Exposed brick walls add unmatched character and charm to both modern and traditional spaces. At Hire it (Natal) we are often asked how to go about removing plaster to expose brick walls. Hire it (Natal) is able to Hire and Sell all of the power tools you require to get the job done. We are agents for BOSCH, Makita, Honda, Husqvarna Construction and more. Steps & video below.
It’s a messy job that creates a lot of mess, including fine concrete dust, so using builder s plastic to cover the floors and any open doors is strongly advised. The exposed brick lowers thermal resistance, sound buffing & also brings the potential for unwanted moisture infiltration. As such, we recommend sealing the wall with a matte brick sealant, which will protect the brick, and make it look better for longer. If you are comfortable with the drawbacks, and are keen to expose that warm and textural brick underneath, then follow the below guidelines to removing plaster from your wall.
What you will need:
- A Small SDS Max Electric Breaker (aka Chipper) from 8 to 11 kg s, such as the BOSCH GSH11 or any SDS Max Rotary Hammer with Hammer only function.
- SDS Max Flat wide chisel (aka Bolster bit aka Masonry Chisel)
- Step Ladder (if required)
- Steel Brush
- Hand Chisel (flat)
- Bucket and cloth
- Brick Sealant or coating with wide paint brush (if desired)
- Safety Gear: Face Mask, Goggles, Protective Gloves, Overalls, Sturdy shoes, Builders Plastic as required
Test the wall you wish to expose the brick on. Chip a hole in the plaster until you can see the brick and what condition it is in. Brick layers have been known to use odd coloured or lower quality brick for interior walls that are to be plastered. The brick should not crumble or break when you touch it and should be free of any major cracks. If the brick looks good, proceed.
Prepare your room by removing everything or covering it all in protective plastic sheets. There will be a fair amount of dust and dirt from the bricks, so seal any doorways or heating vents to limit dust from getting into other areas of the house. Put plastic sheeting on the floor near the wall you will be working on to catch the debris for an easier clean up. Keep windows uncovered so you can open them to help ventilate throughout the removing plaster process.
The ideal machine to use is a small sized electric breaker also known as a chipper, anywhere from an 8 to 11 kg unit should do the job. Alternatively an SDS Max Rotary hammer can be used on Hammer function. Our recommendation would be the BOSCH GSH11 chipper, available to buy or rent from our branches around greater Durban. Use a Flat Wide chisel, also known variously as a Bolster Bit a spade or Masonry Chisel. Start at your test hole. Position the masonry chisel at an angle and chip the plaster off at an angle to the wall. (If you chip the wall straight on, you could end up damaging the brick work beneath). As plaster comes off continue to chisel away at the edges. You can also chisel wherever you see cracks in the plaster.
Scrape away any loose plaster with a wire brush. Apply moderate pressure to sweep away any dust that may still be on the bricks or mortar. Brush the entire wall, starting at the top of the wall and working down so the dust falls to the ground. Sweep up any debris.
Fill a bucket with warm water. Using a clean cloth, start at the top of the wall and work your way down washing the wall clear of any remaining residue. Rinse out the cloth frequently and change the water as needed.
Apply a brick sealant to finish the wall. Since you no longer have plaster covering the wall, any air that was seeping in through the bricks will not have that buffer now. By using a brick sealant, you will seal those cracks and eliminate the drafts. Use a matte finish sealant for a more natural look, otherwise your walls will look too glossy.
Hire it (Natal) is able to Hire and Sell all of the power tools you require for removing plaster – specifically the 11kg Chipping Hammer. We are agents for BOSCH, Makita, Honda, Husqvarna Construction and more. Call us on 031 764 2525.