How to Paint a Brick Fireplace for a Dramatic Makeover

How to Paint a Brick Fireplace for a Dramatic Makeover

By Jessica Bennett | BHG.Com

Troy Warren for CNT #HomeGarden


If you’ve grown weary of your plain fireplace surround, a fresh color can make a huge difference. Learn how to paint a brick fireplace in just an afternoon for a stunning room transformation.

The next time you’ve got a free afternoon, you’ve got time to give your brick fireplace surround a dramatic new look. All it takes is a little prep work, a few tools, and some brick fireplace paint ($25, The Home Depot). Ensure the paint you choose is rated for high temperatures and designed to use on brick surfaces. Before you start painting, inspect your fireplace surround to determine its material. Although you can paint over a wide variety of surfaces, some types of stone fireplaces (limestone, sandstone, and river rock, for example) are less amenable and harder to change if you do paint them. A brick surround is the best bet for painting. Next, choose your fireplace paint color. A whitewash brick fireplace is a classic choice, but a black-painted fireplace adds drama. Pick a color that matches the style of your home and the room’s decor. Then follow these steps on how to paint a brick fireplace.


What you need



How to do it


Clean The Fireplace Surface

To make sure your paint adheres and dries properly, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the brick. Use a wire scrub brush to remove any dirt or dust, then apply non-sudsy trisodium phosphate (also called TSP). Be sure to wear gloves and safety goggles, and wash thoroughly with soapy water or a fireplace cleaning product. Rinse and let dry. Cover your floor with a drop cloth and tape off any areas you want to remain paint-free.


Prime The Brick

A stain-blocking, oil-base primer protects your paint against future soot stains from fireplace use. Apply primer to the entire surface, following the manufacturer’s directions. Consider using a small, stiff-bristled brush to get the primer inside the crevices if needed.


Paint The Brick

Once the primer is dry, it’s time to paint. Choose indoor, latex, heat-resistant paint (either flat, semigloss, or gloss) that’s rated to withstand temperatures generated by the fireplace (generally about 200°F). Remember that this type of paint is only appropriate for the exterior of a brick fireplace, not the interior firebox. If you want to paint the firebox, you’ll need a special heat-resistant paint.

Use a roller designed for textured surfaces to cover the surface of the brick. For any spots you can’t reach using a roller, touch up with a small paintbrush. Apply a second and third coat as needed, allowing plenty of drying time between coats.

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By Troy Warren

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