German Schmear Fireplace Makeover

5 Materials
2 Days

Have a dark fireplace that needs a fresh new look? Watch this!

Check out the video for the full process!

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Start by taping off the hearth, around the fireplace and the fire box.


After that, fill piping bags with Thin-Set Mortar.

Next, remove the mantle if possible and lay down a drop cloth to protect your floor.

Remember to pay attention to details and get into all of the grooves for a finished look!

Continue this process all the way down to the hearth.

Then, begin piping the mortar into the grooves of the brick. This is much more fun with another set of hands 

Next, begin smudging the mortar around each brick to give it a weathered look.

Already looking brighter!

Scrape off any excess mortar that got on the firebox with a putty knife. You can avoid this by adding plastic overtop when you apply it to the rest of the fireplace!

After the fireplace is dry, tape off the firebox again. Make sure to cover all of the screens with tape!

Next, grab some Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra spraypaint in whatever color you want and begin spraying on!

After you're done spraying & it's dry peel the tape right off!

Next, add the mantle back on and add some items to personalize the space!

Before this fireplace was dark and outdated-- now it's much more updated and adds a breath of fresh air to the whole room!

This technique would also be great on an outdated brick wall!

I hope this inspires you to give this German Schmear technique a try on your outdated fireplace! 

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Suzanne
    on Mar 17, 2019

    Does the black paint on the brass chip easily?

    • Frank
      on Sep 13, 2019

      No. But i scuffed my exact same cover with sandpaper first before spraying.

  • Jessie
    on Apr 2, 2019

    We have a sandstone rock fireplace. How can this apply to our fireplace; or, can it?

  • Marcia
    on May 2, 2019

    I know this question is not directly related to the brick fireplace, but what color gray walls do you have? I love this project and would like to do it and paint my walls the same color gray.

Join the conversation

2 of 40 comments
  • Terri Mimbs
    on Apr 5, 2019

    Better to create a tent when you spray of course with proper breathing apparatus. I did this in my living room without taking precautions and had black dust EVERYWHERE!!

  • Dpbeee2
    on Apr 17, 2019

    Nice refresh! It does brighten the space. Wish I had seen this before I painted my brick. Thank you.

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