Brighten up a traditional fireplace with an easy-to-apply wash of inexpensive paint, aka whitewashing (how-to video coming soon!).  This was our first attempt at watered down paint over brick, and we’re ready to do it again times 10!  We couldn’t be more happy with the results and we think you’ll be just as impressed.  Even the most inexperienced homeowners can learn how to paint a brick fireplace, here’s how:

Step 1: Prep the area and brick for the whitewash. Wash the brick and grout using trisodium phosphate.  If you don’t have that handy wipe the brick down with Dawn dish soap. Be sure to remove any soot, rinse thoroughly, and let dry completely.

Step 2: Use painter’s tape to cover around the brick where you don’t want the paint. Use paper or pieces of cardboard as needed to protect the mantel and other areas, and drop cloths to protect the flooring.

Step 3: Mix the whitewash.  Pour equal parts white latex paint and water in a container and mix them to an even consistency. For less whitening, increase the amount of water in your mixture. You can always darken the bricks later by increasing the amount of paint. Use a paintbrush and apply the whitewash in the grout lines and on the brick and wipe over with a rag.

It’s time to go to town!  Put on your least favorite clothes and triple check that you protected the area around your fireplace or brick wall, because things are about to get messy!  BUT… well worth the mess.

Keep in mind you can also update the fireplace surround.  We used mat black heat resistant in a spray bottled and pulled everything else together by painting the bookcases in a bright white gloss.


Good luck!


-Steph and Dave


Send us your DIY photos… we’d love to share them on our website!