Whitewashed Brick Fireplace

2 Materials
1 Hour

If you are looking for an easy update with a lot of impact, a whitewashed brick fireplace is right up your alley! This update is fast (like 1-2 hours), cheap (free even if you have leftover paint), and crazy transformative! Below I’ll share with you the process I used to whitewash this brick fireplace.
Before and after of whitewashed fireplace! Makes such a huge difference to modernize a space!
First thing you need to do is prep the surface. With brick, there really isn’t a whole lot of prep. I would recommend just going over the brick with a broom or a vacuum to remove any dust or debris. Then use painters tape to tape off the edges between the brick and the walls and/or floor surface. And that is it for prep! Doesn’t get much better than that!
Next up is making your whitewash solution. I had some leftover white satin acrylic paint on hand and mixed that with a little water. The ratio I use is approximately 75% paint and 25% water. If you want less coverage, use more water and less paint. This isn’t a super strict ratio, so just play with it a little to get the mixture you want. Keep in mind here, a little goes a long way! Like literally a red solo cup worth of whitewash should do your whole fireplace. I mixed in an old Easter bucket here and had way too much and had to find a way to dispose of the extra. Learn from my mistakes people.
Now it’s time to get started with the application! So so super easy. Just take any paintbrush, dip it in the whitewash, paint it over the bricks and try to get into all the little cracks and crevices. Before it dries, use a clean cloth and dab away any extra paint. This allows some of the base color of the brick to show through which gives a nice color variation. If you want more coverage with your paint then you can either skip this step or go over all of it with a second application of whitewash.
Because you are wiping away the excess paint, work in small sections. That said, this process goes very quickly! Just keep trucking along and you’ll be done before you know it!
That is literally the entire process. It honestly could not get any easier. I did my sister’s large fireplace, start to finish, in about an hour and a half. It cost us zero dollars. And, I must say, I think it completely transformed the way her living room looks! If you’d like a quick video tutorial on the whitewash application, check out my  Instagram story highlight s to see the process.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Charlotte K.
    on Dec 31, 2019

    This looks awesome. My friend has a river rock fireplace (actually the whole wall is river rock.) She is considering whitewashing it. I can't quite picture it turning out as well as the brick. Her rock has been varnished and is very smooth and shiny. Any suggestions?

  • Megan Kiper
    on Jan 16, 2020

    I want to do this to my brick house! Do you have anything on lime washing large areas of bricks or white washing brick?? I need to plan for a Spring update soon!

    • Sarah
      on Jan 22, 2020

      Sorry, just reread! I'm guess the process for exterior would be similar but I suggest doing a bit more research on pinterest. Or get a paint professional to come out and give a quote...they may give good info when you meet with them if you decide to proceed with doing it yourself. Good luck!

  • Joyce
    on Jan 18, 2020

    What happens when you want to clean it

    • Sarah
      on Jan 22, 2020

      I personally don't do much cleaning for brick except maybe a dry wipe or vacuum if its dusty. If you are talking about a chimney sweep kind of cleaning, it shouldn't change that process. You only apply a thin coat of paint to the exterior brick.

Join the conversation

3 of 23 comments
  • Joan Stanley
    on Feb 8, 2020

    It took me years to get up the courage to do this. But it was easy and fast and I LOVE IT!

    I did it slightly differently. I used full strength off white paint and rubbed it back off every 8-10" section. That way I had a bit of control to adjust the coloring to make each brick vary in color a bit.

    Do not be afraid to do this!

    • Debbie Rozumiak
      2 hours ago

      ok, but are you very "handy"??? I'm worried that I won't be able to pull it off because I'm not a very "handy" person! Do you literally just apply and rub off??

  • Joan Stanley
    26 minutes ago

    I do a lot of repair kind of stuff but this takes no talent. My brick is not extremely rough or smooth. That would impact how well this works. I just worked the paint deep into the dips of the brick and used a stiff old hand towel to rub off. You rub as much or little as looks good to you. I think rubbing some bricks more or less makes it look more natural since bricks are never exactly the same color. So, if you "mess it up", it might make it look the most natural. 😉

    Take your time. It will go faster than you expect. If you take a break, store your paint brush in a baggie and it will be ready to go when you get back to it.

    I'm SO glad I did it.

    If the outside of your fireplace is the same brick, you might be able to test an inconspicuous area outside.

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