If you have an old fireplace and you can’t decide whether to remove it or to fix it, and you wondered: how to paint a brick fireplace? We have some suggestions for you. Instead of all the mess of breaking it apart or giving lots of money to fix it, you can transform it into something new. All you need is a bit of paint and you can turn your fireplace into a creative, unique element in your house.
You won’t need too many tools, just a bit of your time and creativity. You might have a working fireplace and you just got bored with its looks. Or you maybe changed the decorum in that room and the fireplace style doesn’t fit anymore? No matter what is the reason, you can make a change easily all by yourself. It will probably take one weekend to finish it.
You might need some sort of coat of primer if the brick was never painted before. Also, the brick has a porous structure and absorbs a lot of paint. It is different from drywall or wood. This different texture reacts in a unique way with paint. Have this in mind when starting a project of painting a brick fireplace. It is also useful to read a couple of articles such as this one on how to paint a brick fireplace. It will give you ideas and prevent any failure.
It occurs sometimes no matter what you try, the fireplace has to be removed. Then there is no point in thinking about how to paint a brick fireplace. Sometimes, it is too old and beyond any repair or DIY solution. Or it doesn’t fit the new and modern house. If that is the case, it is best you do it before the wintertime.
Tips and steps for painting the brick fireplace
Before you start with painting, you need to do a couple of preparations. One of the great things is painting brick is quite cheap. All you need is good quality paint.
Get some kind of cloth or old newspapers and cover the floor around the fireplace. You can use tape to isolate all the areas you don’t want to paint. Clean the area from all the dust and dirt. Also, we advise you to move any furniture near the painting area. You don’t want to accidentally splash the colour on it.
Prepare the brick fireplace
The painting area must be entirely clean. For cleaning, use a wire brush, water and soap. You will need to remove dirt, dust and any efflorescence (streaky white deposits). If this doesn’t work, use TSP. This is tri-sodium-phosphate. Mix it with water, but be careful and use protective gloves and glasses.
After you finish cleaning, you need to let it dry completely. Look if there are maybe some damages on the bricks – cracks or structural problems. If there are, you will need professional help to fix it.
For the next step, use tape to protect all the areas you don’t want to paint.
Materials and Supplies
When thinking about how to paint a brick fireplace, preparation is important. Painting a brick fireplace includes collecting all the necessary tools and materials. Here is the list of what you’ll need:
- wire scrub brush
- tri-sodium phosphate
- paint brish
- latex paint
- latex primer
- drop cloths
- painter’s tape
Now that you got all from the shopping list above, you can start with the cleaning. Use the wire brush for this. Especially watch for the mortar lines, space between the bricks. Also, while doing this, look if there are any damages to the fireplace that would require fixing.
After you finish cleaning with the brush, use the vacuum cleaner for the dust.
Prime the brick
When you finish sticking the painter’s tape to all the areas you don’t want to be painted, you may proceed to the next step.
For the next step, you’ll need a paintbrush. With the paintbrush, smear the primer over the lines between the bricks on the mortar. Be very detailed, try not to skip some spots.
After that, use the roller to spread the primer all over the brick surface. This should be a bit easier. Sometimes you’ll need to do a second coat. The second coat is good in preventing any soot or mineral leftovers to leach through. This might be a big problem if you decide to use light colour paint.
The brick will absorb some of the primer, so you’ll need more for this reason as well. You should leave the bricks to rest and allow the primer to dry overnight.
If the brick is too porous, you’ll maybe need to do a third coat. It is very important to let each coat dry for 24 hours. When all the traces of the primer disappear, the bricks are ready for painting.
This is the easy part. First, you will need a base colour. We recommend you choose some shade of beige or grey. Don’t be afraid to combine colours. If you’re not sure, just Google or search on Pinterest for good colour combinations. Also, don’t forget the colours should match the rest of the room decorum.
Applying the base coat
With a clean brush, apply a thick layer of the base coat. There is an order in which you should paint. Always work from top to bottom. This way you can correct any mistakes (for example, if you drip some colour). Also if you work this way, you won’t risk accidentally brushing off some colour with your hand while working on the upper parts.
Paint the mortar lines first, before the bricks.
You can leave it painted in one solid colour. You may notice slight differences in colour, but no worry. The colour shade changes a bit as it dries.
After the base coat dries, you can start working with the contrast colour. You can start working with it even if the base isn’t dry. The contrast colour will mix with the base colour, and make interesting decorative shades.
You can use the sponge to dab the colour on the individual bricks. While doing that, be careful to leave mortar lines intact. If you are going for a faux brick look, those lines have to stay grey.
Work slowly, take your time. One brick at a time. Go in the radial direction when passing to the next brick.
Don’t take too much colour. Dip the sponge again in the colour, when it becomes too faint on the brick surface.
Applying the highlighter
You should apply a highlighter while the contrast colour is still wet. Don’t wash the sponge. Use the same one to apply the highlighter and the final coat. Start from the centre again.
Use the white colour. Dab the colour until the sponge becomes dry. Then switch to another brick and repeat the process.
We advise you to paint some bricks all white and some barely. Do it this way to avoid straight lines. Go in the radial direction, but take a few steps back from time to time. You have to check out the entire look.
Ending thoughts on how to paint a brick fireplace
We are happy if we helped you make your fireplace look beautiful and neat. It is wonderful how something so simple can make such a great change in our homes. We hope you will be enjoying your new and fresh fireplace.
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