TUTORIAL: How to Paint an Old Brick Fireplace

Filed in Fireplace, Home Improvement, Posts by on October 8, 2012 44 Comments

Yes, it is possible to paint an old brick fireplace.

 

Okay, so you’re reading this because you have an old, ugly fireplace in your house and you can’t stand it and want to do something about it. I feel your pain!! When we moved into our old, 1973 house, it didn’t cross my mind that I would one day have to DO something about that ugly brick fireplace. I know that some people like exposed brick, and yes, in some instances, I think it can look pretty industrial and chic.

But THIS??–no way.

It just looked so dated.

And it sucked a lot of light from the room. Our family room doesn’t get a lot of light in the spring and summer months. It feels like a cave!

 

 

Hubby actually LIKED the brick (WTH???).

Me–I wanted to paint it (and I blogged about it back in May 2012), but I didn’t want to mess it up, or make it look like something I’d regret. After all, removing paint from brick would be TORTUROUS!!

To do my fireplace I used a painting kit (from Brick Anew).

It cost $199. I couldn’t find any reviews on it, so I took my chances.

I was stocked with the results, but shocked that the kit was just PAINT. Yes…just paint, and not a lot of it. Don’t wait your money when you can do your own DIY faux finish for much less. It’s just a painting kit where the colors are pre-selected, so it takes the guess-work out of knowing what colors to layer to get the right effect. But if you can figure out what colors you need to do the same faux finish, you’d probably spend no more than $50 to achieve the same look as a DIY project.

If you watch my YouTube video below, I am basically using the kit, layering the paint on in a faux finish.

Do I love the results? Yes.

Can you do the same look, but cheaper? Definitely.

Here’s the AFTER:

 

No longer an eye-sore in my family room!

 

And of course, just doing a BEFORE and AFTER shot isn’t enough. I actually shot a video of the whole project. Please feel free to check it out and share! (And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel).

Watch the Video Tutorial!

So what do you guys think?
Thrift Diving How to Paint an Old Fireplace
So I get a lot of questions from readers and DIY’ers asking some of the same questions, so I thought I would include some of the most FAQ I get about this project:

FAQ

Q: What colors should I use to achieve this same look for my fireplace without spending lots of money?
A. Go to Home Depot and look for this brick and mason paint:
brick and mason paint
This Masonry, Stucco, and Brick Paint has held up well on my fireplace. Feel free to use this color code to create a base coat for your fireplace. Sorry for the blotches of paint!
How to paint a brick fireplace base coat paint code
Those codes are:
CLRNT 
OZ
384th

BL
0
257

 
CL
1
193

IL

1
61

 

Q. How do I paint a faux finish on my brick fireplace?

This website has great instructions on doing a faux finish to cover up dark ugly brick and to still make it look like brick. It recommends:

1. Get a paint chip color card in tan or light brown (see paint code above) and use it as your base coat. Look at my YouTube video on how to paint an old brick fireplace for an idea of the shade of beige I used.

2. Whichever color you use as your base coat, take the lighter color on the card, and take the darker color below it, and each color will get mixed with glaze. You could probably use this glaze from Home Depot.

3. Go over the base coat with the darker glaze mix.

4. Next, go over with the lighter glaze mix.

 

Q: How much paint will I need?

A: If your fireplace is huge like mine, you will probably need a gallon of the Brick and Mason paint listed above.

Q: What should I use to clean my fireplace?

A: You can use Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) to get it clean, as well. You can get it from Home Depot or Amazon. My family isn’t big fireplace users, so ours wasn’t too dirty. If you’re someone that uses your fireplace a lot, invest in a good fireplace cleaner so you’re not painting over dirty fireplace soot.

 

Q: Did you use a sealer on your fireplace after painting it?

A: Nope! It seems pretty secure and I haven’t had any chipping.

 

If you have ANY questions at all about my project, please feel email me and I’ll help you out as best as I can! :) You can ask me over on Google +.

