How to paint your unpainted fireplace


While rustic natural brick is a design favourite for many homeowners, others cringe at the sight of a crumbling, orangey-red fireplace.


Luckily, if you prefer the look of clean, painted brick, it’s easy to do yourself in a single afternoon -- with a single can of paint and a few tools.


Start by using a wire brush to clean any debris from the bricks and mortar. Fireplaces hide a ton of dust, so this job may be dirtier than you expect.


Use an industrial vacuum to clean up the mess. You want the surface of the fireplace to be as clean as possible before you start painting, or the paint won’t adhere properly.


Now it’s time to attack that fireplace with paint! We love Manor Hall 100% Interior Paint and Primer in One or Sico Evolution in either Eggshell or Semi-Gloss sheen.


The built-in primer means you’re only buying one product, instead of purchasing paint and primer separately. It’s a low-VOC, low-odor paint so it’s great, and it provides a flexible coating that resists cracking, peeling and flaking.


Now that you know what paint/primer to buy, what colour should you choose? Well, white is the most popular colour for a painted fireplace. But we’ve seen gorgeous painted fireplaces done in grey, cream, black, and even bold tones like teal and navy blue.


Are you brave enough for something shocking, or do you want your bricks to be a bit more subdued? Consider your mantle, the decor of the room, and potential resale value. While you may love the idea of a deep plum fireplace, you may want to go with something more neutral if you’ll be selling down the road.


Once you’ve tinted your paint and brought it home, lay down your floor protection and put on your grubby painting clothes. It’s time to transform your fireplace!


Use a stiff 1” brush to start painting the cracks and crevices between the bricks, and then switch to a small roller to cover the surface of the bricks. We recommend a 15 mL to 20 mL roller. Don’t be shy about doing a nice thick coat, because the fireplace is going to soak it up.


Let your first coat dry, and then do a second coat to touch up any areas that need it. When everything is covered evenly, wash out your brushes and pat yourself on the back. You’ve modernized your fireplace with a single can of paint, and we bet it’s never looked better!

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