How to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace [10 Steps]

Some people are giving up on their brick, wood-burning fireplaces because it can be difficult to clean, maintain, and keep looking good. With the ever-growing popularity of natural gas heating systems for homes, brick fireplaces are becoming less popular.

If you decide to whitewash your brick fireplace, it can make it look more appealing and bring some life back into your home. It’s important to note that whitewashing bricks is a temporary solution that will not last forever. The paint will eventually fade away or, worse yet, peel off, so you’ll have to do this again once every three years or so, depending on how much you like the look of cleaned bricks.

Few things can update a home faster than a fireplace makeover. With the help of some simple tools and materials, you can transform your existing brick fireplace into an elegant focal point for your living room in no time at all. Whitewashed brick is one of the superb ways of updating fireplaces. The soft texture and neutral tones are the perfect backdrops for any color scheme.

How To Whitewash Your Brick Fireplace

Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools Needed

The first step in whitewashing a brick fireplace is to gather the necessary materials. These would include:

  1. Combined equal parts of water and glue to coat your brush with a layer of glaze. The general rule of thumb for whitewashing is using more paint than glaze if you look for a lighter overall color on your project. Adding more glaze makes a richer tone.
  2. 1 quart of flat latex paint in the corresponding color of bricks 1.5 cups of glaze, two brushes or rollers, Sheeting Masking tape
  3. If you want to highlight your fireplace, choose whether you wish to do so with dark paint or glaze. The dark color is preferred if you use it for touch-ups since it is easier to blend in than the glaze. If you use glaze, be sure that each coat of paint is completely dry before adding another coat. This makes the highlighting process much more uniform and easier
  4. 1 wet cloth for cleaning off dried paint or glaze one brush for cleanup
  5. To fill in your fireplace after whitewashing, you will need a dry brush to sweep away any excess whitewash.

Step 2. Remove all the Items in the Fireplace and Prep the Fireplace

Make sure that the surface is clean and ready for painting. Remove all of your items from the fireplace. If you have a mantle, remove it and set it aside. Whitewashing a brick fireplace is to prep the fireplace for painting. Scrape off any debris accumulated on or around it, then clean it with some dish soap and water in either a bucket or garden hose with a sprayer nozzle attached. Once clean, let dry completely.

Step 3. Cover the Surrounding Areas with Sheeting

It is essential to protect your surrounding areas from getting paint. Place a large trash bag over the surround and tape it down with painter’s tape to ensure no seepage occurs. You can also use a drop cloth at this step if desired.

Step 4. Apply the First Coat of Glaze

When whitewashing a brick fireplace, the first coat is typically a glaze. This will give the project its overall color and help all stains from your brick show through. You can omit this step if you have any dark colors in your existing brick that you do not wish to show through. You can choose whatever color glaze that you want for this layer. Some choose white because it provides an overall smooth surface for additional coats and doesn’t add extra color to the finished product.

Step 5: Give Your Fireplace a Second Coat and Dry Brush Highlight

Add another coat of whitewash to the brick. This coating should be thicker than the first coat, but make sure that it isn’t too wide. Ensure that you begin brushing in the direction of your bricks. This will prevent streaking during the next step.

Step 6: Highlight Your Whitewashed Brick Fireplace

You can start highlighting all over your fireplace with a dark brush to give it some dimension. Start by picking which side of the brick fireplace you want to highlight, either the top or bottom half. It doesn’t matter which side you choose. Top-down because it is easier working with furniture items like mantles, but either way will work great.

Place your dark paint or glaze on the top of your brush. Start brushing in the direction of your bricks, beginning at the top. Rotate to a new section of paint as you brush down your fireplace

Step 7: Fill Your Fireplace Back In

After you have finished highlighting, the surface will be uneven, and it’s time to fill everything back in. Use a dry brush to fill your white fireplace back in with the glaze and paint you have already applied. Make sure that your meeting is in the direction of your bricks.

Continue brushing your glaze and paint until everything is filled back. Make sure that it is as even as possible – no streaks should be here.

Step 8: Let it Dry

Once you’ve finished your final coat of joint compound, put aside the project and allow it to sit for at least 24 hours before using the fireplace. Now that everything has dried thoroughly, you will want to look at the whitewash job from different angles or in different lighting. If there are any spots you might have missed or need more coverage, you can always correct them. Remember, this is supposed to look aged and distressed, so don’t worry if it is not perfect. You can always try again. Ensure you get satisfied with the results.

Step 9: Remove Your Sheeting and Mantel Cover

Once dry, carefully peel away your sheeting and help support with a hand or chin to prevent it from falling on the floor. You can now reattach your mantel if desired after cleaning up any stray pieces of glaze or paint. By this point, you will be amazed by the transformation!

Step 10: Cleanup

If there is dried glaze or paint around the fireplace area, use a wet cloth to wipe it away. Ensure that all of your brushes are cleaned and put away to dry out next time.
Step 10: Decorate Your Fireplace with Accessories!

You can now decorate your fireplace however you wish. This is the last step and perhaps the most fun one. Add candles, flowers, firewood, holiday decorations- whatever makes you happy. Enjoy the outcome!


Whitewashing is a great way to update any fireplace. Changing the color of bricks can significantly affect how your vignette looks. Painting on brick detailing before whitewashing can give you a more subtle effect, whereas increasing your glazing on your bricks will provide you with a richly colored color fireplace. For an inexpensive way to update your fireplace, this is it!

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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