Q. We are restoring a 19th-century Victorian home with a painted brick exterior. The client wants to remove the six or more existing layers of paint, down to the natural brick. What is the best way to remove the paint without destroying the brick or mortar?

A.John Leeke, a preservation consultant from Portland, Maine, responds: These days, when working on any building built prior to 1979, you must comply with the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule. From a purely historical preservation perspective, however, the first step is to investigate the masonry to determine what type of bricks...

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