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How to White wash fireplace?

My husband and I are going to white wash our fireplace. We've lived with it for awhile and have decided to do it. What, how, and when should we do it?
What stuff do you recommend we use?
should we clean the rock using what and scape it?
We would love for some rock features to show.

I have attached some photos from the previous owners set up of the fire place. It's very large.

13 comments
  • Jewell Martin
    Jewell Martin Mesquite, TX
    on Jun 19, 2017

    Use thinned down white paint and a wide brush and a cloth to wipe off the paint as you go. This is not really whitewash, but with that rocky surface, you need more control. Best wishes 😇

    • Anndangreene
      Anndangreene
      on Jun 19, 2017

      This is the way my sister and I did her fireplace. It looked amazing when we'd finished. It really brightened the room up.

  • Jim L
    Jim L Columbia, SC
    on Jun 19, 2017

    First off, I would suggest that you NOT white-wash the stone wall. If you do, you will regret it! Once you start, there is no going back.
    If you want to make your room look nicer, paint the walls a medium gray and all of the trim Sherwin-Williams Dover White. Get rid of that giant TV cabinet that is over-powering everything is the room! If you can, get rid of the carpet and put down hardwood...
    The room should be rearranged to make better use of the space...build a space under the window to the right of the fireplace and put the TV under that window...
    By painting the stone wall, you will not improve the looks of the room...that wall is not the "problem" in the room...it is an asset!

  • Eloise
    Eloise Vienna, VA
    on Jun 19, 2017

    You tube has any numer of issues that address this issue.

  • JMLovelace
    JMLovelace Madison, AL
    on Jun 19, 2017

    My fireplace was done by the seller so I don't know the technique he used, but here is the final product (staged by seller). There's no way I would be able to live with the original rocks!

  • Sharon_how
    Sharon_how
    on Jun 19, 2017

    I totally agree you WILL regret whitewashing the fireplace....change your color scheme of the room and accessories!

  • Brenda
    Brenda Sylvania, OH
    on Jun 19, 2017

    I too totally agree with not white washing the fireplace, you will regret it, if you want a change add updated accessories in coordinating colors and put something else above the opening a little higher up.

  • April Adcock
    April Adcock Charlotte, NC
    on Jun 19, 2017

    The decision is totally yours! I just finished whitewashing my brick fireplace to the dismay of my boyfriend. He cringed everytime he walked through the living room. It only took an hour or two, I started with a quart of Sherwin Williams Alabaster one part to 3 parts water, as I wanted to start light and build from there. It was way too watery and the brick just sucked it up. I remixed using half water, half paint and it was perfect. After a few passes and some drying time i went back and accented a few bricks with some more white. I'm not sure what to tell you with the stone, but the previous posters are correct, there is no going back (at least with brick it is nearly impossible to remove the paint), so be sure to start out very lightly, you can always add more. And yes, my boyfriend loves the results!

    • Momma
      Momma Largo, FL
      on Jun 19, 2017

      This is similar to the way I "updated" the same type fireplace in our home. Ours looks very similar to this, but we had BLACK grout. It drove me crazy and made the room look so dark. I actually took the time to paint all of the black grout - between and around every single brick from floor to ceiling! Then I used a sponge and thin paint to put a white wash all over - and a few darker marks here and there. It was an amazing transformation. The whole room lightened up and with a new mantle it is wonderful now.

      SO -- go ahead and paint dark grout, with flat latex paint - or acrylic!!!

  • Kaye
    Kaye Kaukauna, WI
    on Jun 19, 2017

    I see why you would like to do it. Suggest a Grey was instead of a white wash. Grey may be a little more livable for a while than the grey. I would consider spraying 1) you can do it in layers, letting the colors of the stone show through until you are comfortable with the finished look.

    Good luck!

  • Jewell Martin
    Jewell Martin Mesquite, TX
    on Jun 19, 2017

    @CelinaFelton. Put all of this advice together and you've got it. Be sure to tape down drop cloths to the floor and any wall you don't want to get paint on. And you said whitewash, but you can paint the whole thing white or gray solid. Just keep a damp cloth handy to remove paint immediately from some outstanding rocks. You will do great. Best wishes 😇

  • DORLIS
    DORLIS Silex, MO
    on Jun 19, 2017

    I have a rock fireplace that is 8' wide and forms the divider between the entry and living room. I would not whitewash it, ever! Of course, I have floor to ceiling windows with no curtains at all and the house is flooded with LIGHT. To me that is the big changer.

  • Cwhittaker
    Cwhittaker
    on Jun 19, 2017

    No, do not paint your rocks, they are lovely.
    I would change your wall color to a nice light color, one that is not grey which is what it appears they are now. Pale cream or off-white.

    If you insist on whitewashing your fireplace, use white. Grey would just end up feeling annoyingly dirty.

    White wash on red brick is nice, not sure about the rocks though.
    I think to make the fireplace look good painted, you need to use that thick looking plaster type paint that I don't know what its name is. You see it on old brick or rock walls. It looks like there are 400 coats of paint on the item.

    Perhaps someone else out there knows the type of paint I am talking about.

    • Susan Thomas
      Susan Thomas Pinehurst, NC
      on Jun 20, 2017

      I think you mean the German schmear technique which is actually mortar smeared over the brick or stone and then while still wet, wiped off selected spots with wet sponge.

  • Jennifer @ CrazyDiyMom
    Jennifer @ CrazyDiyMom Sheboygan, WI
    on Jun 20, 2017

    We white washed our stone fireplace and I do not regret it one bit!
    Our stones were very dark maroon, black and shades of blue and we also had dark wood paneling on the wall which made everything seem dark and dreary. Plus the only windows we have are in front of a covered porch, so we don't get much light in them at all.

    We painted the wood paneling and then painted the fireplace without giving it a second thought. Here's a link if you would like to see how ours turned out.


    We also got plenty of opinions on whether or not we should do it - don't let it bother you. Isn't it great that you can decorate your home however YOU like?! ;)

  • Cwhittaker
    Cwhittaker
    on Jun 20, 2017

    German Schmear is sort of it, but no schmearing. Just that thick layers of paint look.

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