Removing old paint from internal brickwork

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I want to expose the bricks inside a chimney breast; they are currently painted over in white (pre-1930s so probably whitewash or distemper rather than emulsion). Any ideas as to the best way to remove the paint without sandblasting?
 
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14 Mar 2005
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If its distemper then try hot water..scraping each layer away with a scraper and a wire brush...but to be honest I dont think it will get that paint out of all the nooks and crannies...grit blasting might be the only way.
 
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