How to Paint a Brick Fireplace -- Buildipedia DIY
How to Paint a Fireplace
Your fireplace is the warm, communal centerpoint to your home, but a bad exterior or interior paint job might make it more annoying than cozy! Luckily, repainting a fireplace is inexpensive and easy to do yourself, whether you’re touching up the interior or redoing a brick, tile, or stone exterior. Giving your fireplace a makeover will make those cozy gatherings around the fire even more pleasant.
Painting a Brick Fireplace
Choose a heat-resistant stone paint in a color that matches your decor.The area around your fireplace can blend in or stand out, depending on the look you’re creating in your living room. No matter what color you choose, go for an indoor, latex, heat-resistant stone paint to make sure that your new color will last.
- Try a crisp white coat for a modern look. If you have white walls, offset the colors with a rustic wooden mantelpiece or give your room a youthful feel with a bright mint or cream mantel.
- Go for a black fireplace to create a striking contrast in a white room. For a less extreme contrast, dark gray can look sleek in a light-colored room.
- Your paint should be able to withstand about 200 °F (93 °C) heat.
Clean the brick with a wire scrub brush.Scrub your brick with a wire scrub brush to remove dirt or dust. Pull on gloves and safety goggles, then apply a trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaning agent and wash your brick well with a heavy-duty cleaner. Rinse the bricks with a wet sponge and let it dry.
- Starting with clean bricks will ensure that your paint adheres and dries properly.
Cover surrounding areas with plastic and painter’s tape.Lay old cloths or plastic sheets on the ground and hang a plastic sheet over the front opening of the fireplace. Tape around the edges of your fireplace to prevent any stray brush strokes from touching your walls or mantel.
Paint the brick with a stain-blocking primer.Open up a can of stain-blocking, oil-based primer and apply it on the entire surface you’re planning to paint, following the instructions on the can. Priming will protect your paint from soot stains when you use your fireplace.
- For the best protection, look for a primer that’s also a sealer and stain-blocker.
- Pour the primer in a paint tray and use a inch (1.9 cm) roller to get an even coat, along with a small paint brush to get into corners and edges.
- Apply 2 coats if you can still see some of the brick color showing through.
Cover the primer with 2-3 coats of brick paint.Mix your paint with a stir stick to distribute any pigment that has sunk to the bottom. Pour the paint into a pain tray and dip in a inch (1.9 cm) roller designed to use on textured surfaces, which will help you get full coverage on the rough brick surface.
- Use a small paintbrush to touch up grout areas between bricks that the roller can’t get.
- Give the paint a few hours to dry between coats, following the instructions on your can.
Updating Your Tile Fireplace
Choose an enamel paint to match your room.Enamel paint will help you keep the natural feel of your tile, while still allowing you to upgrade the overall feel of your fireplace area. Look for a paint that’s stain- and heat-resistant as well.
- White is a popular color for a tile fireplace, as it makes the area look fresh and clean. To add an interesting contrast to your room, though, you could go for a black or gray color.
Clean and gently sand your fireplace.Make a paste out of 2-3 spoonfuls of trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaning agent and a few drips of water, then use a sponge to scrub it over stains and dirt. Rinse the sponge and use clean water to rinse the tiles. After the tile dries, lightly sand it to remove the tile’s gloss and help your paint adhere.
- Look for fine sandpaper that’s 180-220 grit, like silicon carbide or aluminum oxide.
- Wipe down your tile with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust after sandpapering.
- Wear gloves and safety goggles when you’re using TSP.
Set down plastic tarps to protect surrounding areas.Lay plastic sheets or old towels on the floor around your fireplace, and hang a piece of plastic down in front of the fireplace opening. Secure your sheets and protect the edges with painter’s tape.
Paint the tile with a coat of oil-based primer.Look for a primer that’s also a sealer and stain-blocker to help your paint job withstand soot. Use a flat brush to apply one coat of primer to start. Check if you have full coverage and add another coat if needed, after the first coat has dried completely.
- Check the can to see how long the primer will take to dry.
Use flat brushes to paint your tile fireplace with enamel paint.Mix up the paint with a stir stick, then dip in a large, flat artist’s brush and start to paint! Make sure to get the paint into the cracks of the grout and aim for an even first coat.
- Let the tile dry and continue applying new coats until you you have a thick, opaque color.
- If your tile was originally a dark color, you may need 3-4 coats of paint.
Let it dry, then remove coverings and painter’s tape.Give your tile a day or so to dry completely after your last coat of paint. When it’s done, pull away the coverings and and painter’s tape and enjoy your freshly-painted fireplace!
“Whitewashing” a Stone Fireplace
Buy an all-in-one primer to “whitewash” your walls.If you want to update a dark stone fireplace with a new color but keep the textured, unique look of the stone, you can “whitewash” it with primer. This will turn the stone different shades of white, creating an interesting, modern look similar to granite or limestone.
