How To Easily Update Your Old Brick Fireplace This Weekend

Updating the look of your old red brick fireplace is as easy as painting it. If you have basic tools and a DIY spirit, then you can easily finish this project in a single weekend.

Necessary Tools

The tools needed for this project are:

  • a stiff wire brush
  • shop vacuum
  • bleach
  • gallon of warm water
  • bucket
  • brick paint
  • roller
  • paintbrush

Follow these two simple steps for a professional finish on your new painted fireplace:

Step 1: Clean the Brick

In order for the new paint to properly adhere to the brick and mortar, you need to remove all dust, dirt, and soot from the bricks. 

The first step in cleaning your home's fireplace brick is to scrub them with a stiff metal brush. Once you have loosened all of the dirt with the brush, then you should vacuum the entire fireplace using a shop vacuum.

The second step is to wash the brick with a solution of 1 cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of warm water.

It is very important that you allow the brick to dry completely before you paint it, or the paint will bubble the first time that you have a fire in the fireplace.

Step 2: Paint the Brick

Your home's brick fireplace needs to be painted with paint specifically manufactured for use on fireplace brick. This specialty paint is:

  • epoxy based
  • fire temperature tolerant
  • thick

You will need to paint two coats of paint onto your fireplace in order to adequately cover the brick and mortar completely. If after two coats you see any small holes in the paint, then you will need a third layer of paint.

Optional Cosmetic Upgrades

If you would like to add some decorative trim on your fireplace, then you should attach it before painting. 

You can also add a new mantle, but should wait until the paint has dried before you install it. This will keep you from getting paint on the new mantle.

You can purchase both trim and a mantle inexpensively from a local architectural supply company.

Final Thoughts

If you need any assistance with this project then a local masonry contractor can come to your home and easily complete this job for you. This is a very common upgrade for homeowners to make. Additionally, a stone mason is also able to reface your fireplace with a new type of stone to update the look of your fireplace.


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