Consider subscribing to my blog if you liked this post and video tutorial, for more DIY home improvement, furniture makeovers, and a ‘lil bit of thrifty crafting :).

 

 

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About the Author ()

LIFE shouldn't be financial suicide! Thrift Diving is about finding cheap solutions to life's expenses, via thrift stores and second-hand goods: I paint used furniture and decorate my house with it....my family rocks cute thrift store clothing.....and I invest tons of DIY (do-it-yourself) home improvement hours into fixing up our old 1973 single-family home. Thrift Diving is about turning the "expensive" into the "affordable." Thanks for joining me! Happy Thrift Diving!

Comments (44)

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  1. Jason says:

    Thank you for posting this video. The fireplace looks great. Aside from the base color, were colors 1, 2 or 3 or the glaze used on the mortar joints or only the bricks?

  2. Serena says:

    Thanks, Jason! Yep, base color was applied to everything. As for Colors 1,2,3 and the glaze, I applied them only to the bricks. My mortar was a bit inset, so it was easy to only stick to the bricks. But some people’s fireplaces may have more even brick and mortar, so you’d have to be diligent to stay on just the bricks. Are you considering painting your fireplace?

  3. Jason says:

    Yes, I’d like to paint my fireplace but I’m hesitant. Like yours, my brick fireplace covers one entire wall but my mortar joints are black not gray. I don’t recall from your video, but did you use the Twilight Taupe color?

  4. Serena says:

    Jason,
    Don’t be afraid to paint it! You will LOVE it! The black mortor won’t matter, because (if you use this painting kit), you would be painting the whole brick and mortor with the base coat. It covers well, but you will need more than what comes in the kit. It comes with 2 bottles of base coat, but if you recall from the video, those 2 bottles only covered half of my fireplace. I ended up going to Home Depot and got a color match of the base coat. You could do the same, too. The difference is so slight you can’t tell. And then when you do Colors 1,2,3, just do it on the brick. It will look soooo much nicer. And yes, I cuded Twilight Taupe. Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions! :)

  5. Jason says:

    What did you end up buying from Home Depot? A latex, oil, or a tinted Kilz? Also, did you use Brick-Anew’s spray brick cleaner to clean the fireplace prior to painting?

    • Serena says:

      HI, Jason,
      I’m sorry, did I end up getting back to you about the paint that I bought from Home Depot?? If I didn’t, totally sorry! Do you still need help? And if not, how did your fireplace turn out?
      Serena recently posted…No, I Don’t Get Everything From the Thrift Store!My Profile

      • Jason says:

        No, haven’t done my fireplace yet. It was supposed to be my big winter project, before yard work calls in the spring. :) Still have a few more months though, and I just want to be confident about my color choice and the amount of paint I’ll need.

        I did find a BBB bureau report on the BrickAnew folks:
        http://www.bbb.org/atlanta/business-reviews/fireplace-equipment-retail/intercept-sales-in-marietta-ga-27271392

        A few complaints listed there but still an A+ rating.

        • Serena says:

          Jason, I haven’t seen that report. In my own experience, they had pretty good customer service. At first, I was going to return the kit, even after I had painted part of the wall, because I just felt like, “I paid $200 for THIS??!!” The customer service woman was like, “Yeah, we’ll give you a refund if you really want it, but promise me you’ll at least TRY to finish all the colors, or at least do a test, and see if you like it.” So I took her advice and finished it, and I DID love it, so of course, I never returned it.
          Let me know when you’ve done your fireplace! I would really love to see a pic :) Happy painting!
          Serena recently posted…TUTORIAL: How to Make a DIY Pendant LampMy Profile

  6. Randy B. says:

    I think this turned out great. Do you think you could have done this with material all from a Home Depot/Lowes/Menards paint line knowing what you know now or do you think that the Brick A New has some coats in which can not be replicated. I enjoyed the depth in which things were put in order and it makes sense because some people just choose to paint their fireplace and it’s just a solid color and it does not look brick anymore; this does?

