How to Paint a Brick Fireplace for a Stunning Makeover
If your plain brick fireplace surround just isn’t doing it for you anymore, follow this simple how-to guide and paint it in an afternoon for a dramatic transformation.
All it takes is a few tools, fireplace paint, and a little elbow grease. Just be sure to choose the right type of paint — you’ll want one rated for high temperatures and usable on brick surfaces. As far as color goes, a whitewash is always a classic choice, while black will add drama. Above all, however, choose a color that matches the style of your home and the room decor.
Tools You’ll Need:
- Small paintbrush
- Paint roller for textured surfaces
- Drop cloths
- Wire scrub brush
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
Materials You’ll Need:
- Indoor latex paint
- Oil-base primer
- Painters tape
- Heavy-duty cleaner
- Nonsudsy trisodium phosphate (TSP)
Step 1: Clean the Surface of the Fireplace
In order for the paint to adhere and dry properly, it’s essential to clean the brick thoroughly. First, use the wire scrub brush to remove any loose dust or dirt. Then, wearing gloves and safety goggles, apply the TSP and wash rigorously with a heavy-duty cleaner. Rinse the bricks and let them dry completely. Cover the floor with a drop cloth and use painters tape to mask off any areas you want to remain paint-free.
Step 2: Prime the Brick
An oil-based primer that is also stain-blocking will safeguard your paint from soot stains that come from regular fireplace use. Following the primer manufacturer’s instructions, apply primer to the entire surface. You may need to use a small, stiff-bristled brush to push the primer into the brick’s cracks and crevices. Allow the primer to dry completely.
Step 3: Paint the Brick
Once the primer is dry, it’s time to apply the paint. Your paint should be indoor, latex paint that is rated to withstand high temperatures (typically about 200°F). The paint can be whatever sheen you prefer — flat, semigloss or gloss. Keep in mind that this type of heat-resistant paint is only for the exterior of your fireplace, not the inside firebox. The firebox would need a specialty paint that resists temperatures much higher than 200°F.
To apply the paint, use a roller made for textured surfaces and cover the surface of the brick. Use a small paintbrush to cover any spots that a roller won’t reach. Apply additional coats as needed, allowing the paint to dry completely between coats.