The brick and mortar in my basement has calcified. I want to clean it and paint it. What is the best way to clean it? What kind of paint will prevent further calcification?
Clean the affected mortar with a masonry cleaner, which is a mild acid, and rinse well. Follow the manufactures cleaning and safety recommendations. An alternative is to use TSP, trisodium phosphate. While cleaning use a nylon scrub brush to loosen any heavy build-up.
You will need to prime the brick and mortar. I would use Sherwin Williams Loxon Masonry Primer, it can handle high PH conditions. After priming you can use any good interior acrylic house paint.