SHOULD I PAINT MY BRICK FIREPLACE?

If you’re considering what to do with your drab outdated brick fireplace, you’ve probably wondered whether or not you should paint your brick. You’ve come to the right place to get some answers! At Brick-Anew we’re here to help.  People often ask these questions:

-Can you paint brick?

-Can you paint a brick fireplace?

-What color should you paint a brick fireplace?

The answer to these questions is,  “Yes! You CAN paint your brick fireplace.” There are a variety of colors choices depending on your style and the look you’re trying to achieve. If you’re interested in do-it-yourself projects and home decor, chances are you’ve seen pictures all over Pinterest showing all types painted fireplaces.  You can choose from a number of painting techniques to get the look you want. Whether  brick has been painted a solid color, whitewashed, or painted to look like a real brick, using paint to update the look of brick is a popular option.  

Before and after a Brick-Anew fireplace makeover. Image source: Brick-Anew.com

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you decide to paint your brick fireplace:

Is your fireplace the focal point of your room?  If your ugly brick fireplace looms, dark and heavy, in your living room, it’s time for a change.  You can decorate around an unattractive brick fireplace but there’s no covering it up unless you remodel it.

How much money do you have to spend on a fireplace remodeling project?  Consider how much money you have to spend on a fireplace remodeling project.  The good thing about paint is its fairly inexpensive compared to what a contractor would charge for other remodeling options.  Painting your brick fireplace is one of the least expensive ways to update the look of your brick.

Is your mortar in good repair?  Before deciding to paint your brick fireplace, make sure your fireplace is in good repair and the mortar is not loose or falling apart.  

Do you like the color of your brick?  If you like the bricks’ color, a good cleaning might be all you need.  A scrub brush, some soap and water, and a good brick and stone cleaner can remove soot and make the brick look a lot better.

Is your brick over 100 years old?  If you have antique brick, you probably don’t want to cover it up with paint.  Antique brick is usually not an eyesore and it adds character to any room.

Has your brick already been painted?  If your brick has already been painted, you can go over the painted surface with a different solid color paint but whitewashing would not be an option.  The Brick-Anew paint kit, however, can be used to cover painted brick.

Can I get paint off the brick if I change my mind after I paint?  Getting paint off brick can be done but it’s not easy.  It’s tedious and time consuming so be sure you want to cover your brick with paint before you get started.  If you’re afraid of painting your brick, think of it this way...If the brick is outdated and unsightly, you’ll want to do some type of remodeling project.  Painting the brick is the easiest and least expensive option.  If you don’t like the outcome, you can always choose another type of remodeling and/or hire a contractor to resurface your fireplace with a material such as stone, tile, or granite.  The Brick-Anew paint kit has a money back guarantee if you don’t like the outcome of your project.

Do you prefer a painted or a “real brick” look?  A brick fireplace painted with a solid color looks…”painted”.  If you prefer a “real brick” look,  the Brick-Anew paint kit gives the look of real brick.  No one will walk into your room and think you painted your brick. They’ll think you tore out your old fireplace and re-built it with a new color brick.

 

Getting Ready To Paint

Before you begin painting, you’ll need to clean the brick. You can begin by using a wire brush to loosen and remove any soot, dirt and dust.

Once this is done, you can remove any additional debris or dirt on the surface with a mixture of warm water and white vinegar, a 50-50 solution is a good place to start to ensure you get the brick nice and clean.

Use a rag to apply the solution, and keep a bucket of warm water close by so you can wring out the rag regularly. You can also use brick cleaning solutions like TSP to clean the brick and prep it. Be sure to open windows and allow fresh air to circulate when working with chemicals.  If your fireplace is not too dirty, a bucket of soap and water and a scrub brush can do the trick.  Remember, the paint will probably cover most of the stains.

Paint the firebox

When remodeling your brick fireplace, be sure to spend a little time on the firebox.  You’ll want to use a special heat-resistant paint in the firebox since that’s where the fire burns.  Check out this high temperature grill and stove paint that can be used inside the firebox and can withstand temperatures up to 1200 degrees fahrenheit.  Be sure to open the doors and windows when you are using this type paint since it has a very strong odor until it dries.

Prime the brick

If you’re trying to achieve a whitewashed look, or a lighter, airier finish like those offered by Brick-Anew, you can skip this step. Otherwise, choose a stain-blocking primer suitable for brick before you paint the brick. Do not use primer on the interior (firebox) part of your fireplace. This type paint is NOT heat-resistant and will bubble, blister and peel under high heat conditions..

Choosing Between Painting a Solid Color,  Whitewashing or  Brick-Anew “Real-Brick” Look

Chances are you’ve seen the pictures on home décor and DIY websites, so you know there is a big difference between whitewashing and painting your brick fireplace.

For a standard “whitewashing” treatment you can simply dilute acrylic paint, one part paint, to three parts water. Don’t use oil-based paints for this project. If you choose this method, use a paint brush to apply the paint, and a clean sponge to a wipe away any excess paint and smooth out the brush streaks.

If you want a solid, painted look, choose a paint suitable for brick and then decide on a color choice.  Many people choose white simply because it’s a neutral color.  But a warmer color could complement your decor better than a stark white.  Consider tan, cream, or a color to match the walls around your fireplace.

If you prefer the look of real brick,  the Brick-Anew fireplace paint kit can do the job nicely. The Brick-Anew kit includes 2 containers of base coat sealer and 4 undertone paint colors, a paint tray, 3 rollers, 1 roller handle, 1 sea sponge, 1 roll of painter’s tape, a protective glove and an instructional DVD to help take you through the process. Everything you need to complete your project is included in the kit.  There’s no trial and error trying to get the perfect color combination to get the look of real brick.  All the guesswork has been done for you.  It’s easy enough to do without any previous DIY or painting experience. You don’t have to be artistic - just follow the step by step instructions to get a beautiful “real brick” look.

No matter which painting method you decide to use, brick and stone cleaner and high temperature black firebox paint can help you get a clean finished look for your fireplace.