How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

Brick fireplaces add a cozy atmosphere to any home. But what happens when you redecorate and the fireplace just doesn't fit in? What do you do when your fireplace is old, and it just doesn't look good anymore? You don't need to replace the bricks; you can simply paint over them! Here's how to paint a brick fireplace:

  1. Choose your paint There's a lot to think about when painting a brick fireplace. For one, when you paint on bricks, you'll almost never be able to restore the natural color. Choose a color that will fit with your room's decor. A semi-gloss latex paint works best on brick [source: painting-ideas-techniques].
  2. Prep the fireplace and surrounding area Cover the areas of wall and floor around your fireplace to protect them from drips or other accidents. Next, clean the bricks as best you can. Scrub the bricks down with sandpaper or wire brushes, to get all the dirt out of the pores of the bricks. If your brick fireplace was previously painted, you'll have to get every bit of old paint off. Use degreasers, such as dishwashing soap, and water to clean off any soot or grime. Use a vacuum to suck up any remaining loose debris [source: painting-ideas-techniques].
  3. Prime the bricks Apply latex primer to the cleaned brick surfaces. Be sure to fill the small holes and allow the primer to set in [source: Adams]. Do not prime or paint the firebox where the actual flame goes. Paint burns, period.
  4. Paint the bricks Use a paintbrush to paint the bricks. Take your time and work the paint into the cracks and crevices. Allow your latex paint to set, and then apply a second coat [source: Adams]. Remember, don't paint where you light the fire.