Thursday, April 30, 2015

How To White Wash Your Fireplace in 3 Easy Steps

I have to make it a habit to start my posts with an apology.  I've been such a slacker on posting lately.

We've been so busy with updating our home that it leaves me very little time to do anything else!  But I wanted to share with you our super simple update for our fireplace.

Lets start with the before:

This is what the house looked like before we had painted the trim, walls, and fixed the flooring.

When we first looked at this house, I loved the fact that it had a fireplace.  Being married for 10 years, we've never lived in a home with a fireplace.  (They're pretty rare in Florida).

I was so excited and the more we visited our home, the more I envisioned spending cold winter nights all cozied up next to it.  But the dark brick and outdated gold really didn't sit well with me.  It completely darkened up the bright room I was trying to achieve.

What are the options when updating your fireplace?  Replace or paint.
Renovating the fireplace was completely out of budget with all the other projects we had lying ahead of us.  So painting the fireplace was our only option.

I've done a lot of projects in my time, but I have never once painted brick.  Ever.

First things first.  I had to decide what kind of look I wanted.  Did I want all white brick?  Did I want a little of the brown color to show through?  I decided to white wash it.  And I'm so glad I did.

Don't get discouraged through this process.  I, at one time, really felt like I had ruined my fireplace.  But the more I worked with it and fixed any mess I had made, the more gorgeous it became.

Have a little patience with this, and have fun! It's so easy, I promise.

What You Will Need:

-White Paint, Water Based.  ( I used leftover paint from our trim )
-Painters Tape/Drop Cloth
-Paint Brush


Step 1: Prepare Area
1. Prep your fireplace for painting by cleaning it.  I simply vacuumed it off and wiped away any soot it had.
2.  Tape off any areas you don't want any paint on.  I taped along the walls and all around the mantle.
3.  Place a drop cloth around the floor to catch any excess drips or splatters.

Step 2: Mix Paint
In a throw-away container, mix 1 cup of white paint + 1/2 cup water
The consistency of the paint will be very thin, almost like glue.

Step 3: Paint
Using a good quality paint brush, (like a Purdy brush) brush on your paint mixture onto 2-3 bricks at a time.  Be careful around your grout.
Then pounce around the brick with your rag, dabbing quickly and then rub in the paint to get off any excess dripping paint.
The brick is very absorbent so the color will fade as time goes on.
*You will have to decide exactly how light you want the color of your fireplace to be.  Depending on the darkness of your brick as well, it can take anywhere from 2-4 coats of paint to get your desired look.  (I did 2 coats because I wanted a grey-like color).*

Note: Depending on the look you're going through, decide whether to paint the grout or not. 
I did at first (as you can see on the bottom step) and I had to go back with a grey paint and paint over it.  Painting the grout makes it look very painted and not very natural. So be careful not to get any paint onto the grout if that's not the look you want.

That's it!  It was so simple to do and the look was a dramatic change and completely transformed the feel in our living room.

Here's the after:

I also painted our mantle bright white and painted the brass as well.  We also replaced all the old brown trim surrounding the fireplace with a thin white trim.
I'll be showing you how simple all that is to change in the next post  :)

A side by side shot:

I put before and "during" because I'm still looking for the perfect accent pieces for my mantle.

Ps: Where's the best place in your opinion for home decor?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about this tutorial, just leave them in a comment below!  :)


  1. How did you paint the brass? And is it also white or nickel color?

    1. I spray painted the brass with a high heat silver spray paint.

    2. I always thought white washing was just live baking soda and vinegar or something like that.

  2. Looks beautiful!!! Did you use flat paint?

  3. So my stone is very light..should I apply a second coat? We basically have the sheets of stone that has a very orange looking color. Looks white now, not sure if it is the change. But what will happen if I apply another coat? Darker? Grey/Beige would be great or should I say griege?

    1. If it’s too light, you can put another light coat on top until you reach your desired color and coverage. I believe I did a few on mine because mine was also a red/orange color. Running a small brush in the grout lines with a little grey helps bring out the white too. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out! :)

  4. looks Great!! I also have dark brick fireplace that I'm looking into changing somehow soon. we are getting new flooring installed next week and the brick will clash with it. I love how simple and inexpensive this is!! I may even have some left over white paint which would help with cost even more.although I never thought I'd ever paint the brick, in the past I always hated the look. but now I love it! funny how our tastes change over time! by the way, if you have a Home Goods near you, its a great place for decor. inexpensive too! But I love the sign you have on the mantel now! Thanks for sharing this! :)