    If it could be bought locally, could you possibly tell exactly what products are needed to buy and how much one may save. I agree 200 is steep but you do have a great looking wall!

    Thanks for taking time to make a video; much appreciated

    • Serena says:

      Hi, Randy! Hmm…good question. I think I probably could have, maybe if I had known what I was ordering before I actually ordered it. LOL. I was up at 2 a.m. and just happened to be searching painting fireplaces, and stumbled onto Brick Anew. It was a splurge purchase, without any knowledge of what I was buying. I was a little dismayed to find that I had spend $200 on…um…PAINT in small bottles! LOL What you’re paying for is the particular COLORS they’ve pre-mixed for you. If you could figure out what colors you’d need to do a faux finish, which is what this is, then you’d be all set. Do some research on faux finishes and see what you come up with.
      As for saving, you could get a can of regular brick mason paint for about $20. A WHOLE CAN, versus one of those small bottles. That’s huge savings!!
      Let me look in to seeing if I can try to replicate it. I don’t want to infringe on their licensing or anything! Lord knows I don’t need a lawsuit. LOL
      Serena recently posted…TUTORIAL: How to Make a DIY Pendant LampMy Profile

      • Randy B. says:

        Thank you for the reply; I agree the color scheme should not be too hard to find for some faux diy finishes that some people have experimented. I guess besides the brick mason paint is there any other special paints. I understand Brick a new is going to be cryptic and not boldly say this is just brick mason paint from lowes with our label on it with our own color tint we made up. Thanks again for responding and I am glad you showed us hope in what our fireplaces could look like and not so “Old” . Great job!

        • Serena says:

          Definitely! I think the most important thing is to start with a basecoat that’s a few shades darker, and then work in a couple lighter colors, while working in random pattern to “faux” it on :) As for special paints, there is one step that they call the “Glaze” step. I don’t know how “special” it is, though. I don’t know if it was really a glaze at all. I’ll take a closer look at it and see if I can determine if it’s a more watery glaze or something. But oh—I think I forgot to reply earlier that yes, it still has a “brick” look to it, which is what drew me to the product to begin with. Hubby wanted to keep it its original brick (!!!! Heck no!!!!). So I thought this was a good compromise: paint it, but make it still look like brick. I’m totally satified with it! So even if you bought it, you would NOT be dissatisfied! It really does work, and takes the guess-work out of which colors to choose to make it look the best.
          Serena recently posted…TUTORIAL: How to Make a DIY Pendant LampMy Profile

  7. Rita says:

    Hi Serena,
    Love, Love, love your brick wall!! It’s so updated and fresh looking! I have a “faux brick” wall in my kitchen that is definitely going to get a make-over. I’d love to achieve this look and was wondering how you feel about white-washing the faux brick? It would still look like brick, but with a nice whitish wash. I’d love to hear your opinion and perhaps suggestions.
    Thanks bunches:)

  8. Sarah says:

    Love the way your fireplace turned out. Looks just like mine right down to the brass doors! I am about to order the kit and I noticed that you can buy additional base coat. My question is what size of area did you paint? Do you think one more container would have been enough for you to finish? My area is 11′x13′. I work odd hours so any chance I have of hitting Home Depot is slim to none anytime soon ( I am the 2am project kind of gal) advice would be great!

