How to Whitewash Your Brick Fireplace

How to Whitewash your brick fireplace in a few easy steps

When my husband and I moved into our home in 2013, we walked into a home with barely any updates and mostly original fixtures from 1978.

I had been wanting to update our fireplace ever since I saw it. Not only was the brick color a bit dark for the space, but the fireplace came with an additional challenge: it’s off-centered on the brick wall. This meant that I had be very strategic about staging it after I got the color perfected.

Here’s what the wall looked like prior to whitewashing:

Pre-whitewashed brick wall

Pre-whitewashed brick wall

I knew I wanted to whitewash the brick since I moved into the house in 2013, and we finally decided to take the plunge three years after moving in.

Whitewashing can lighten up the room and create a completely different feel.  I was struggling for a bit because I knew I didn’t want the brick to look stark white, and I also wanted it to blend with the wall color.

That’s when it hit me. Instead of using the typical 1/2 water and 1/2 white paint combo, I decided to add in a bit of the paint color of my walls, too.  I wouldn’t advise adding your room’s paint color unless it’s on the lighter side. If your surrounding walls are in the light gray/beige tones, then I’d say you’re safe to mix it into your paint.

Here’s the combo I used: 1/4 white paint, 1/4 wall color paint, and 1/2 water.

For my particular case, I decided to use a paint brush as opposed to a paint roller.  I did this because I could control exactly how much paint I used on each brick. Of course, this method takes way longer than it would to use a roller, but I only had one wall to paint, so it was feasible.

When I painted the walls, I dabbed the bricks until I achieved the desired look I wanted. I let the first coat of paint dry and decided that I wanted some more inconsistency with the bricks. So, I went back in and painted random bricks with a second coat.

Note: You may think you have overpainted, but the bricks will soak up the paint. Let the bricks dry so you can judge how they look before you add more paint.

Here’s how the brick looked after painting:

You’ll notice some bricks look whiter than the others. That’s because I did a second coat of paint on the whiter ones to make it look less uniform.

White-washed brick fireplace

White-washed brick fireplace

As you can see in the above photo, we put our fireplace doors back in. We left the doors brass, just as they had originally been. Once we put it all together, we realized we weren’t quite happy with the look. We didn’t have any other brass fixtures in that room. That’s when we decided to paint the fireplace doors black.

Here is the finished brick wall and finished fireplace doors:

White-washed fireplace brick

Ah, much better! Have you tried whitewashing your brick? Did you do it differently? I’d love to know how it turned out.

See more pictures of our home here.

Fire Place and Mantel

 

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How to Whitewash Your Brick Walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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