Hi Barb, just brush or vacuum the fireplace bricks well and then chose the color paint you want. When I did mine I used a primer for the first coat as the brick was very red and I was wanting the fireplace to be white. You'll need a very thick roller or so the paint goes into the rough texture of the bricks and the grout in between. Mine took one coat of primer and then two coats of white paint to get it glossy white like I wanted it. Totally changed the "feel" of the room. Go for it!
Barb: Clean brick well. Prime. Paint with "nappy" roller -- follow up with brush... two coats of a good latex.
Here's my painted fireplace:
Hi Barb, here is a link to the projects that other hometalkers have painted their fireplace brick.
Here's a tutorial for you, Barb.
Agree with those above, dust/clean (I used a vacuum), prime, and paint. Use a happy roller and a brush for tricky spots and corners. It’s time consuming especially getting into all those little cracks and crevices, but totally worth it.
Heres before & after pics of our rock fireplace I painted.