Fireplace Whitewash Project

6 Materials
8 Hours

We have a mid-century modern home, I love the style but have wanted to update the living room fireplace since we moved in 2.5 years ago. But, I also know that once you paint brick - you can't go back, so I waited until I figured out what I wanted to do - and for my hubby to be out of town (just in case he didn't want it done - lol)!
Here's the fireplace before - an orange colored brick, wood slab mantle, dirty inside from soot.
I wanted to do a dry brush whitewash - where some of the brick color comes through but it was mostly white including the mortar seams. I used white chalk paint from Waverly bought at Walmart.
It has a large clay tile hearth - don't like it but decided to just paint it for now -this is the primer and at the end painted it gray. But will be doing something different with it eventually.
Painted the mantle white, added corbels, trim molding to the ceiling, and painted the inside of the fireplace black (using heat resistant paint).
The room is so much brighter and updated! I always say one update leads to another - so now I am looking for a new painting or piece of art for the large fireplace because I don't like the one I had up there before!
I found a mirror that I already had and put it on the fireplace - I think it looks perfect with the new whitewash! So happy with it now!
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Have a question about this project?

12 questions
  • Belinda
    on May 10, 2018

    Did you cut the chalk paint with water to white wash brick? I see the grout is darker, assuming you did not cut paint on it. Did chalk paint have primer in it?

  • Itsmemic
    on Aug 2, 2018

    My brick wall has smoke under the stovepipe. Did you clean yours off? Or just went for it ?

  • Dpe32374682
    on Aug 2, 2018

    How did you clean bricks before you started

  • Carol Dobbins
    on Aug 2, 2018

    What kind of prep did you do on the brick on the front and the hearth? And it seems you might have had to do considerable prep to the firebox as well? What did you use there?

  • Tina Scott
    on Aug 2, 2018

    Do you think this will work and look on stone ?

    • Taf
      on Aug 3, 2018

      Hi Tina,

      I had a stone/rock fireplace. So ugly. I painted it white - looks 100% better. Changed the look of the whole room. Really brighten it up. You can a small portion of the fireplace in below picture. Prior to painting it was awful brown colors. I vacuumed prior to painting, and i used paint already in the garage. it was ivory. Nothing special.

  • Hea33784740
    on Aug 3, 2018

    Did you clean the brick before painting? If so how and using what?

  • Ann10267199
    on Aug 6, 2018

    Can you use chalk paint on a faux stone fireplace?

  • Jenny Emerson
    on Aug 21, 2018

    What did did hubby say? and how long before he noticed!

  • Alice Becker Deubell
    on Sep 23, 2018

    did you prime the hearth. I love it in the black. Is that the heat resistant paint

    • Cindy Hagemann
      on Sep 23, 2018

      Did not prime the inside of the fireplace, just painted it with heat resistant paint, as stated.

  • Allison
    on Sep 24, 2018

    you did a great job. very nice! I love the ? about you husbands response. did he fall over? lol

    • Cindy Hagemann
      on Sep 24, 2018

      No - he's used to me doing projects around the house. I never really ask permission, I just plan it out and do it!

    • Liz Weiss
      on Aug 5, 2019

      Better to ask forgiveness then permission.

    • Robyn Garner
      on Aug 7, 2019

      I don't think a wife ever needs "permission" from her spouse! A discussion, compromise or "sorry" but not permission.

    • Allison
      on Aug 7, 2019

      of course you are right, but i will always believe in cooperation, that way every project becomes fun, and partners want to do more!

  • Carol
    on Aug 4, 2019

    Had a question... Did you thin out the chalk paint?

    • Cindy Hagemann
      on Aug 4, 2019

      Added a little water throughout the process, but with the dry brush technique- you only put a little paint on the brush each time.

    • Carol
      on Aug 4, 2019

      Thank you I am going to try it.

  • Rachel
    on Sep 12, 2019

    i also have an ugly brick fireplace that has a shiny sealer on it. do i need to cleanse bricks before painting & if so what would i use?

    • Cindy Hagemann
      on Sep 12, 2019

      I would brush it with a broom and then do a test with chalk paint - I use chalk paint because it covers just about every finish and will adhere and has a matte finish.

Join the conversation

2 of 39 comments
  • Carol Cole
    on Aug 18, 2019

    I hate red brick inside a house. You did a wonderful job. Thumbs up

  • Cherie
    on Aug 29, 2019

    Looks lighter, brighter and more sophisticated. Great job!

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