Easy DIY Painted Brick Fireplace

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Wondering how you update a brick fireplace? A painted brick fireplace is an easy and affordable way to breathe new life into your space!

I’ve wanted a white painted brick fireplace for YEARS. In our last house the brick was dark and dingy and I kept planning on painting it, but just never got around to it, so after moving into our new house we decided to make it a priority on the to-do list.

I’m SO glad we did!

The new house had a fireplace similar to our old one, dark and dingy. But it had great potential with the wood mantle and pretty built-ins. Side note – check out my most recent post for fireplace accent wall ideas.

We got to work researching everything we needed and tackled this project in one weekend!

Keep reading for a tutorial and everything you ever wanted to know about having a painted brick fireplace!

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DIY Painted Brick Fireplace

What you’ll need for this project:

Primer (if using regular latex paint)
Heat resistant paint OR High-quality interior paint
High-density roller cover OR Paint Sprayer
Paint tray and liners
Painter’s tape
Plastic covering

Do you need special paint for fireplace brick?

First things first, let’s answer an important question: Do you need special paint for fireplace brick?

Some say yes, others say a regular interior paint works fine. Professionals argue that if you want the paint to last for years to come, heat-resistant paint is the way to go.

Heat Resistant Paint for Brick Fireplaces

There are several options on the market if choosing heat resistant paint for your brick fireplace. Behr’s Fireplace Glow Masonry, Stucco, and Brick Paint is a high-quality acrylic latex paint that comes with a 20-year customer satisfaction guarantee.

Kilz Interior/Exterior Self-Priming Masonry, Stucco, and Brick Paint is another great option when it comes to heat resistant paint for brick fireplaces.

Heat-resistant paint typically comes in a flat finish with a built-in primer, eliminating the need to prime first.

Interior Fireplace Paint

For our interior fireplace paint, we went with regular latex paint. We chose Glidden’s Paint and Primer in one. It’s been three years and it’s held up so well! We’ve never had to touch it up and have no complaints.

I will say that even though it was a paint and primer in one, we decided to go ahead prime first anyway since we were going from a dark brick to a white brick fireplace.

So if you’re going to use regular interior paint, I would just say make sure you choose one that’s high-quality and use a primer if you’re going over dark brick.

Pro tip: Use peel-and-stick Samplize paint samples for an easy mess-free way to test different paint colors!

So let’s dive into the tutorial and if you still have questions before you start, be sure to skip down to the FAQ section at the bottom of this post!

Here’s what the fireplace looked like before:

brick fireplace

We started by removing the corbels. They just looked weird to me. They were almost too much for the mantle. I kept them and repurposed them as bookends to use as decorative pieces for the fireplace built-in shelves.

Clean Brick and Tape Off

After removing the corbels, we cleaned the brick with soap and water to remove the dust and soot. Next, we taped off around the area using blue painter’s tape.


As mentioned before, we primed it first since we were going over a dark brick with white paint. Here’s the top of the fireplace with one coat of primer:

primed brick fireplace

After we finished priming, we allowed it to dry completely. It didn’t take long, in fact by the time we were done priming the bottom brick, the top was dry and ready for the first coat of paint.

Paint the Brick

We used Ultra Pure White by Behr but we love Glidden’s Premium Paint + Primer so we had them look up the color in their database at Home Depot and mix it with the Glidden brand.

We chose an eggshell finish. Most brick fireplace paints come in a flat finish but I thought eggshell might be easier to clean.

Glidden paint in tray

Having never done this before, we just purchased a regular roller cover. But the surface of the fireplace is obviously rough, so the rolling got a little tedious. Be sure to purchase a high-density roller cover. They are thicker and made for rough surfaces like brick.

The bricks came out close to a 1/2 inch from the mortar in some places. We had to go back in with a brush to get the mortar. A thicker roller cover probably would’ve helped with this, as well!

Another great option would be to purchase a paint sprayer like this one. You would need to make sure everything in the area is covered and protected first. But, a paint sprayer would’ve made it easier to get in between the bricks and the cracks.

paint brush between bricks

It took one more coat for a total of three (primer + two coats of paint) to completely cover the brick.

Here’s how the fireplace looked after the final coat of paint:

painted white brick fireplace

Painted Brick Fireplace Before and After!

Here’s a full shot of the fireplace and surround before:

Easy DIY Painted Brick Fireplace 1

And here’s our painted brick fireplace after! We decided to strip and stain the fireplace mantle using Varathane’s Briarsmoke stain. It’s one of my favorites and you can read a review of it here.

We also painted the built-ins surrounding the fireplace in Ultra Pure White by Behr. What a difference!

How to Paint the Inside of a Fireplace

We didn’t need to paint the inside of our fireplace, but painting the inside of a fireplace can be done if you need or want to.

Obviously, if your fireplace is not a working fireplace and is purely decorative, you can use latex paint.

If you are planning on using your fireplace, you’ll need to purchase a special high-heat paint for the inside fireplace. Black is recommended since it will hide the soot. Here’s a great how-to from Brick Anew on how to paint the inside of a fireplace.

Painted Brick Fireplace FAQs:

What color should I paint my brick fireplace?

The best color to paint a brick fireplace really depends on your style and taste. A white brick fireplace is a very popular choice and goes with almost anything, but so is a gray painted brick fireplace.

Black is becoming a more trendy choice and teal is also a great option for a pop of color!

Is painting brick a bad idea?

People are sometimes hesitant, wondering if painting brick is a bad idea.

According to this article on Progressive.com, “Brick that’s chipping, deteriorating, molding or in overall poor condition is always a bad candidate for paint. Paint blocks the natural pores in the brick’s surface, which can cause existing problems to become exaggerated over time.”

It goes on to say, “Also remember that removing paint from bricks is no easy process. Chemicals have to be used, and often the paint won’t come completely off. If you don’t like the look, you may be stuck with it.”

So make sure before you paint that your brick is in good condition. As far as not being able to remove the paint, you need to decide if you’ll be happy with a painted brick fireplace long-term.

For us, our brick was really dark and ugly. It wasn’t a pretty brick. I’ve had no regrets since choosing to paint our fireplace.

Is painted brick high maintenance?

If your brick was in good condition before you painted and you use a high-quality paint with the right tools, a painted brick fireplace is a great, low-maintenance update.

I use a small vacuum once or twice a month to clean off the dust and a damp cloth if needed.

Is a red brick fireplace outdated?

Not at all! Red brick fireplaces are beautiful and if you’re wanting to keep yours but also want your space to feel updated, consider changing the color of your wall paint or updating your mantle. That may be all it needs to feel fresh and new.

Other painted brick fireplace ideas:

Looking for more painted brick fireplace ideas? Check out these beautiful options!

For a beautiful teal brick fireplace, idea check out Carrie’s post at Lovely Etc.

For another classic white brick fireplace option, check out Katie’s Lamb’s post here.

For a moody black brick fireplace idea, check out this one by Clare Paints.

For a gray painted brick fireplace idea, check out Cassity’s on Remodelaholic.

For a video on how to paint your fireplace, check out this tutorial.

Wondering how you update a brick fireplace? A painted brick fireplace is an easy and affordable way to breathe new life into your space!


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