Brick Painting, DIY, Fireplace Makeovers

Should I Paint My Brick Fireplace?

Here’s a question we’ve learned that many folks struggle with before coming to to purchase their brick fireplace paint kit—should I or shouldn’t I paint my fireplace?

If you’re looking for a simple answer to this question, unfortunately, there isn’t one. Whether or not you should paint your fireplace is primarily a question of your design preference.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before proceeding:

-Do you have any other items in the room that are large, and draw attention?

-Is your mortar in good repair? Or are there issues with the mortar?

-Do you like the color of the brick?

-Do you like the texture of brick?

-Has the brick already been painted?

So, once you’ve asked yourselves these questions and established that you’d like to retain the texture of the brick, and that your room could benefit from an update to the “look” of your fireplace, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get the fireplace prepped and ready for its makeover.

Before and after a Brick-Anew fireplace makeover. Image source:

Before and after a Brick-Anew fireplace makeover.
Image source:

Clean up the brick

To make sure the paint will dry and properly, you’ll need to clean the brick first. You can begin by using a wire brush to loosen and remove any soot, dirt and dust.

Once this is done, you can remove any additional debris or dirt on the surface with a mixture of warm water and white vinegar, a 50-50 solution is a good place to start to ensure you get the brick nice and clean.

Use a rag to apply the solution, and keep a bucket of warm water close by so you can wring out the rag regularly. You can also use brick cleaning solutions like TSP to clean the brick and prep it. Be sure to open windows and allow fresh air to circulate when working with chemicals.

Paint the firebox

When making over your brick fireplace, be sure to spend a little time on the firebox, too! You’ll want to use a special heat-resistant paint when updating the paint inside of a fireplace.

Prime the brick

If you’re trying to achieve a whitewashed look, or a lighter, airier finish like those offered by Brick-Anew, you can skip this step. Otherwise, choose a stain-blocking primer before you paint the brick a more opaque color. Using a primer will help protect your paint from soot stains in the future. Caution: Do not use primer on the interior of your fireplace, it is NOT heat-resistant rated.

Painting vs. Whitewashing vs. Brick-Anew

Chances are you’ve seen the pictures on home décor and DIY websites, so you know there is a big difference between whitewashing and painting your brick fireplace.

For a standard “whitewashing” treatment you can simply dilute acrylic paint, one part paint, to three parts water. Don’t use oil-based paints for this project. If you choose this method, use a paint brush to apply the paint, and a clean sponge to a wipe away any excess paint and smooth out the brush streaks. This will help you diminish the streaks. The second coat can be applied using a paint roller.

One of the best, most comprehensive ways to update and lighten the appearance of your brick fireplace is with Brick-Anew’s fireplace paint kit. The Brick-Anew kit includes 2 containers of base coat sealer and 4 undertone colors, a paint tray, 2 rollers, 1 cleaning sponge, 1 roll of masking tape and an instructional DVD to help take you through the process. In addition to the kit, you can also find the cleaning products and firebox paint you’ll need to complete your project.

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