How to whitewash a brick fireplace?

Chris jenne
by Chris jenne

What is the best method to whitewash bricks surrounding a fireplace?

q how do i white wash my brick fireplace , fireplace makeovers, fireplaces mantels, painting, This is the fireplace I would like to whitewash I m planning on removing the insert
This is the fireplace I would like to whitewash. I'm planning on removing the insert.
  36 answers
  • Suzette Suzette on Jun 19, 2017
    Hi Chris, I'm not sure if this is the best method, but this link is a step by step, how to from Lowe's:

    Hope this helps!

  • Jenilynnecook Jenilynnecook on Jul 08, 2016
    I used a cream paint with water and sponged it on the whole fireplace and it has lightened it and lasted forever! Was very easy and still lets true bricks show!

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Aug 11, 2017
    Is the brick inside the fireplace or the decorative part outside? I used flat white latex paint - 3 parts water to one part paint. It's very runny so I used a stipple brush to do the grout then a regular brush, drained well to do the brick. I also used a sponge to brush over the paint on the brick and give it the finish I wanted.

    Is the wax on the brick or somewhere else? If it's on the brick, try this:

    Good luck! icon

  • Everything Pretty Everything Pretty on Apr 29, 2019

    There are several projects here on Hometalk. Find the one you like and see how they did it

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Apr 29, 2019

    Can use either oil or latex and yes need to thin to whitewash. Water for latex, paint thinner for oil.

  • J Brown J Brown on Jul 10, 2019

    Whitewashing is SIMPLE! Remember it does not have to be "white"

    Probably should give your brick a quick dusting before beginning and remember to protect anything you don't want washed by accident i.e ceiling, floors, nearby walls. Paint, water, bucket, brushes and some rags and you are ready to go.

    I finally did our huge brick wall last year, posted it as a project " massive brick fireplace wall whitewash success"

  • Christy Christy on Aug 10, 2019

    I did it! And I love it! Our fireplace was so...blah. It's not a big fireplace but it was very dated so I changed the husband cut off the ugly "teeth" and also did some sanding but I stained it and white-washed the brick. It made a huge difference! Thank you all for the suggestions!

    Here's a before and after photos.....

    Now to hide all those cords. 😊

    God bless you all,

    Christy ☺️

    • See 2 previous
    • Christy Christy on Dec 25, 2022

      Thank you!

      My husband cut the "teeth" off of it and we sanded and stained it a darker color. It's not really the style I wanted but it sure looks a lot better than it did! 😊

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Feb 18, 2019

    Thin your paint down then apply.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 18, 2019

    Hi Kate,

    I would water down white Flat emulsion paint. It will sink in, then do it again to build up to the depth of white you really want or don't water it down so much the second time.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Feb 25, 2019

    Just thin down the paint you. Want to use and brush it on, wipe off excess. .

  • Janice Janice on Feb 25, 2019

    Thin the paint down by mixing in some water, then brush it on. You can wipe off the excess so it doesn't run down the brick. A lot of the paint will soak into the brick, so you may need to do a couple of coats, depending on how "white" you want it to be when completed.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jun 30, 2019

    It's just thinned down paint. If use latex, thin with water, if oil, thin with paint thinner. Either one works.

  • Leeanne Leeanne on Aug 15, 2018

    Make sure any paint around a fireplace is thermal or heat resistant. If it's water based? Mix 2 parts paint with 1 part water. Mix well. Dip a chip paint brush in the solution and tap it good on paper towels until it seems too dry. Tap brush on brick hitting the raised areas. Is a white or cream. Then take a secondary color like light grey or super pale peach and do the same. Take a dry rag and wipe to blend.

    • Krafty Kathy Krafty Kathy on Aug 24, 2022

      Great suggestion for adding depth with secondary colors.

      If you are painting the inside of the Firebox it does need to be that heat resistant stuff for BBQ grills. But i would just leave that fire brick alone. It is a special refractory brick which is often softer brick that chips easily like the inside of most ceramic kilns. If the brick outside your fire screen gets too hot, there is something wrong with the fireplace.

  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Feb 09, 2017
    I have done three fireplaces - three different ways. If you want to whitewash (some of the original brick showing through), you will just paint a light (dry brush) coat of paint on each brick, but do the mortar seams completely. I just did my living room fireplace this way using chalk paint. If you want to paint it, clean it with a broom first and then paint primer (I use Kilz), and then your choice of paint color on top. This brick wall below is primer, then I painted each brick with gray chalk paint - dabbing each one for this look.

  • Barbara Parsons Barbara Parsons on Feb 10, 2017
    Years ago I had a brown brick fireplace, nd it was just dreary looking. So after watching a woman named Lynette Jennings paint brick, I decided to give it a try. I did buy some individual bricks to practice on, then I mixed the powdered form of spackling into the creamy colored paint until it was the consistency of pancake batter. It took two coats and it was done. And it held up beautifully.

