If the brick on your fireplace is looking too drab, painting it can be an inexpensive way to give new life to your fireplace. Here are some tips on how to paint a brick fireplace.
Are you looking into painting your brick fireplace, and you don’t know where to start? Then you are in the right place. There are many ways to paint your brick fireplace, but we will look into the easiest way.
If you live in an old house where the bricks have become old, and the color has changed, it is time to paint. This article is going to help to transform your wood-burning fireplace into a color-coordinated masterpiece.
What’s even better is that you don’t need a professional to do the task. We are going to explain step by step a way in which you can do it yourself. All you will need is some free time, painting supplies, and some quality paint.
- Materials and tools you will need
- How to choose colors
- Step by step guide
- What you should know about fireplace paint
- Painting a brick fireplace to look natural
Materials and tools you will need
Below are some of the tools and materials that you will need:
- Three coordinating paint colors (1 quart each)
- Paintbrush (three inches)
- Small sea sponges
- Primer (1 gallon)
- Stiff brush
How to choose colors
This is one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to painting your brick fireplace. All you have to do is go for the colors that you love. If you are still nervous, you should ask for a color combination card from your local home improvement store. Most people go with grey or medium beige for the base coat. You can go for a light beige for the contrast color, and for the highlighter and final coat, most people choose light cream. You don’t have to select these colors; go for the colors you love and feel comfortable about.
Step by step guide
Painting your brick fireplace is easier than most people think, and we are going to guide you step by step on how to do it.
Start by cleaning
The first step is starting by clean your brick fireplace. Start by brushing off all the dirt and debris off the wall. Start from the top and work down to the bottom. If there is any grease or grime, then you need a cleaning solution. After cleaning it with a solution, rinse it well, and then make sure you dry it thoroughly. There is a fireplace cleaner that you can get from your local store, and it will do a great job getting rid of all the creosote. Finish off by sweeping the floor below the fireplace to eliminate all the dirt below the painting section.
Point to note
Printing a brick fireplace is very messy, and there is a very high chance that you will have paint all over yourself. If you are working in a finished space, you will need to protect the place not being painted from over brushing and paint splatters. Make sure you cover the floor and walls around the fireplace. You can do so by using plastic sheets or go to goodwill and buy a cheap bed sheet.
Prime the brick with two coats
This is now the fun part of painting your brick fireplace. Using the three-inch paintbrush that you bought, paint the entire brick fireplace with primer. You have to make sure that the prime you buy is approved for that specific type of brick.
Don’t worry if the first coat is slow and bricks constantly absorb a lot of paint. Please make sure you use plenty of primers and spread it well, watching for the motor lines not to drip paint on them. Start from the top and slowly go down till you reach the floor. Painting in small sections helps a lot. You can start with the mortar lines and then go to the bricks in each of the sections.
After you are done, make sure that you apply a second coat that way, you will make sure that all the bricks are sealed. If they are all sealed, they are ready for painting; you are now prepared to go to the next step. Make sure you let the primer dry off completely before you embark on the next step. The next step will be more straightforward because the paint will go on a lot quicker because of the primer.
Application of the base coat
For this step, you will need a clean paintbrush, and you are going to use it to apply a thick base coat. Just like the first time, you will need to work from the top and paint down. You will also need to paint the mortar lines before you paint the bricks. At this point, you can choose to stop there and leave the fireplace with one color and apply a second coat, or you can choose to go ahead still.
Application of the contrast color
After you are done with the base coat, it is finally time for the contrast color. In this step, you can choose to wait for the base color to dry, or you can go ahead and start painting. The contrast color will mix with the base coat and give you a nice color.
Using the sponge, dab your contrast color on each brick, ensuring that you don’t drip on the mortar lines. Living it with the base color will help give the fireplace the faux brick look. Work in small sections making sure that every brick is sponged. Until the paint starts becoming faint, don’t add paint to the sponge as you don’t want to color the horizontal lines. Just finish the brick you are painting before going to the next brick, which is when you can add some paint.
