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How To Paint A Red Brick Fireplace White

This fireplace makeover is a real show-stopper. If you are questioning painting your brick then this post is for you! Gain inspiration from the amazing before and after pictures of red brick getting painted white.

painted white brick fireplace.

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Our simple fireplace update of painting the mantel and updating the cover was a great and easy weekend DIY project. I was I could say that this brick fireplace makeover was our DIY project, however, our family members are DIY nuts like us, too!

My sister-in-law really worked wonders on her entire fireplace brick. It honestly looks like a brand new fireplace.

What Paint Do You Use?

She did an amazing job painting her fireplace to give her whole living room a brand-new feel. She used Benjamin Moore ArborCoat White Solid Stain and highly recommends it to anyone who is debating about giving their fireplace a DIY makeover.

The reason that the ArborCoat worked for her was that her brick was porous and was able to soak in the paint.

As always, we recommend going to local paint stores with actual photos of your project before starting.

Other Paints To Consider

  • Giani Brick Transformations Whitewash Paint for Brick and Fireplaces: We have read great reviews that have helped people update their fireplaces.
  • Loxon Masonry Paint From Sherwin Williams: When researching for the paint to help whitewash a brick fireplace we found this product that has a primer built-in. It was perfect for diluting for whitewashing. I am sure it would be great to use just for a regular coat of paint.
loxon paint, cups, painter's tape in garage.

Recommended Painting Supplies

fireplace supplies to paint brick white with labels.

How To Paint Brick Fireplace White

Before any painting project, it is always a good idea to start with a clean slate. You never know how much soot and grime is on the brick.

  • Making sure the brick surfaces are clean and as soot and dust-free as possible
  • Use painter’s tape and drop cloths to cover anything that you do not want to get paint splatter on such as a mantel, surrounding shelves and walls

How To Prep Your Brick

Step 1: Clean With A Wire Brush

Fireplaces can accumulate a lot of dirt and grim on them. Using a small wire brush is a great way to knock loose dirt off the entire brick surface.

Don’t worry about getting every piece for dirt and soot. Just make sure you are knocking any really loose parts. You may also need to repair any mortar before starting.

Step 2: Vacuum Up Dust and Soot

Use a shop vac to clean up your dirty mess.

Step 3: Wipe Down The Brick

You can use TSP clean on a rag or soapy water. You can see how dirty the brick was after wiping it down with just Dawn dish soap and water.

bucket of dirty water with rag in sink.

Step 4: Let the brick fully dry before painting.

Step 5: Paint Mortar Joints First

Use a brush to paint mortar or grout lines first. You can then use a roller or just a brush to continue painting the bricks.

first coat of white paint on brick fireplace.

Step 6: Continue Working In Small Sections

Keep painting until you have covered the whole fireplace surround. Look at the surface of the brick from multiple angles.

Step 7: Add 2-3 Coats Of Paint To Get A Solid Color

Let the layer of paint dry completely before painting your second coat. This old brick really soaked in the paint so by the time she was finished with the first coat she could go back and start the second.

painted brick fireplace with wood flooring.

Before and After Brick Fireplace Painting

You can see how this dated brick fireplace was given a completely modern look with just a little paint. It really brightens this room for a modern farmhouse feel and dramatic statement.

They later added a reclaimed wood fireplace mantel to finish their budget-friendly fireplace makeover.

before and after red brick fireplace painted white.

Tips For Painting Red Brick Fireplace

  • Paint In Layers: The biggest factor that my sister-in-law said to consider was that you must apply this paint in layers and be patient. She was nervous to paint at first but just went with it.
  • Her finished painted fireplace took around 3 layers of paint.
  • Brush Mortar Lines First
  • You can use a brush and/or roller after. She chose to just use a brunch the whole time when painting.

Tutorial FAQs

Should you paint the inside of the fireplace?

If you plan on using your fireplace then you need to use special heat-rated paint for the inside. As you can see, the inside of the fireplace was not painted here.

Do you recommend Arborcoat for painting?

If we were doing this DIY painting project today, we would use the Loxon Masonry paint from Sherwin Williams. My sister-in-law was very happy with her paint choice. However, we think the best paint is one that is meant for masonry surfaces.

How does the painted brick fireplace look today?

This fireplace was done over three years ago and looks exactly the same as it did when it was first started. You should note that they rarely use the fireplace.

Could you paint your fireplace a different color?

The good news is that you can tint some masonry primer and paints. You can choose your fireplace color to fit your style.

Can you use regular latex paint?

We would not recommend using regular paint to paint your brick. While we have seen some DIY projects go well, we will still use paint meant for masonry rough surfaces.

white painted brick fireplace.

Related Painting DIYs

Now if only I can figure out how to do this to our stone, I will really have created an awesome living room update with a fireplace makeover.

If you like this tutorial, make sure to give it 5 stars below 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩. It truly helps us continue bringing you more free and budget-friendly DIYs.

Pin This DIY To Pinterest

painted brick fireplace with wood flooring.

How To Paint A Brick Fireplace White

Learn how to paint a brick fireplace white with this DIY painting tutorial.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: DIY Home Ideas, Paint Ideas
Keyword: diy fireplace makeover, how to paint brick fireplace white, painting red brick white
Prep Time: 2 hours
Active Time: 5 hours
Dry Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 8 hours
Author: Erin
Cost: under $60


Recommended Supplies


Clean and Prep Brick

  • Tape out areas and add drop cloths where you do not want paint and soot.
  • Use a small wire brush to clean soot and grim.
  • Vacuum loose particles with a Shop Vac.
  • Wipe down brick with dish soap and water or TSP.
  • Let brick fully dry.
  • Paint mortar or grout lines first in one section of the fireplace.
  • Continue painting first coat of paint on the brick. Keep checking for drips as you are working.
  • Let the paint dry.
  • Work to paint 2-3 coats of paint.


  • Make sure to fully cover areas you do not want to get paint on. Brush spray will happen due to the texture of the brick.
  • You can paint with just a brush or use a brush on the mortar lines and a roller for the flat surfaces of the brick.
  • Take your time and paint in layers for the best results.
  • Old brushes will work for this project due to the fact that they may get ruined on the texture of the brick.
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Tutorial Rating

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Donna Barnett

Friday 31st of March 2023

As I read your article I found myself returning to my former days of teaching. I used task analysis on a daily basis. You were clear, thorough, and descriptive. We recently bought a 60 yo house whose brick fireplace required extensive repair to the front as well as the firebox. Unfortunately the brick and mortar just don't quite match. My answer is DIY whitewashing or painting. I can now look forward to a successful project, thanks.


Friday 31st of March 2023

Hi Donna. Thanks for the kind words. I am a former teacher so this is a big compliment to me!

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