How To Update A Red Brick Fireplace With Paint

7 September 2017
 Categories: , Blog


If you are tired of that out dated red brick fireplace that resembles those in old sitcoms, add a coat of paint instead of removing it. Painting brick may sound difficult, but it isn't. To make a small fireplace look bigger, apply a light color of paint, such as cream, or enhance a big fireplace with a dark color. Here are tips to update your red brick fireplace with paint:

Prepare to Paint the Fireplace

To paint the fireplace, you need:

  • work gloves
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • spray bottle 
  • wire brush
  • liquid dish soap
  • white vinegar 
  • painter's tape
  • 20-grit sandpaper
  • paint tray or bucket
  • one-inch  rough nap paint roller suited for masonry surfaces
  • small paint brush w/ extension
  • heat-resistant paint (optional)
  • masonry primer latex paint

Sweep or vacuum around the fireplace, and use sandpaper to scrub debris and loose mortar from the bricks. Mix warm water and several drops of liquid dish soap or vinegar in a spray bottle, squirt it on the bricks or bucket and let it stand several minutes.

Scrub the surface with the wire brush, rinse, and let the surface dry, which may take several hours. To clean stubborn dirt or stains, use trisodium phosphate. 

Prime the Bricks

Lay drop cloths or plastic cover the floor, and cover trim on doors and adjacent walls with painter's tape. Raise a window or open a door to ventilate. Pour the primer into a tray or in a bucket, then apply the primer slowly using a paint roller starting at edges and corners at the top. 

Paint and primer should be able to withstand fireplace temperatures. Spread the primer into the grout with a small paint brush. To reach high points, attach an extension to the roller. Let the first coat of primer dry, and add another coat. 

Paint the Fireplace

Ensure all primer layers have dried. Test the shade of paint by dabbing some on cardboard, and holding it in front of the fireplace at different times of the day in both artificial and natural light. 

Add paint to the paint tray, and start painting the fireplace edges and corners with an angled paint brush, and avoid painting bricks inside the firebox unless you use heat-resistant paint. Paint the remaining areas with the roller beginning from the top corners. To reach higher areas, attach an extension pole to the roller.

Let the first layer of paint dry to the touch, and apply another coat or two for adequate coverage if needed. Paint commonly takes two or three hours to dry. After the paint dries, remove the painter's tape and drop cloths. Check out a website like for more information and assistance.