Don’t feel discouraged if the wall looks good; continue painting, and you will appreciate all the work in no time. This is the point where you are supposed to brighten the fireplace, and you can go for stove paint as it is designed to take the high heat.
Application of the highlighter
This is the final step in painting your brick fireplace, and you are almost done making your fireplace look great. Don’t rinse the sponge you have been using; use it to start applying the highlighter. This is the final coat of the paint; make sure you apply it before the contrast color dry’s off entirely. Just like you did the first time, make sure that you paint brick by brick. Make sure you vary the amount of paint and be careful of the pressure, as the two will help create a faux brick effect.
The key to getting this look right is to ensure you don’t paint n straight lines. Paint using a circular motion and then step back to look at how the entire fireplace works. That way, it will be easier to plan when you will lightly or heavily paint next. Don’t overthink about it, and you can always add more highlights until you love the final look.
What you should know about fireplace paint
The first thing you should know is that ordinary paint cannot withstand high heat. If your hearth is already installed and you are using it, then you have to make sure that you use paint that is heat resistant. That means if you use standard paint, it will never hold at all. So make sure you get paint that can withstand up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit of heat. It may be a bit pricey, but you have to make sure that it is safe. Check all reviews and make sure you do all the required research.
Painting a brick fireplace to look natural
If you have never sponge-painted a wall before, this part will help you know what to do. The first rule is to avoid dunking; always make sure you dip the sponge and tap on a flat surface. That will help you get rid of all the extra paint. You can now go ahead and start dabbing the paint on the brick you want to paint. With the first coat, you will have to use a heavy layer, but you can use lighter paint on the second layer so that the first can show. Below is what you have to look out for:
Don’t go for predictable patterns
Avoid setting a specific pattern and go for a natural variety when it comes to shading. Make sure you also pay attention to consistency. That way, you will not end up with some bricks darker or lighter than others. However, that is a pattern that some people go for; some bricks will be in between, some darker and others lighter.
As you work, always take a break and stand back to look at your work. Look at it as it dries off; if it is light, darken it; lighten it a bit using the highlighter if it is too dark. Another thing to look at is if your sponging looks natural; if it looks painted, it is time to correct it. You can do some correcting as you go along until you get the look you are after.
The Best Painting Method
If you want a clean look and a better outcome, you will need to use the paint one brick at a time. That way, you will be more careful not to paint on the mortar lines. Start with a brick of your choice, and that start painting the bricks around it. When you are done, you can choose another and repeat the same method.
When it comes to color combination, you have to make sure to get light and heavy coats, and that way, your brick will have a varied appearance. Play around with the painting technique you like, and you will find an outcome you love. If you feel like you make you made a mistake, you will quickly change it with paint.
Well, now you have it, if you have been thinking about painting a brick fireplace, then it is time to do it. Just choose a free weekend, and with less than one hundred dollars, your brick fireplace can look brand new. The above content will help you if you are a beginner, but you will do it yourself. However, all the above information is just our experience and preference; always ask for professional help if you have any doubts.
Should you wash the bricks before you paint?
In most cases, you will not be required to wash the bricks before you paint them. You can choose to vacuum the bricks as that will help get rid of the debris and dust. However, if your hearth or firebox has too much soot, then there is a higher chance that you will need to wash it off before you paint. You don’t have to worry much because the primer will cover any residue left if it does not get all off.
Does regular paint hold on a brick fireplace?
Yes, regular paint will hold on the bricks. The only place that you will need to use special paint is when painting the stove. You have to use fire-resistant paint so that it can be able to handle the high heat.
What color paints best suit a brick fireplace?
You can never go wrong with a mix and match of the colors. Go for colors that will perfectly match the rest of your house. Visit your home improvement store and find out the different colors they have to have a variety to choose from.
Painting a brick fireplace is a straightforward job; you need some time and a few bucks, and you will have a new fireplace in no time. If the fireplace is functional, you have to ensure fire-resistant paint, especially around the stove. All the best as you make over your brick fireplace look brand new.