Tutorial: Painting a Brick Fireplace

9:27 AM

We have this extra large brick fireplace in our living room which I love. I just hated that oak mantle and 1978 brick. This project has been on my list for months. I spent a lot of time researching the perfect paint to use. My biggest concern was safety, because we use the fireplace a lot and I was afraid that the heat would chip the paint and the idea of burning paint chips just scared me. So after I found a paint that would be safe around the heat, it took me another month to decide on the colors. So finally, over Christmas break Drew and I worked together for a few days to paint the whole living room. 

If you need instructions on painting your mantle, check out Jessica's tutorial.

1. Clean the brick.
I started by sweeping off dust, grit, and cob webs. Then I scrubbed everything with hot soapy water. Let it dry, then I swept again. Then I used Vinegar and a coarse scrub brush on the sooty area just in front of the fire box. Then I gave it one last sweeping until I couldn't gather anymore crumbs. This is the most time consuming part but a well prepared surface will just hold up much better.
2. Prime the brick.
I used a special primer called Zinsser Smart Prime. It's a water based product that contains similar resins used in oil based products, so it has a longer drying time allowing full penetration of the brick. I applied the primer with a brush, because I wanted the mortar left the original color.
3. Paint base coat color.
I used acrylic paint by Bejamin Moore. The color is Stormy Monday in a matte finish. I applied the base color with a brush.
4. Create faux brick finish.
Use a sea sponge for this step. Get the sponge wet and squeeze out all the water so it's soft. Start with a color 1-2 shades darker than your base coat and just start slapping it on. If you're not totally confident, start on the side or a less noticeable spot until you get used to it. Let the first texture coat dry then add another shade slightly darker.

I used Bejamin Moore colors Stone and Iron Mountain. For the third and fourth sponged layers I mixed all my grey colors to create as many shades as possible for a more natural look. 

Here is our finished fireplace! My husband was impressed that the brick still looks like brick and I totally love it. I'm working on the rest of the living room projects like a vertical garden, hand-built book cases, curtains, and paintings. It should be finished pretty soon and I'm so excited.

Tomorrow is Jessica's live webinar through burdastyle if you are interested in learning about altering a suit!

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  1. I am amazed how natural your brick looks. Did you have to put a clear coat over the matte paint?
    Looks so good with the painted mantel.

    1. I didn't put on any clear coating, I just left the matte paint plain because I didn't want the finish to be glossy at all.


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