How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

Susan Foster

Last updated Mar 2, 2024
Susan! The traveler and cheerleader of our team. She always has instant and backup ideas. She is our DIYs and blog specialist.

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If you are thinking about painting your brick fireplace, then you are in luck! There are many different painting techniques that can be used to give your fireplace a fresh look. 

When considering what type of paint to use, remember that it is best to use oil-based paint when painting brick because it will adhere better.

This article will walk you through the process of painting your brick fireplace using several different methods and materials. It also includes some tips for making sure that your project goes smoothly.

What Type of Brick do You Need to Paint

There are two main types of bricks for fireplaces – natural stone or manufactured (or cast) clay. Natural stones have been quarried from the earth and shaped into various sizes and shapes.

Manufactured clay has a uniform shape but can be made in different colors. Both materials require special preparation before they can be painted.

Preparation for Painting

Before you start painting, all surfaces must be clean and free of dirt and debris. If there is any residue on the surface, this will prevent the paint from adhering properly.

You should also ensure that your fireplace surround is dry to avoid cracking when applying the finish coat. The best way to achieve this is by using an electric fan heater which circulates air around the room.

This ensures that no moisture remains inside the chimney or flue system. It may take several hours to reach its optimum temperature, so make sure you have plenty of time available.

STEP 1: Using a small brush, apply two coats of primer onto the entire area where the wall meets the hearth. Allow each coat to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

STEP 2: Once all areas are primed and dried thoroughly, use a roller sander with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges in the woodwork. Sanding will also help remove any dust from your work surface.

If there is still some residue left over after this process, wipe it off using a damp cloth. You can then proceed to paint or stain as desired.

Which Colors to Choose

The color you choose for your fireplace mantle depends largely upon how much natural light comes into your home during the winter months.

Colors to Choose for Painting

If you live in an apartment with no windows facing south, you may want to consider painting your mantel white so that more sunlight shines through the room.

On the other hand, if you have lots of southern exposure, you might prefer something warmer like red or orange.

It’s best to consult with a professional painter before making such decisions. You can also look at some online resources on choosing colors for fireplaces (see Resources).

Maintaining the Fireplace after Painting

  • Clean your fireplace regularly using soap and water. If there are any cracks or crevices where dirt collects, use a brush to remove it. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the outside of the chimney.
  • Cover it with a protective layer of paint sealant when not in use. This will help prevent dust from settling into the woodwork and keep out moisture that could cause mold growth.
  • Restore the hearth’s look once the paint has dried by applying an oil-based stain such as Minwax’s Hearth & Home Oil Stain. You can also apply a coat of clear polyurethane varnish over the top if desired.
  • Ensure to seal it properly after staining, so you don’t have to do this again for years!
  • Maintain your fireplace regularly, especially during cold weather months. Clean ash screens periodically using a brush or vacuum cleaner attachment. Check flue liners every year; replace them if necessary. Make sure there is no accumulation of debris on firebox walls.

You may also like: Best ash vacuum

In conclusion, the only equipment you really need to paint a brick fireplace is a bucket of paint, a brush, and a few hours of your time.

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