  • Cindy Cindy on Feb 10, 2017
    I saw on TV a flipper used a lime wash on the bricks. I liked it and it was easy. Took 2 coats if I remember correctly. You would probably have to google this idea in to find amounts and what products to use.

  • You can use an eggshell paint for brick which I’ve had good luck with. Here is a really good tutorial whitewashing a brick fireplace:

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Sep 19, 2018

    The best product is masonry stain, not paint. Paint will be extremely high maintenance, but stain will be one-and-done.

    • See 1 previous
    • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Mar 27, 2022

      Masonry stain, just like wood stain, has a variety of pigment densities. So you can get a more transparent or a more opaque finish. And, yes, there are stains that allow you to lighten not just darken the brick.

  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Sep 15, 2017
    I thinned down white paint with primer and applied coats until I was satisfied with the look. Because my bricks were smoke stained I scrubbed it down with TSP first to help the whitewash adhere better. I white washed it about 15 years ago and then a month ago repainted it a solid white because it went better with my newly painted floor to ceiling bookcases

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 09, 2020

    Hi Deanna,

    Watered down Masonry Paint or Emulsion Paint! Good luck!

  • Start with a 50/50 mix of water and paint. After you brush it on the bricks, you can wipe some off with a rag. If it's not white enough, you can always increase the amount of paint.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 09, 2020

    My cousin took latex paint and thinned it to paint hers. It is beautiful. She is not handy or crafty at all but found YouTube videos that guided her.

  • Carol Thomas Carol Thomas on Jul 21, 2018
    Watered down latex paint will work. Practice on a couple of old bricks first to get the coverage right. I prefer a very light wash, but everyone has their own style! Best wishes.

  • Mar58623379 Mar58623379 on Mar 10, 2022

    Om roetafzettingen op de stenen voorgoed te verwijderen ... 'insappen' met zoutzuur 100% (apotheek). Opletten... zeer gevaarlijk, spatten branden direct door kleding en huid!!! Veiligheidsbrillen en handschoenen mogen zeker NIET ontbreken. Giet zoutzuur in een glazen pot, gebruik een wegwerpborstel (want die 'brandt' op). Laat zoutzuur inweken (dagen) en stenen 'zweten' tot er geen druppels meer ontstaan. Wees voorzichtig! 🏁

  • Kac2783529 Kac2783529 on Jul 09, 2022

    Here's a video of one I did on a house I flipped Instructions for materials are listed.

  • Ba coe Ba coe on Jul 20, 2022

    I painted a red brick fireplace a gloss white, after it dried I painted the fireplace with a stain, used a walnut stain, (you can use whatever color stain.) I painted it and then immediately wipe it off with a soft lint free rag. So easy and it looked great.

    Try in in a corner of the fireplace, if you don't like it, just repaint that area with the white paint and try another choice,

    Sorry I don't have a pictured, it was a few years ago and I have since moved.

    Good luck

  • Chad Chad on Aug 08, 2022

    I used white mortar and it turned out great!

  • Krafty Kathy Krafty Kathy on Aug 24, 2022

    Dry wall or joint compound used as mortar like Chad did will give that German Schemer look. It could fill in and repoint the mortar if you wanted to smooth the texture. But just watered down paint will lighten the brick. Since it is indoors you don't need to worry about expensive durable limewashes or special paint. Experiment on extra bricks ( old ones or buy a couple) to get your technique down.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 02, 2022

    Try just doing odd bricks as a design to see how easy it is and if you are going to like it!

  • Loetta Loetta on Oct 04, 2022

    will this work on a rock fire place?

  • Edie Edie on Oct 31, 2022

    Check out Brick Anew. I used it to do my fireplace and it came out great! Better than just all one color, it uses different tones and techniques to make a huge difference.

  • Charles N Becky Liguori Charles N Becky Liguori on Nov 11, 2022

    dont use water it makes the paint too runny.get 1 qt clear glaze.all paint stores sell it.and get 1 qt satin white paint.thin the glaze coat4 parts glaze to 1 pt paint and apply.its meant for this porpose .i work in a paint store for 45 years .this is the best method and it wont run

  • Pfh Pfh on Nov 13, 2022

    Make a fake "German schmear." Take white or off-white latex paint, add water and baking soda to thin it out, and apply with a sponge. Experiment first with the amount of water and baking soda to get the look you want before applying it.

  • Mix water and paint 50/50/ Apply with a rag or brush and wipe off the excess until you get the color you want.

  • Gillian Weaver Gillian Weaver on Mar 07, 2023

    Lowes has the best paint. Thin a portion with water, about 1/2 and 1/2. Paint it on the brick in a small area, wait 5 minutes and wipe it off. Go on to the next section.