Update Brick Fireplace With Chalk Paint

3 Materials
3 Hours

When we moved into our cute little Texas farmhouse 4 years ago, the main living room was dark. Dark paneling on the walls, a wall of dark bookcases, and a dark brick fireplace. You can click here to see how we updated the paneling and bookcases. That fireplace was still driving me crazy. I wanted to paint it, but the family said no. So one day I set out to just CLEAN it...and that is how I ended up with a chalk painted fireplace!

It was such an easy project. I didn't whitewash it because I was afraid it would look pink. I didn't German Schmear it. I simply painted it. I left plenty of the original brick showing through, and guess what? My family loves it! It was one of the easiest and BEST decisions I made to add a lighter feel to our farmhouse living room!

Fireplace Before

Once the paneled walls were painted, the fireplace stood out like a sore thumb! It didn't matter how I decorated it, it never looked good. It looked dingy and outdated (sorry brick lovers!)

Dirty Fireplace

Years of use had left dark smoke stains on the brick. I tried cleaning it but nothing helped. The grout looked even worse.

What's a girl to do?

I decided to just try painting a small section of the hearth to see if I liked it.

Clean fireplace and test paint

You want to start with a clean fireplace. I vacuumed and use a spray on cleaner to clean it as best as I could.

Then I poured a little of this white chalk paint into a plastic cup and experimented on one side of the hearth.

I realized immediately that this was going to be the perfect solution to our dark and dingy fireplace, and kept going.

Paint grout lines first

I used a small brush to paint the grout lines first and then brushed over the bricks with a regular paintbrush, being careful not to completely cover the brick with the paint.

Keep on painting!

I painted a section and then stepped back to get a full view. Any bricks that needed a little more paint got it, especially the ones directly above the open box where the smoke stains had accumulated.

You can see that I also painted my shiny oak mantel at the same time!

Let dry

You can see that our fireplace is huge! It took me about 3 hours to paint it. Letting it dry and having to be patient before I styled it was the hardest thing to do!

The painted fireplace looks amazing and has lightened the feel of the space tremendously! Best decision ever!

You can visit by blog at diybeautify.com to see how I style my fireplace for all the seasons...it looks fantastic! I also have hundreds more DIYs and home decor tips like this one! I'd be honored to have you stop by

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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
  • Kristen
    on Sep 19, 2020

    No wax I am assuming?

  • Van Luyen
    Van Luyen
    on Sep 19, 2020

    Do you paint the inside fireplace? I see it is very bright, and mine is very dark black due to smokes. Thank you and congratulation with your ' new" fireplace.

    • Kevin
      on Nov 24, 2020

      they used a mirror, mirror tiles are another way to go with the inside of the faux fireplace


  • Bluzlovr
    on Oct 9, 2020

    I love the look!! I have that same brick (throwback from the 70's) which is also on the lower part of this ranch-style house. The fireplace is in the family room, which has dark oak paneling. So literally, the fireplace looks like a huge black hole!! I've never used chalk paint paint before. Do you add water to the paint for the white-washed look or use the paint as is from the can? I started sanding down a small area of the wood paneling just a bit, but it's been hard to make the commitment to paint the natural wood. Does the chalk paint work on wood paneling as well? Thanks so much for sharing your project!! It's nice to get an idea what the finished fireplace will look like!!!

Join the conversation

3 of 33 comments
  • Necee Marie
    Necee Marie
    on Oct 13, 2020

    Awesome transformation!!

  • Kevin
    on Nov 24, 2020

    very sweet you need to boost it up off the floor about 4 inches find a board or long slate put cinder blocks on their side place the board or slate on top paint according to style and you have a hearth!

    The hearth become another spot to place art, etc.


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