After all these years of trying to imagine what our fireplace would look like painted we finally just pulled out the paint and did it. We share all the details on how to paint a brick fireplace in this post.
Is it a good idea to paint a brick fireplace?
Like most home renovations, I say if it's going to bring you joy and make you love your home more, do it. If you really hate the brick, go for it!
I wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to paint our brick fireplace, but after drawing up a digital rendering I just couldn't resist. It's nice to see what something will look like before you go ahead a do it, especially when that something is a major focal point in your space.
How do you prepare a brick fireplace for painting?
Before we painted our brick fireplace I wanted to fix the mortar in between the bricks. What I actually wanted to change the most about the brick was the deep crevasses between each brick.
To achieve the finished looked I was hoping for with a painted brick fireplace I needed to mortar first.
We went ahead and re-mortared our brick fireplace first, gave it the allotted 28-day dry time before we continued on.
After the mortar was complete we went ahead and updated our brass fireplace insert as well. We wanted to complete this step first so that there wouldn't be any black overspray on our soon-to-be white brick.
How to paint a brick fireplace?
Resist the urge to just slap on some paint the moment you decided to paint your brick fireplace. You will need to take the necessary steps to prepare the brick if you want the end products to look like it does in your head.
Clean off debris
The first step in preparing your brick fireplace is to clean off any loose debris. This could be loose mortar, dust or cobwebs. You can do this with a wire brush and finish off with a good old-fashioned vacuum. Make sure to use the smaller vacuum attachment to get in between all the crevasses.
After all the loose debris has been removed go ahead and wash the brick. A simple solution of warm water and some dish soap is perfect for this step, make sure to use a good hardy scrub brush to remove any leftover debris.
This might be the most important step! I've skipped priming in the past and it never ends well.
Make sure to use a primer that is made for brick. Read the directions before you start, making sure to allow proper dry time between coats.
We needed two coats of primer, three in some spots where the brick really soaked it in. Our preferred primer to use for most projects is Zinsser Bulls Eyes 1-2-3 it's the one we used for this project as well.
We used three different paint products to fully complete painting our brick fireplace.
High Heat Paint in White - the vents in our wood-burning fireplace can get quite hot after having a fire burning for more than half an hour. For safety reasons, we choose to use high heat paint for the vents.
High Heat Paint in Black - Our fireplace inset has its own full blog post where we share exactly how we updated it using one can of spray paint, check out the full tutorial here.
Brick Paint - After doing a lot of research and talking to a few local paint specialties we chose to go with Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Paint in Pearl
*Note: When using these paints make sure to open all the windows, all of these paints have strong fumes, so work in a well-ventilated area. Seal off the room with plastic or close a door to prevent fumes from travelling into other parts of your home.
What is the best colour to paint a brick fireplace?
The best colour for your fireplace is totally up to you! Painting it the first time is your biggest commitment, after that, it's just paint! Meaning you can change the colour whenever you want, just like you would with your wall colour. Let your fireplace become an extension of your walls, be creative.
We opted to use our trim colour, as it's a bit more of a warm white. Our fireplace is painted with Benjamin Moore Cloud White to match the trim and built-ins next to it.
What sheen to paint a brick fireplace?
We chose a pearl finish when painting our brick fireplace. With white paint, we needed something that was going to clean up well and match nicely with the millwork in our home.
Painted brick fireplace before and after
Check out the before and after of our red brick, floor-to-ceiling fireplace. This transformation has modernized this space so much. It has brought light and a sense of simplicity to the space.
Having all the walls match in colour, but differ in texture brings warmth and allows design changes to happen with furniture and accessories.
I love the simplicity of the brick without a mantle, it was actually against code for us to keep the original mantel. There needed to be at least 8 inches of clearance between the mantel and the brick which is why we removed it originally.
How do you decorate around a wood-burning fireplace?
I like to keep things really minimal and only decorate with items that will also serve a purpose. Using the side coves as wood storage and decor.
The fireplace tools are left on the hearth as well as a basket that holds all our fire starting kits.
The final touch is some added seating of stools for the one building the fire, and tending to it. And that's it! Our painted brick fireplace tutorial!
More Before and After Projects
How to Create a Home Library Living Room
Remove Entryway Closet: Why It's Better Without It
How To Install Cabinet Hardware: Before and After Laundry Room