How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

Perhaps you’ve grown weary of the look of your brick fireplace surround and you are thinking of a way to change its look.

Say you’ve got a free afternoon, then you have enough time to give your brick fireplace surround a dramatic new look. Even the most inexperienced DIYers can learn how to painters paint a brick fireplace.

All it takes is a little elbow grease, a few tools and some paint. Here is how to paint a brick fireplace and transform the look of your room.

Ensure You Have the Right Material

Though there are many things that can be included on a list of places you can paint, most stone fireplaces, like limestone, river rock, sandstone are less amenable and harder to change once you paint them. If you want to paint your fireplace, you have to first make sure it is a brick surround.

Clean, Clean, Then Clean Again

In order to make sure your paint adheres and dries properly, you will need to clean the brick thoroughly. Use a wire scrub brush to get any dust or dirt. Apply nonsudsy trisodium phosphate, otherwise known as TSP, wear gloves and safety goggles and then wash thoroughly with a heavy-duty cleaner. After washing, rinse and let dry. Any areas that you want to remain paint-free should be taped off.



If you use a stain-blocking, oil-based primer, it can help protect your paint against future soot stains as you use the fireplace. To do this, lay a drop cloth and apply the primer to the entire surface by following the manufacturer directions on the can.


Once the primer is dry, it is time to paint the brick. Choose indoor latex paint. It could be either flat, semigloss, or gloss. Choose anyone that is rated to withstand temperatures generated by the fireplace, generally about 200°F, and also use a roller specifically for textured surfaces. The roller will help in covering the surface of the brick which may not entirely smooth. Use a small paintbrush to touch up any spots that you can’t reach using a roller. Apply a second and third coat as needed.

You should note that the type of paint mentioned above is only appropriate for the exterior of a brick fireplace and not the interior firebox. You’ll need a special heat-resistant paint if you want to paint the firebox.


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