It’s been seven years in the making but we finally painted our fireplace! Ever since we moved in to this house I knew I wanted the brick painted. The tone of the brick was just too red and just didn’t match my blue and white aesthetic. And let me tell you, I one hundred percent wish we had done this sooner!! Painting this fireplace white makes this space feel bigger and brighter – which is exactly what I was hoping for.
I did a lot of research on Pinterest just to make sure whitewashing was what I wanted. I will admit I was worried about choosing white (opposed to gray or navy) since our walls are already white. But the imperfection of the whitewash technique actually adds some texture and dimension and I just love how it looks against the white walls. I’m not sharing a ton of pictures because the overall space isn’t done yet. We hope to install some white shelves on either side of the fireplace so I’ll share a follow up post once that project is done (which could be many months or even a year).
In the meantime I’ll share the tools, supplies and process I used for the whitewashing! It actually was a very easy and fun project!
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
(We had a Lowe’s gift card so everything I bought I was able to find there)
Valspar Ultra White Latex Interior Paint and Primer (I went with eggshell because I didn’t want it too shiny)
2-3 paint brushes (latex flat paint brushes)
2 buckets (one for mixing paint and water and one for just water)
Spray bottle with water
Towels/Sheets to protect the floors and wipe up any drip
I did some research prior to painting, but really I was banking on my friend Erin (who is an artist and who has done her fair share of home renovations) to lead the way. I sent her a simple process that Home Depot has on their website and we went from there.
Step 1: Cleaning and Prepping the Space
The day before we painted I primed the area by cleaning the brick with a gentle multi-purpose cleaner (I used my Branch Basics Spray) and a rag. After I cleaned each individual brick I vacuumed the entire area with the vacuum hose. This took me about an hour.
I then set up the painters tape along the perimeter and made sure I had enough towels and sheets to cover our hardwood floors.
Step 2. Mix the Paint
A couple minutes before Erin arrived I mixed the paint and water together. I started with a 50/50 mix but quickly realized that was going to be too opaque for my liking so I added more paint to make it about 70% paint and 30% water.
Step 3: Paint the Bricks!
I technically didn’t watch the video I sent Erin from Home Depot but she did (thank goodness!) so she knew exactly what to do. We ended up only using paint brushes and painted each individual brick and all the mortar by hand.
We would wet a couple of bricks at a time with a spray bottle of water and then use a paint brush to apply the paint. We would immediately use a wet sponge (we had one bucket of just water) to even out the paint and catch any drips. We ended up putting on two coats and then I went through and applied touch ups as needed. In between the first and second coats we identified only a handful of bricks to keep more opaque than the others and taped those off so we wouldn’t paint over them. This allowed us to create a nice pattern throughout the fireplace.
The painting portion took us about two hours, which included small breaks since our kiddos were playing and were very curious as to what we were doing.
And I think that’s about it! If you are on the fence about painting your brick fireplace I say do it!!! Especially if you have a small space like we do. The white completely brightened and enlarged our family room and I really couldn’t be happier.
Next up: adding shelves to either side of the fireplace!
Thanks for all the encouragement and excitement over this project! There is nothing I love more than decorating our home and making it feel like home.