Painting a Brick Fireplace

Written by Decor, DIY, Transformation

It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing since I painted the fireplace mantle last year… and now I wish I had pulled the trigger soooooo much sooner! I finally painted the red brick around the fireplace box black to match the rest. Now the mantle looks ooo la la!

Let’s do a quick walk down memory lane…

This fireplace always had good bones, but just needed to be brought out of the 60’s. I hesitated to paint the brick because you can’t go backwards after that. I also worried what people would think about black brick… But I kept having this gut feeling, and then I saw Ashley Petrone of Arrows & Bow paint her whole fireplace black and it’s stunning! It was just the push I needed to follow my gut! A swift kick in the butt can come from anywhere when you least expect it.

Our fireplace didn’t have much brick, so it didn’t take that much time to do at all! Again… why did I wait?!?!!! I could have been living with this for the past year! But when I started trying to find information on how to paint brick around a fireplace I was finding a lot of contradictory info. Some people were saying it HAD to be masonry paint or you HAVE to prime the brick first with masonry primer. Or since it’s around a fireplace that I would have to use high heat paint, but I could only find that for metal. So here’s what I ended up doing…

  1. I scrubbed the brick with a dry brush to loosen any gunk. Then I vacuumed the brick to get them cleaner. I didn’t go nuts trying to get them sanitized like a lot of posts talk about doing.
  2. Cracked open the can of black paint I already had from painting the mantle last year. The color is Black Mocha by Behr. Using a sponge brush, I painted the mortar lines first followed by the brick surfaces.
  3. Did a second coat.
  4. Stepped back to enjoy the view!

That’s right! I used regular old paint like I do for anything else. So I’ll report back if anything bad happens. I also opted not to use heat resistant paint here, because it’s not like I was painting the fire box itself. The bricks I painted were just around the edge.

It’s also not like we ever have fires in here. The first time we tried to build a nice little fire in here, smoke just came billowing into the living room, setting off every smoke detector, freaking out the dogs for hours… it was so relaxing guys. We thought it was just user error at first, but our neighbors were over one day and asked if we were able to use our fireplace at all because they had smoke pour into their house when they tried to use theirs… so it turns out the builder of our homes made the fireplaces too shallow to actually be usable. Needless to say, we are considering converting it to gas one day… which is exactly what our realtor suggested to us when we bought the house! Hahaha! Shhhhh… don’t tell her.

The next thing on my punch list to finish updating this fireplace is to change out the hearth tile. I’m considering getting some fancy marble or a rich patterned tile. But I’m gonna go down the road of finding out how much converting to gas would affect. I wouldn’t want to lay really nice tile and then have to tear it up a couple years later. So, just something fun to think about for now!

Moral of the story – go with your gut. Don’t hold off just because you’re worried what others will think. It’s YOUR home! Do it. You know you want to 😉

Last modified: October 25, 2018

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