Painting your fireplace is a big deal. Like, there’s no going back, kind of big deal. If you painted your fireplace and didn’t like it you could sand blast the paint off, but it most
definitely likely would damage your brick. So please make sure that painting your brick fireplace is something you can live with. Now that you have a healthy feeling of impending doom, some good news. Painting your brick fireplace is cheap and easy! With proper preparation and tools, it is one of the easiest and most rewarding DIYs I’ve done to date.
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HOW TO PAINT A BRICK FIREPLACE
This is a 90% preparation and 10% work kind of DIY. The tools you will need are:
To prep for painting your brick fireplace you will need to test the brick and mortar first to ensure it isn’t sealed. Wet a small area of the brick and mortar with water. If it absorbs easily into the brick surface you are good to paint. If the water beads up or just sits on top of the brick surface, you have a sealed brick, which is not recommended to paint. Fortunately, my brick fireplace was not sealed so I was good to go.
Time for a good old-fashioned scrubbing. I dusted and scrubbed the brick with a hard plastic bristle brush and hot soapy water (sorry, I forgot to take pics while I was cleaning). Be aware that acidic solutions like vinegar can cause the paint to chip over time so just use good old-fashioned hot soapy water. After cleaning you need to wait a full 24 hours to give the masonry time to completely dry. My fireplace was not used very often so it was easy to clean. If yours is soiled you may have to use a stronger chemical like this one.
All the forums I read recommended a breathable latex paint to prevent the paint from chipping over time. I choose to use Zinsser latex primer and Rust-Oleum interior semi-gloss acrylic latex paint. Load your roller full of paint and go to town. My Roman brick took 3 coats of paint for full coverage, but I imagine all brick varies on how much paint it absorbs.
The “must have” for this DIY is the roller. Without the thick nap roller it would have taken me forever to paint this puppy. Now if I could only figure out how to decorate the mantel I built? Stay tuned for a future post on how to build and mount my DIY fireplace mantel.
**Tip** Make sure to wait until the paint has absorbed into brick completely before touching up. After it has absorbed use a paint brush to “stipple” in the holes and spots the roller can’t reach. Brick drinks up the paint like no ones business, so be prepared to use a lot of paint.