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painted brick and stone fireplaces with white chalk paint

How To Paint Your Brick or Stone Fireplace

February 07, 2024
Author Brittney R
Do you have a brick or stone fireplace that just doesn't match your style? Did you know that you can easily change the whole look of your whole room without costly renovations? With just a bit of paint you can redesign and bring a new sense of life and purpose to one of the biggest centerpieces in your home; your fireplace!

Before we dive in, it's important to note that in some areas you're my not legally be allowed to paint brick/stone fireplaces. We suggest contacting your municipality before starting this project.

Materials Needed:

Transforming your living space takes on a new level of excitement when you consider the profound impact a fresh coat of paint can have on your fireplace. It’s not just about a simple color change; it’s a powerful way to infuse renewed life into the heart of your home. As we delve into this tutorial, we’re thrilled to guide you through not one, but three distinct methods, each carefully curated to bring out a unique touch that harmonizes seamlessly with your individual style and preferences.

  1. Classic Elegance – Solid Color Painting
  2. Rustic Charm – Distressed Finish
  3. Timeless – White Washing

Whether you’re drawn to the timeless allure of rustic charm, the sleek and modern lines that define contemporary aesthetics, or the eclectic fusion of diverse hues, this tutorial ensures there’s a tailored approach for every taste. Picture your living space coming alive with warmth and character as you embark on this creative journey. So, let’s not just paint a fireplace; let’s craft a focal point that tells your unique story and radiates cozy elegance throughout the winter season and beyond!

Method 1: Classic Elegance – Solid Color Painting

charcoal grey painted brick fireplace with chalk paint

Step 1: Clean Your Bricks

Start by making sure your fireplace is free from dust. Clean your brick or stone fireplace thoroughly to ensure proper paint adhesion. Use a mild detergent, or a mixture of vinegar and water. Whatever cleaning product you choose, be sure to wipe it with plain water afterwards to remove any leftover residue that could prevent the paint from adhering well.

Step 2: Prep and Prime

If you’re working with raw brick or stone, you can likely skip this step and just move straight onto painting!

If your fireplace has existing paint or a glossy finish it’s a good idea to lightly sand the surface to create a more porous base for the new paint. Wipe away any dust you just created.

Again, if you’re working with brick or stone that has already been painted (particularly with a shiny product) and you’re concerned about adhesion, you may wish to apply a coat of Clear Bonding Primer to your fireplace. This helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth base for your chosen color. Allow the primer to dry for 1-2 hours before painting.

Step 3: Paint

Using a synthetic bristle paint brush or even a Painting Sponge, apply your chosen paint color evenly over the brick or stone. A bristle brush is better for rough, uneven surfaces with lots of nooks and crannies, but sponges are fantastic for smoother surfaces. Go for the tool that best suits your fireplace!

Allow each coat to dry for 1-2 hours before applying the next. Depending on your color choice and the original surface color, you may need anywhere from 1-3 coats for full coverage.

Step 4: Final Touch-Ups

Once the final coat of paint is dry, remove any painter’s tape you take a close-up look for any imperfections that need to be touched up with an Artist Brush. Now step back and admire your work!

See how beautiful your fireplace can look in a fresh coat of paint? This example below was done with our deep charcoal grey color, Rocky Mountain.

Charcoal grey painted stone fireplace wall with orange tiles

© Shaina Bisgard

Method 2: Rustic Charm – Distressed Finish

painted brick and stone fireplaces with white chalk paint

Step 1: Clean Your Bricks

unpainted brick

Start by making sure your fireplace is free from dust. Clean your brick or stone fireplace thoroughly to ensure proper paint adhesion. Use a mild detergent, or a mixture of vinegar and water. Whatever cleaning product you choose, be sure to wipe it with plain water afterwards to remove any leftover residue that could prevent the paint from adhering well.

Step 2: Prep and Prime

If you’re working with raw brick or stone, you can likely skip this step and just move straight onto painting!

If your fireplace has existing paint or a glossy finish it’s a good idea to lightly sand the surface to create a more porous base for the new paint. Wipe away any dust you just created.

Again, if you’re working with brick or stone that has already been painted (particularly with a shiny product) and you’re concerned about adhesion, you may wish to apply a coat of Clear Bonding Primer to your fireplace. This helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth base for your chosen color. Allow the primer to dry for 1-2 hours before painting.

Step 3: Paint

Using a medium-sized paint brush, apply a thin coat of paint to the brick or stone surface. Allow it to dry completely before deciding if additional coats are needed to achieve your desired opacity. You can dilute the paint with water for a more transparent effect, but we recommend not diluting to more than 2 parts paint to 1 part water.

Let your paint dry for 1-2 hours.

Step 4: Sand to Distress

Once the base coat is dry, use medium-coarse grit sandpaper to lightly sand specific areas of the brick or stone to reveal the natural texture underneath. Focus on areas that would naturally wear over time such as corners, edges, and high-use spots.

Step 5: Final Touch-Ups

Use a small Artist Brush to touch up any areas that were accidentally distressed too much. You can also add more paint to certain areas to create a layered effect.

Here’s the finished look!

Method 3: Creating a Wash with Glaze

White washing is a different style of painting your bricks if you don’t want to give it that traditional look of full coverage paint. White Washing is a painting technique where you apply a 1:1 ratio of paint and water and mix them together to make a watered down paint application. This creates a unique distressed look to your brick without having to distress them. The thinned paint allows the originally material look to show through, creating the perfect rustic look.

white washed stone fireplace

Step 1: Clean Your Bricks

cleaning brick

Start by making sure your fireplace is free from dust. Clean your brick or stone fireplace thoroughly to ensure proper paint adhesion. Use a mild detergent, or a mixture of vinegar and water. Whatever cleaning product you choose, be sure to wipe it with plain water afterwards to remove any leftover residue that could prevent the paint from adhering well.

Step 2: Prep and Prime

If you’re working with raw brick or stone, you can likely skip this step and just move straight onto painting!

If your fireplace has existing paint or a glossy finish it’s a good idea to lightly sand the surface to create a more porous base for the new paint. Wipe away any dust you just created.

Again, if you’re working with brick or stone that has already been painted (particularly with a shiny product) and you’re concerned about adhesion, you may wish to apply a coat of Clear Bonding Primer to your fireplace. This helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth base for your chosen color. Allow the primer to dry for 1-2 hours before painting.

It is particularly important for this technique that you choose a clear primer since it will show through your paint wash.

Step 3: Mix and Apply Paint Wash

In a 4 part glaze to 1 part paint ratio, mix together Clear Glaze with the paint color of your choice in a separate container. This mixture will provide a semi-transparent paint wash with added depth and character. Ensure you select a fitting accent color as the base of your fireplace will remain visible through the paint layers.

Apply your paint/glaze mixture with a synthetic bristle paint brush in small sections. Don’t worry about getting full coverage at this point! Just quickly brush it on and move onto the next step before your wash begins to dry.

Step 4: Wipe Away the Excess

whitewashing brick - wipe away excess paint

This should be done while your glaze/paint mixture is still wet, so work in small sections.

Use a damp rag or towel to wipe away any excess paint. This step helps maintain a natural and varied appearance on the brick surface while allowing the glaze to enhance the overall rustic effect. Keep in mind that you can always add more layers later on if you feel you’ve removed too much, or your finish looks uneven.

Allow each coat to dry for 1-2 hours before applying a second coat or doing any touch-ups.

Here’s a before and after example of a beautifully white washed stone fireplace!

Before and after brown stone fireplace white washed with chalk paint

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