​Painting Your Brick Fireplace

​Painting Your Brick Fireplace

Photo by Airoom Architects-Builders-Remodelers

Is your brick fireplace more of an eyesore than a design feature in your home? There’s no reason to settle for an outdated or unattractive fireplace when you can easily transform it with a fresh coat of paint!

Disguising or Highlighting Your Fireplace With Paint


Photo by Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The biggest advantage of a painted fireplace is that it creates the opportunity for you to either make your fireplace a focal point or allow it to blend in with the rest of the room. Painting your fireplace in a color that contrasts with your wall color is a quick and easy way to highlight it. To make it appear lease prominent paint your fireplace in a color that is the same shade or very close in shade to your walls.

Nelson House Wolfe & Wolfe Home

Photo by Bernardo Grijalva Photography

Painting the brick and trim to match the color of the walls and built-ins makes this fireplace practically disappear.

Bay View Beach Residence, Wellfleet

Photo by Hammer Architects

White brick with white walls and a mantel that mimics the wood ceiling beams downplays this unusually positioned fireplace.

Preparing Your Brick for Paint

Before you start painting you’ll need to make sure your brick is properly prepared. Brick is a porous material and has different preparation requirements than the other walls of your home. One of the most important things to remember with brick is that it needs plenty of time to dry out completely. Rushing into painting before your brick is completely dry will cause problems with the adhesion and appearance of your paint as it dries.

Inspect your brick carefully looking for any large cracks in the mortar or signs of efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white residue, actually a deposit of salt, left behind when moisture evaporates off the surface of your bricks. This residue, along with any other dirt and debris, needs to be removed prior to painting.

Wash your bricks with soapy water and a stiff bristle brush then wait for it to dry before applying paint (usually 24 hours). If soap and water isn’t enough to get your bricks clean, a mixture of TSP should remove stubborn dirt. Mix a half cup of TSP with a gallon of water and give the bricks another pass, allowing them to dry completely afterwards. One word of caution: never use acid solutions to clean brick! This can cause your paint to chip. Once your brick is clean fill in any cracks with acrylic caulk.

Painting Your Interior Brick

Tape off the surrounding wall and lay down a drop cloth to protect your flooring before applying a coat of latex primer. Just like when you cleaned your brick you’ll want to be sure to let each layer of primer or paint dry completely before applying the next. Latex or an acrylic-latex interior paint works well on brick. Most likely you’ll want to use a semi- or high-gloss finish that will show off the unique texture of your brick and be easy to clean.

Whether you want to create an updated focal point in your room or make your fireplace blend in with the rest of your interior, a fresh coat of paint can help you see this architectural feature in a whole new light. Do you want help transforming your DC area home into the space of your dreams? Williams Professional Painting is here to help! Give us a call to schedule your estimate.

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