    • Hey there, Sarah! Thanks for the compliment! My fireplace is about that same size. The kit comes with 2 bottles of base coat. It took me both bottles, and I was only able to finish the top portion of my fireplace. It also depends on how porous your fireplace is. Mine is VERY porous! If your is porous, I would count on needing 2 more bottles to coat the whole thing. If you’d like, you could probably just order 1 additional bottle, and then if you need it, order another. Not sure how much shipping would be, but it would be cheaper than buying another bottle and then finding that you don’t need it, you know? Their website says that a kit will cover 100 sq ft. Yours, from your dimensions, is about 143 sq ft. Try one extra bottle and go from there. Good luck!! You’ll love the results!
      Serena Appiah recently posted…HomeRight Steam Machine Giveaway!My Profile

  9. Susan Paparella says:

    I got the same look for $20.00. Cleaned the fireplace, mixed 2 parts water with one part white, latex paint. Slowly painted one brick at a time, dabbing and rubbing in with a clean rag, as I went, I was careful not to get it in the grout. Looks fabulous!

    • Mel says:

      Hi. Can you post a photo of it?

      • Susan Paparella says:

        Hi, yes, I have a photo of the result. My husband loved it! I do not know how to post it here. Tried to copy and paste it into the comment box, but it didn’t work. I am happy to try again, if anyone can tel me how I can post it here or happy to attach it in an e-mail to you! It is such an improvement! The fireplace had sickly looking, 60′s peach brick. Now it’s SO much better!

  10. Steve says:

    When you bought the extra paint at Home Depot, what exactly did you buy? I am trying to find what color and finish and also if you bought a gallon or quart extra. Moving to a new house and along with painting many many walls, we have this listed to do. It’d be much easier for me to hit Home Depot for extra then wiat for a shipment.

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  12. Vicki says:

    FINALLY a painted brick fireplace I can LOVE. For 13 YES THIRTEEN YEARS I have wanted to and searched for a a way to paint this cave looking brick to no avail.
    THANK YOU FOR SHOWING US THIS!!!!
    We will FINALLY be doing something about what we consider the only flawed area of our family room.

    Keep up the teaching..I’m learning

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  14. Randy Str says:

    Serena,

    Thanks for the video. I found BrickAnew while looking for a way to remove the painted from my already painted brick. Being the skeptic that I am, I started looking at all the blogs and video I could find and there was not much. I don’t think I would have moved forward with the BrickAnew without your video. I thought it was a great concept, but I really didn’t want to waste $200 for the kit to find out it was not.

    Regards,
    Randy

  15. Ashley says:

    Thank you for a great video tutorial! We just closed on a farmhouse built in 1930. It has an ugly partial brick wall that needs updated. I have heard horror stories of painting brick but you make it look so effortless!! I can’t wait to start painting mine :)

  16. Reyhana says:

    Hi Serena,

    Happy New Year! I just came across your website while researching fire place painting. I absolutely love your new updates fire place. I really don’t want to spend the $200 for the paint supplies from the vendor that you used. Is it possible that I can obtain the same look by using items for Home Depot? I’m ready to take on my first DIY project. A bit nervous, but still excited.

    Thanks for any advice that you can offer; and apologies if this is a repeated question.

    Regards,
    Reyhana

  17. Lisanne Canal says:

    Do you know what alternative colors that can be used for Brick painting like yours? The glaze and all…
    thanks

    embarrassed to ask but money is money and lord knows we don’t have much…

    cheers,
    thanks for your time
    Lisanne Canal

  18. carl says:

    Apparently Serena has left the building. No posts since last March.

  19. carl says:

    I’m referring to the lack of your replies to the many questions asked since March, although I do see that you did respond to Cindy today after I had posted my comment.

  20. Renetta Fierro says:

    Thanks for posting this I thought of refacing with rock then decided I didn’t want to spend to much so I was looking for alternatives I am so excited to see how good this came out then the screen cover I didn’t think of painting it I was gonna get a new one I really love the outcome great job I was intimidated to start this but now I’m ready!

  21. steve says:

    Fantastic video and job. Seeing that massive brick face makes me feel so much more confidentabout attempting mine and leavig it in the 70s;)
    Thanks again!

  22. Great post! Been reading a lot of tips for painting like this. Thanks for the info!
    Painting Tips recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

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