How to Remove Stucco From Brick

Leslie Renico

If you buy an older home and want to do some updating, one project that may come up is removing stucco from the brick beneath. This may prove to be a tricky task, as the stucco may have been applied to cover up cracked or decaying brick.

Finding the brick beneath this will take a lot of time.

Another possibility is that the brick may have deteriorated over time beneath the stucco. Either way, you have a painstaking job ahead of you.

  1. Put on your gloves and goggles to protect you from sharp edges and dust particles.

  2. Pick a small, inconspicuous area of stucco and chip away the stucco with your putty knife or chisel to determine the condition of the brick underneath. Continue chipping in this small area until you've removed all but the stubborn, tiny pieces.

  3. Remove the small, stubborn bits with a wire brush. Don't push too hard -- just be firm.

  4. Apply some muriatic acid to a rag if you have stubborn bits of stucco that a wire brush won't remove, and wipe the last bits off. Muriatic acid will burn, so you'll need rubber work gloves, long sleeves and pants, and goggles while using it.

  5. Assess the condition of the brick that you've just uncovered. If there are a lot of cracks or you notice crumbling, there's an excellent chance that you won't like what you see when you remove more stucco. Remember, stucco is often a cosmetic covering for brick in poor condition.

  6. Tip

    If you hit crumbling brick, or wire mesh that has been hung over brick, it's time to quit. You're going to either have to leave the mesh up or deal with bricks that look like Swiss cheese.