German Schmear Fireplace Makeover

Abbie M
by Abbie M
5 Materials
2 Days

Have a dark fireplace that needs a fresh new look? We caught an episode of Fixer Upper a few weeks ago where they did a gorgeous German mortar schmear on all of the old outdated brick in the house. Since we saw that, I haven't been able to get this trend out of my mind!

Are you in love, too? Here's how to get a Chip and Joanna-approved makeover in no time! Check out the video if you'd like to follow along with us! icon icon

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Before this fireplace was dark and outdated-- now it's much more updated and adds a breath of fresh air to the whole room!

This technique would also be great on an outdated brick wall!

I hope this inspires you to give this German Schmear technique a try on your outdated fireplace! 

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 11 questions
  • Marina753 Marina753 on May 02, 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.

  • Karen Karen on Feb 13, 2020

    Will the mortar on the hearth rub off as people sit, or objects are placed on it? Does it need to be sealed somhow?

  • Jo Ann Jo Ann on Mar 19, 2020

    Where did you get that piping bag?

Join the conversation
2 of 44 comments