A friend’s house and a very big mess

So, the brick stripping hasn’t quite gone as planned so far. I’m helping Anil remodel his apartment and the first item on the to-do list was to strip the paint from the brick on the interior walls.

Debated hiring a contractor to do the whole thing, then decided it might be best to have a contractor do the bedrooms (to get it done quickly) and see if we could do the rest ourselves. The reviews of this stuff acted as if the brick would “practically fall off.”

Well, it’s worth a shot, right?

Went to Home Depot and picked up the Citristrip along with scrapers, scrubbers, painters’ tape, gloves, masks and drop cloths. Picked a small corner of brick to start the process:

The directions suggest waiting at least half an hour but that the stripper will stay wet for 24 hours (has to be wet to strip.) The reviews I read said that waiting longer is better. I picked one brick to keep using as a “test” every couple of hours, and decided it best if  I cover the whole area and then wait overnight.

The next day started great! As you see below, there is actually brick showing! Unfortunately, though, the stripper had started to dry by the time we got near the bottom of the area.

Since it was so small of a corner, Anil and I took turns scraping at the brick – we’d trade off whenever our arms would get tired. We uncovered the white paint only to find yellow paint underneath. The yellow wasn’t coming off quite so easily, and it was creating a messy goop of stripper mixed with wet-ish paint mixed with dried paint. And as much as they tried to mask the chemical smell with an orange scent, it didn’t exactly smell good. Even with an open window directly above the space, it was still pretty caustic in there.

We decided to apply more Citristip and give it another night.

By that point, the aerosol can ($8) was empty. The gel container ($20) still had some in it, but it seemed to be going fast. This is going to be a pricy project …

I forgot to take a photo showing yesterday’s work, but I’m sorry to report there’s not much progress. It seems as if the yellow layer is simply not wanting to come up. And the contractor Anil hired to do the bedrooms was MIA yesterday, so that hasn’t been started yet either.

So, back to the drawing board. Next up will hopefully be a reliable contractor who can strip the brick in all the rooms for an awesome price. Fingers crossed.

In better news, we discovered a home staging company that buys furniture for homes for sale, and then once the homes sell they sell the furniture for a fraction of what they paid. Anil almost was the proud new owner of a chocolate brown sectional, retail at $2,000+ and on sale for $850.

We decided one thing at a time though – brick first. The staging sales go on every weekend, so there’s more time for that.

And if only I could figure out how to get some of those items for sale on a plane back to Charlotte – the interior designer doing the staging had great taste!