- Look for an all-in-one primer that’s also a sealant and stain-protector.
- Stone fireplaces tend to be dark and heavy-looking, so a white finish can brighten up and expand your whole room.
- Painting your stone in a solid color will make it look chunky and cheap, so it’s best to redo it in a light color like white or cream.
Clean your stones with a TSP mix before painting.To get rid of any dirt or soot on your stones, mix –1 cup (120–240 mL) of a trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaning agent with 1 gallon (3.8 L) of hot water. Saturate a scrub brush and rub it on the stones to clean them.
- Wipe it clean with a wet sponge afterwards and let it dry.
- Wear gloves and safety goggles when you’re using TSP.
Cover your floor and fireplace opening with plastic sheets.Lay plastic sheets or old towels on the floor around your fireplace to protect from spills, and hang a sheet down over the fireplace opening.
- Use painters tape around the edges of your stone so you don’t paint over the edges of the stone on accident.
Mix a bit of water and primer in your paint tray.Fill your paint tray with about 1–1.5 inches (2.5–3.8 cm) of water. Mix your primer with a stir stick and dip a medium-sized paintbrush inside. Pull it out and mix the primer with the water, then repeat.
- Diluting the primer like this will allow the natural texture of the stone to show through.
- All-in-one primers stain easily and are hard to wash off of skin, so wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean.
Paint a few stones from different areas of the fireplace.Choose one stone to start with and paint on your primer, making sure to get into the crevices for an even coat. Then, choose a stone from a different area of the fireplace and do the same thing.
- You can do 5-7 stones with this mix of primer and water.
- To create a nice contrast, avoid painting the grout between the stones. This will help the stones stand out against the wall.
Create a more solid mix of primer in your paint tray.Once your paint tray is empty, pour in another 1–1.5 inches (2.5–3.8 cm) of water. Mix in 3-4 brushfuls of paint this time to create a more solid dilution. Apply it to random stones around your fireplace like before
- Continue creating slightly different dilutions for each round of painting, until all of your stones are whitewashed.
- Mixing up the amount of dilution will give you a natural-looking diversity in hues. Your fireplace will keep its earthy stone quality while getting a clean, whitewashed upgrade.
Brush over with a last layer of paint for natural highlights.Once you’re done painting, mix at least 4 brushfuls of paint into 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water in your paint tray. Brush this mixture lightly and quickly over the top of each stone.
- This last, quick application creates highlights that look like calcium or mineral veins coming through the stone.
Painting the Interior of the Fireplace
Clean out your firebox before painting.Remove the grate on your fireplace and use a fireplace shovel and broom to remove ash. If there’s any ash on the walls, scrape it off. Then, vacuum the box and use damp rags to wipe it down.
- Although repainting the interior, or firebox, of your fireplace won’t make as big of an impact on your room as painting the outside, it can still give your fireplace an overall cleaner look.
Use high-heat black paint for a long-lasting paint job.You’ll need high heat paint that can withstand temperatures up to 1,200 °F (649 °C) in your fireplace, and black is a great color to choose because soot and ash will blend right into it.
- You can buy high-heat paint at home improvement stores or online. Look for one with a flat finish as well.
Lay plastic around your fireplace to protect from spills.You don’t want your black paint to drip on your floor or the outside of your fireplace, so use plastic tarps or old towels as a covering. Stick painter’s tape around the outer edges of the firebox to prevent your paintbrush from accidentally straying.
Paint the interior walls of your fireplace first.Mix up your can of pain with a stir stick and dip in a medium-sized paintbrush. Start by painting the walls of your fireplace so that if paint drips down, you can simply blend it in when you paint the bottom.
- Work the paint into the grout, cracks, and crevices between bricks to get full, even coverage.
- You can use a cheap, nylon bristle brush and simply throw it away when you’re done, since it will get stained black by the paint.
- If parts of your fireplace are already black from fires, you can decrease your workload by skipping over those parts with your paint.
Paint 2 coats, waiting 1-2 hours in between to let them set.Giving the interior of your fireplace 2 coats of paint will ensure full coverage and a rich, dark color that will offset your fires nicely.
- Check the instructions on the can to see how long the paint will take to dry between each application.
Paint the bottom of the fireplace and let it dry before use.Once the walls are done, you can move onto the floor of the fireplace. Give it 2 coats of paint, making sure to cover up any drips from the walls. Let it dry completely.
- Wait to make a fire until another 24 hours or so after the paint dries, to make sure it’s completely done.
QuestionWhat kind of paint is used to paint the interior of the fireplace?Community AnswerThis is explained in step 1: "A heat-resistant stone paint". Were you looking for a brand name? Check with your local hardware store for recommendations.Thanks!
Video: Painting A Brick Fireplace. Hacks Painting Bricks or Concrete. DIY How to paint bricks or stone.
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