How to Paint a Fireplace: From Vintage to Elegant

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Looking for the easiest way to makeover your fireplace? This post will show you How to Paint a Fireplace and take it from vintage to mid-century elegant in a few easy steps! For more home decor posts see my DIY Home page. 

painted brick fireplace before and after, grey painted fireplace, How to paint brick fireplace,

Summer is wrapping up and I am raring to go to repaint our new home. One of the easiest ways to change the mood of a room is to freshen it up with a new coat of paint. My entire home, walls, trim and ceiling are painted with Behr’s Swiss Coffee by the previous owners. Although creamy white is ok, I think its time for a brighter change.

I love the cool clean look of ultra white paint. It makes the rooms feel bigger, look brighter and fresher. Like a brand new home build. 

White Fireplace, white 1950 fireplace, California bungalow fireplace, red brick fireplace
Fireplace Before

On the other hand, I feel like every wall being super white is kind of sterile. To add some color in the sea of white paint, I wanted to paint the fireplace. All of it. Bricks and everything. Having a uniform color from wall to floor is on-trend right now and think it is just the thing to perk this place up. I got some resistance from the husband about the bricks being 70 years old and how I should leave them alone.

grey painted fireplace red bricks, grey wall red brick fireplace, red brick fireplace accent wall

So I did, I painted the top and small footer of the fireplace Behr’s deep grey shade Poppy Seed. Well, that made the red bricks pop and not in a good way as you can see in the pic above. The grey paint looked blue next to the red-brick masonry. To me, it looked like Spiderman’s fireplace, lol. It just didn’t work and was laughable. Live and learn. My husband got to see for himself how odd the bricks looked. So it was to either paint the walls back to white or paint the bricks. 

Behr Paint Cracked Pepper color chip, cracked pepper paint PPU18-01

To bring this 1950’s bungalow into the 21st century I painted the bricks! I changed the color to Behr’s Cracked Pepper to get rid of the blue cast. Now it looks super cool mid-century modern. I am so thrilled about how it turned out! Here are my tips and tricks to painting a fireplace all one color, bringing it from vintage to elegant in a few easy steps! 

How to Paint a Fireplace

Supplies:

Instructions:

Clean fireplace with stiff brush, how to paint a fireplace, clean bricks with brush

Use the stiff brush and remove any loose mortar and dirt on the bricks. Wash the bricks with mild soap and water to remove any stains, burn marks or dust.

How to clean bricks before painting, How to paint a fireplace

Try to remove as much of the stains as possible from the brick. Wipe down the bricks with plain water using a sponge. Let it dry completely overnight. 

TIP: If your fireplace has a lot of black soot on the bricks, mix 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate or TSP to 1 gallon of water and scrub the bricks to remove the soot. Sponge over the bricks with plain water and let it dry overnight. 

Tape off the area around the brick for clean paint lines. Using a brush roller or a brush paint on a coat of primer. Make sure to fill in all holes and areas of brick and mortar with the primer coat.

Use a craft sponge applicator to put primer on bricks, How to paint a fireplace

Go back over the areas with a craft sponge loaded with paint to fill in holes. Let it dry per manufacturers directions. 

Primer on bricks, how to paint bricks, painting a fireplace

TIP: I used a masonry primer and interior paint instead of using only a masonry paint. You can use only masonry paint and have the color added to it. I did not see the paint available when I was at the store so I went the 2-step way. 

Using the colored interior paint, paint the mortar between the bricks with a 2-inch brush. Make sure every brick area is filled in and covered with paint. Using a paint roller, paint the bricks, rolling back an forth until all holes and sections are covered.

Let it dry for 1/2 hour and repeat with another coat of paint. (I just painted the top and bottom walls around the fireplace and then went back and did another coat to the bricks later). Check for missed holes and fill them as needed. Remove the tape and enjoy! Let the paint dry overnight before using or placing anything on the fireplace.

Grey Painted Fireplace, Grey Painted Bricks, Black painted Fireplace, How to paint bricks, How to paint a fireplace

How to Paint a Fireplace, How to Paint Bricks, Painted hearth, mid century modern grey fireplace, paint fireplace same color as wall, fireplace accent wall,

I really love this fireplace turned out! The color is much darker in person. The lighting in my back living room is bright and does not do it justice. I hope you were inspired to paint your fireplace! Good luck with your new project! 

Paint a Fireplace:

Paint a Fireplace:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 12 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 12 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Make a bold statement and take your fireplace from vintage to mid-century elegant in a few easy steps!

Materials

  • 1 Gallon Interior Paint: I Used Behr Marquee Matte in Color: Cracked Pepper or use paint for masonry without a primer such as: Behr Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint. 
  • 1 Quart Behr Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Primer & Sealer
  • Soap & Water

Tools

  • Stiff Brush
  • Sponge
  • Wide Painters Tape
  • Paint Brush: 2 inch 
  • 2 Craft Sponge Applicators
  • Paint Kit: 9 inch Roller Brush, Paint Tray, Tray Liners, etc.

Instructions

  1. Use the stiff brush and remove any loose mortar and dirt on the bricks.
  2. Wash the bricks with mild soap and water to remove any stains, burn marks or dust. Try to remove as much of the stains as possible from the brick.
  3. Wipe down the bricks with plain water using a sponge. Let it dry completely overnight.
  4. Tape off the area around the brick for clean paint lines.
  5. Use a brush roller or a 2-inch paintbrush, paint on a coat of primer. Make sure to fill in all holes and areas of brick and mortar with the primer coat. Let it dry per manufacturers directions.
  6. Use the colored interior paint, paint the mortar between the bricks with a 2-inch brush. Go back over the areas with a craft sponge loaded with paint to fill in holes. Make sure every brick area is filled in and covered with paint.
  7. Use a paint roller, paint the bricks, rolling back an forth until all holes and sections are covered. Let it dry for 1/2 hour and repeat with another coat of paint.
  8. Check for missed holes and fill them as needed. Remove the tape and enjoy! Let the paint dry overnight before using or placing anything on the fireplace.

Notes

TIP: I used a masonry primer and interior paint instead of using only a masonry paint. You can use only masonry paint and have the color added to it. I did not see the paint available when I was at the store so I went the 2-step way. 

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Welcome to Made in a Day, I'm Kim, the home & lifestyle blogger, former wig stylist, and floral designer behind the blog. Living seaside in Southern California, my blog is where I share my love of DIY coastal decor, digital art prints, fun fashion DIYs, and great recipes. I also write about my experience as a former wig stylist who now wears a hair topper!

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2 Comments

  1. 9.13.19

    Wow! I just love how this fireplace turned out, you def. gave it a cleaner and more modern look and feel!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

  2. 8.22.19

    sharing this on the weekend edit. I love this and yes you made the right decision on those red bricks. The funny thing is my guy would not even have noticed the bricks. sometimes i just tell him, ‘Honey, they have been like that for over a year.” works everytime! ha! laura in colorado