next week and a half just chipping off the last bits using different tools: an electric drill with a wire brush attachment, toothbrush-sized metal brushes and a small Xacto blade. This is Matt working hard with his tiny knife on the last bits of paint:
So, all in all, this was a gigantic project. It was so much to do in a three week period of time, but we’re about ready to start moving our stuff in! Our next project is getting the wallpaper out of that guest bathroom. Here’s another finished picture, more of an up close shot of the fireplace: