Whitewash Painted Brick Fireplace

Leah Althiser
by Leah Althiser
3 Materials
3 Hours

During our remodel we removed the brick hearth from our fireplace. That left some very ugly brick exposed.

I decided to whitewash the entire brick fireplace to cover the ugly brick and brighten the space. Since I was able to water down some leftover white latex paint I had sitting around it didn't cost me a thing.

Here's how our project on how to paint a brick fireplace went!

Scary before picture

Here is the brick fireplace during the remodel.

You can clearly see where the old brick mantle was. We replaced the floor in our house and added a piece of baseboard, but the ugly brick was still exposed along the bottom of the fireplace.

Mix Your Whitewash

I liked the character of the brick but wanted to cover the ugly discolored brick at the bottom of the fireplace.

So I decided to try and whitewash the brick. I hoped it would cover enough while still letting the character of the brick shine through.

Traditional whitewash is a 50/50 mix of paint and water. I went with less since I wanted good coverage.

I estimated my mix was closer to 3/4's paint and 1/4 water.

You can use any white latex paint for whitewashing but oil-based paint will not work.

I would recommend this brick paint from Behr which is available at Home Depot.

Clean and prepare the area

Most of the brick I was able to clean by wiping with a damp rag.

However there was some soot on the bricks closest to the opening. I used an all-purpose cleaner on a rag in that area. Then be sure to follow that with a few wipes with just water so no cleaner remains on the brick.

The only thing you need to do to prepare is to tape any area you don't want covered in paint. be sure to use a drop cloth because the whitewash is quite runny.

Whitewashed brick

I liberally applied the whitewash mixture to the brick and let it dry completely.

I ended up going over it again because I didn't get enough coverage the first time. If I didn't have the discolored bricks I think one coat would have been plenty!

White painted mantle

I used full strength white paint for the solid wood mantle. I eventually want to add some moulding to it to modernize it, but for now this works.

I hope you are inspired by our fireplace transformation! Would you ever try a whitewashed fireplace?

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Leah Althiser
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Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 22, 2020

    Hi. It looks so good white! I want to do a similar thing but i thought that it was important to have a fireproof hearth under the fireplace. Do you light your fire? And if so, what if embers fall on your wood.

    Or it is wood look tile that you have.

  • Kimberly Kimberly on Jul 01, 2020

    Very inspired! I’ve been wanting to do this to ours for a while. How long did this project take?

Join the conversation
  • Diana Collins Diana Collins on Jun 28, 2020

    I definitely am going to do this,thanks so much for sharing how you did this,looks Awesome!!!

  • Kandi Kandi on Jul 07, 2020

    Hi Diana, your fireplace looks great!

    I have a faux lava rock surrounding my gas insert fireplace, it's too dark for me. I've wanted to do this type of whitewashed look. Do you think that this would work for me on the lava rocks?

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    • Kandi Kandi on Jul 08, 2020

      Well it was worth a shot. Thank you