Homes are constantly growing and changing. Carpet is ripped out. Walls are repainted. Siding is presurewashed. Flowers are planted.
But brick fireplaces don’t change. If anything, they just get dirtier and dirtier. Even though dark brick is no longer popular, many homeowners leave their drab red brick untouched.
Why? A decade ago, you would need to hire a contractor to replace or resurface the fireplace. That service would cost thousands of dollars. At that price point, I would take a second look at the fireplace and think maybe it’s not so bad.
But today, fireplace painting has become an easy and popular way to update your fireplace! Don’t put up with drab brick any longer. Break out the paint and brushes and radically update your living room with this quick and affordable home improvement project.
I don’t like the painted brick look.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Lots of people dislike a solid painted look on brick. But you still deserve to love your fireplace.
What if I don’t like it when I’m done?
If you hate the paint, you can always try another color or painting technique. Worst comes to worst, you can also remove it. Don’t let your fear of disliking it stop you when you already dislike what you have!
Before you begin, find some pictures that you really like! Then you can use those colors and techniques to produce a similar look on your own fireplace.
The paint will start to peel.
As long as you clean your fireplace well and use a high quality primer, your paint won’t peel. Make sure you don’t use regular paint on the firebox!
The firebox is where you actually burn your wood. The firebox needs special heat-resistant paint; regular paint will peel in the firebox. ON brick, a latex or chalk paint will work just fine.
Prepping the Fireplace
Before you begin, it is essential that you clean the surface of the brick well. Any dust or soot on the surface of the brick will cause the paint to adhere poorly.
Use warm soapy water to clean the brick of any debris. If your fireplace surround is especially dirty, use a wire brush. Rinse the soap away, and let the brick dry completely.
If your brick still looks dirty, consider investing in a brick cleaner to fully remove creosote and other smoke build-up.
The steps for painting a fireplace depend on the technique you’re going to use. Here, I’m going to show you my favorite three techniques. If you want a more in-depth look at the fireplace painting choices you have, check out this article.
This technique requires painting a 50-50 mix of water and white paint over your brick. This allows some of the natural brick to show through while dramatically brightening the space.
- drop cloth
- painter’s tape
- white latex paint
- bucket for mixing
- stir stick
- paint brush
- Start by protecting anything you don’t want to get paint on. Lay a drop cloth on the floor and tape off the edges of the fireplace.
- Mix one part of paint and one part water thoroughly.
- Cover a small area in the paint mixture. Wipe away as much or as little as you like. The more you wipe away, the more natural brick will show through.
- Continue painting the brick, section by section, until you’ve covered everything. Work from top to bottom to avoid drips.
- Once the first coat is dry, feel free to add another coat wherever you want more coverage.
You can paint your fireplace in one solid color. This could be the color of your walls or a bold contrast color. Painting your fireplace white is also a very popular option.
- drop cloth
- painter’s tape
- latex paint color of your choice
- paint brush
- roller and paint tray
- Cover any flooring or furniture. Tape off the edges of the fireplace.
- First, prime the brick. Apply a coat of the primer. Be sure to cover the mortar as well as the brick, and let it dry completely.
- Work from top to bottom to avoid drips. If you are using a light color, you may want to use a second coat of primer.
- Once the primer is completely dry, apply one to two coats of paint. Let the paint dry between coats.
- Work from top to bottom. You may want to use the brush for the edges and the mortar and the roller for covering the brick. However, that is completely up to you.
A Natural Brick Look
If you don’t like the painted brick look but hate your current brick color, this is the technique for you! You can totally transform your fireplace and make it look like it’s been rebuilt with lighter brick. Check it out:
The natural look is achieved by using multiple colors and a specific painting technique. Brick-Anew’s unique painting kit comes with everything you need from brushes to paint to an instructional DVD.
The natural brick look is an easy DIY project that can be done in a day or two. Our customers are constantly amazed by how beautiful their fireplaces are after using our paint kit!
Whichever technique you resonated with, run with it! Don’t put up with a fireplace you hate any longer. You deserve to love your family room. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.
All images sourced from Pinterest.