Painting a Brick Fireplace

This post contains affiliate links to the products that we used for this project. All opinions are my own. 

This blog post should be called “The Project That Broke Me”. Yeah, I’m totally serious. In fact, the final product is completely thanks to my mother in law who saved the day. You see, shortly after we moved in, I wanted to tackle our red brick fireplace. It looked totally out of place in the room with our grey and white paint and I felt that the bright gold insert dated the whole room. I know, I know, the gold is actually coming back in style now, but it isn’t for me. After we tackled all of the main things (ripping out and replacing all of the floors and painting all of the walls), I was ready to handle this project. Just a few minutes on Pinterest and I learned that I could whitewash this entire fireplace with whatever white paint I had on hand, it would only take one coat, and it would be done in an hour.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Y’all. I can’t.

Painting a Brick Fireplace


The only explanation that I have for what happened next is that our house is old, therefore the brick is old, and it soaked up A LOT of paint. When I tell you that I whitewashed this fireplace EIGHT times, I am not exaggerating. Each attempt, I lowered the amount of water in the mixture, would dab on the mixture like instructed, step back and think about how much I loved it, and then go to bed. When I woke up, I would have a red brick fireplace again. Eight. Times. It soaked up the freaking paint eight times. I broke. Right around this time, I found out that I was pregnant and that was the perfect excuse for a nine month break from painting. At this point, the red brick was a few shades lighter, mainly on the bottom, and looked HORRIBLE. I wish I had taken a “during” picture but if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen how horrible it looked in one of my many IG stories of Declan’s dance breaks. Seriously, it stressed me out just looking at it.


Now, I am really pregnant and have slowed down a lot. I am not as much help with home renovation projects as I used to be and gone is the girl who could build a dining room table with her husband over the weekend. I’m tired. This comes smack in the middle of our garage remodel so our families have graciously offered their time to help Colin convert the garage to a playroom. It’s a work in progress but I’ll be writing a post about that soon enough. Anyway, while Colin’s Dad helped in the garage a few weekends ago, his mom tackled the red brick. At this point, the insert was done, I had spray painted that before getting pregnant, and I had completely given up on the thought of whitewashing, I wanted thick layers of paint on that thing 🙂


She used the same paint that we used on our trim (a paint/primer combo in the color Snowbound) and brushed and dabbed it on in a thick layer. It took about three hours but didn’t soak in, praise Jesus! Lol. She then used chalk paint to paint the mantle so that it wouldn’t need to be sanded or primed.  The finished product is gorgeous and I love looking at it so much. It completely changed the look of the whole room and even Colin has said that it makes the room look bigger. My best advice is to learn from my mistakes and if you have an older house, don’t be fooled by the Pinterest tutorials that claim you can mix a little water in your paint, throw it on there real quick, and be done. Try it, of course, but maybe don’t try it eight times like I did 🙂


Products Used:

“>Chalk Paint for the mantle- Went on really well and only needed two coats!

“>Spray paint for the insert. This is the same spray paint that I used on my dining room light fixture and my kitchen cabinet hardware so obviously I love this stuff!

For the actual brick, we used a Paint+Primer combo in the color “Snowbound”. It was a semi gloss that was left over from painting our trim.



3 thoughts on “Painting a Brick Fireplace

  1. mriveraediblesense says:

    AWWW!!! Bless your MIL for coming to the rescue! I’ve had my fair share of DIY’s that did me in. It looks beautiful in spite of the drama it gave you!


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