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The #1 Guide How To Remove Plaster From Brickwork

Sitting in my lounge the other day I was thinking about what to do for my next project to enhance the charm of my home. After a while, I had some ideas jotted down in a notepad but none of them wasn't clicking with me. Then looking in a haze of deep thought and tea it hit me. Why not remove the plaster from my fireplace! So, I set to work with feverish googling, looking for the information I would need to get this job done correctly.

So, I present to you my guide on how to remove plaster from brickwork!

What You Will Need - How To Remove Plaster from Brickwork

The primary objective of taking the plaster off a wall is to expose the existing brickwork and to repair and restore the brickwork back to how it was originally. Giving your home a vintage interior décor feel.

But before you head off attempting to strip plaster off a wall you need a few pieces of equipment.

What You Will Need: -

Now that you are equipped with the tools for the job let's get started!

Let's Remove Plaster from Brickwork!

First lay down the heavy plastic sheeting, if you have carpeted flooring this is a must as the room will get very dust while removing the plaster and having this sheeting down will save you a lot of headaches.

In order to get rid of the plaster from brickwork, you will need to start on one area of the wall and chip and scrape off the top layer with your tools (listed above). We advise starting at 5 inches above the skirting level. If you choose to start from the top all it is going to do is cover the skirting and lower parts of the wall with plaster that only gets in the way. Remove all traces of plaster in an orderly fashion, keep an eye out for any lumps and bumps as this will affect the finished look.

Take your chisel or bolster and angle it at a 45-degree angle. As you are putting an awful lot of pressure into a small area of the wall. Angling the bolster like this will lessen the impact and lessen the chance of damaging the brickwork underneath. Work slowly but steadily as previously mentioned you do not want any lumps or bumps remaining.

Watch out for any wire trunking while removing plaster as they often run along the whole length of a wall, and these could prove to be problematic. If you come across any wire trunking, make sure to be gentle and use patience. If you want to move this wiring or have it removed get in touch with your local electrician.

Finishing Off Bits Of Pesky Plaster

Don't scrub too hard as you might damage the brick!
Photo Credit - Adobe Stock

Now with plaster removed off the wall, we need to remove any small bits of plaster that has still clung onto the wall. Using a wire brush and a hydrochloric acid solution go back over the area, this solution combined with the wire brush with remove any little bits and pieces that can be easily missed. As an added bonus it will also clean the brickwork to really show off the beauty of the bricks.

Repointing & Touch Ups

With the plaster removed and the brickwork exposed it is now time to add some additional touches if you wish to do so. Inspect the mortar and the bricks and look out for any of the following signs: -

  • Cracks and gaps in the joints.
  • Crumbling or powdery bricks.

If you have any cracks or gaps in the joints, you will need to do a bit of repointing! If you've done some repointing before this should be pretty easy for you! If not to repoint the wall, use fresh mortar to fill the cracks and gaps in the joints. Doing this will give the wall a better and smoother appearance.

If the bricks are crumbling or powdery then it is most likely that they need replacing. Or if they are still in good order, you can apply some brick sealer with a paintbrush or roller. Sealers come in many styles such as clear or a wet look so make sure you have the style you want.

Finishing Up

Photo Credit - Adobe Stock

The final look of your brick wall is up to you, so have a think of what look you want. If it is just for the appearance then you can leave it, or if it is on a grander scale add some glass block panels in front! Not just that but you could paint the brickwork for a modern-retro chic look to the wall.

Pros and Cons

Now we don't want to put a damper on your interior design dreams but before you take on this job you should consider the pros and cons of removing plaster from brickwork.


  • A stunning design choice that has countless ways to customize to make it unique to you.
  • Excellent if you are going for an industrial or modern retro interior décor.
  • Makes a great focal point for a room.


  • Brickwork won't be as strong as it used to be, but you can just replace the bricks that are cracked or broken.
  • Removing plaster will affect sound damping.
  • Potentially will noise and cold air to make their way into your home.
  • Moisture infiltration may become an issue.

Thank you for reaching the end of the article! Now get out there and explore your inner interior designer now that you know how to remove plaster from brickwork. If you are interested in other methods of improving or changing the appearance of your home, why not take a look in our blog section.

We have plenty of articles that are sure to spark some inspiration! Such as our articles on how to apply wallpaper to wooden furniture and how to fix a leaky shower!

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