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Paint-Stained brick: how to clean them

Q. The wood trim on our old brick and fieldstone house was last painted with a self-cleaning paint. This now has discolored the brick and stone as the paint washed down during rainy periods. How can the stain be removed? Mrs. James R. Williams Lockport, New York

A. First try scrubbing the area with a stiff-bristle brush and a solution of one cup of trisodiumphosphate (TSP) per gallon of warm water. Protect plants in the area and avoid getting the TSP mixture on your skin. (One reader once wrote to us saying that she had had some trouble with the material when it contacted her skin.)

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After scrubbing the stained areas thoroughly, rinse with clear water.

If this process fails to clean the masonry, repeat the process, using a stiff wire brush. If the stain still remains, contact a local masonry export for an on-site inspection and his recommendation.


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