This has been discussed soooooo many times, I think people are getting tired of responding.
It's better to clean brick than paint it. To remove paint cost some money, but think of the value you will be adding to your home.
Look at this site:
They are one such firm that can clean tthe paint off of brick. You cannot do it yourself. Also try a local disaster restoration service and see what they say.
If you paint the brick another color, it will begin to peel again in a couple of years. Especially with 2 coats on it already.
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