Painting an Old Brick Fireplace

This post was originally published in December 2009 and​ with fireplace season here I thought it would be a great time to re-share with everyone.

Decorating your fireplace mantel is one thing, but what if your brick fireplace is distressed, cracked or just an eye-sore? With economic times being tight, most don’t have extra cash to hire a professional mason to repair damaged brick and crumbled mortar.

One solution is to simply paint over old, dingy brick. Painting bricks white like in this living room from young house love, creates a clean and contemporary look.

Of course I wouldn’t think of painting an antique fireplace like the one shown above, but would consider it if constructed in the 1960s or 1980s, which is when the majority of masonry fireplaces in the United States were built.

Because I have never had to restore a brick fireplace, I assumed that just any old semi-gloss paint and technique would due. After looking into it further, I found that it is difficult to keep the brick’s look and texture when simply using standard paint. In addition, standard paint is not designed to be heat resistant and will blister and peel if it gets too hot.

Here is a before {above} and after image of a red brick fireplace that was restored with a new coat of paint from Brick-Anew – a kit designed for you to change your brick’s color while keeping the texture. I haven’t used the product, but the transformation as you can see is impressive.

In addition to painting the bricks, the homeowner removed the built-in stair-step brick shelves using a chisel. A simple mantel was added to finish off the look. What an improvement, don’t you think?

*images courtesy of Coastal Living, Young House Love and Brick-Anew

**disclosure – Brick-Anew is a Simplified Bee affiliate partner

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