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Blog title superimposed over a photo of a family of three sitting in front of a roaring fireplace during the holidays

Paint Your Fireplace in Time for Santa

As the “hearth” of your home, a brick fireplace should exude a good amount of comfort and grace. Over the years, brick fireplace can become dull, dingy and dirty. If you feel a need to revitalize the appearance of your fireplace in time for Santa’s big delivery, a painted brick fireplace will give this amenity a great look.

Steps to Paint Your Fireplace

Whether you desire to restore your fireplace to make it the focal point or blend this amenity into the surrounding space, a coat of fresh paint creates the vision you prefer. However, before you purchase your paint and get out the roller, here are considerations to help get your "quick-fix" project off to the right start.

Prepare the Bricks for Paint

Gather the supplies you will need to complete the project, including primer, paint, roller, brush, painter’s tape and drop cloth, spackling compound, caulk, stiff brush, etc. Close the damper and make the fireplace inoperable. To protect the adjacent walls, apply blue painter’s tape along the edges and on fireplace hardware. Safeguard the floor, furnishings and floor with a drop cloth.

Follow these steps to clean the bricks:

  1. Mix a solution of mild soap or detergent to a pail of warm water.
  2. Dip a stiff brush into the solution and give the bricks a good scrubbing to get rid of grease, ash, soot, dirt, and grime.
  3. Lightly sand the surface of the bricks with a 120-grit sandpaper to remove loose or crumbling mortar.
  4. Rise the surface with clean water.

Vacuum up the loose particles and debris. Allow 24 hours for the brick to dry. Use spackling to fill small cracks and holes. For more prominent cracks and holes, apply textured caulking. Wear gloves and safety googles throughout the project. Open windows and doors to ventilate your work space.

Choose a Color

For your painted brick fireplace inspirations, think about the effect that you would like to achieve. Make the fireplace stand out by painting the bricks in a color that contrast with shade of the walls. On the other hand, paint the bricks the same color as the walls to blend in with the rest of the space. Even if you already have an idea of the colors that you would like, test the colors in a room. Keep in mind that natural and artificial lighting and surrounding colors affect the perception of the actual paint color. To help you make your final choice, purchase paint samples and live with the color for a couple of days.

Painting the Fireplace Brick

Apply a coat of high-quality acrylic primer for bricks to cover up marks and color imperfections on the brick’s surface. Use a primer that dries within two hours. Start at the top of the wall and work downward. The porous nature of brick walls and mortar will probably require a second or even third coat of primer. A 1/2- to 1 1/4-inch nap roller works best on the rough brick surface and allows you to use to work the paint/primer into the larger grooves and pores. Use a 2- to 2 1/2-inch-wide nylon polyester paintbrush to apply paint/primer to mortar joints. Allow the primer to fully dry.

You can use an oil-based paint for your painted brick fireplace, but water-based paint makes the job easier and dries faster. With your roller, start from the top of the bricks and work down. Use your brush to apply paint/primer along mortar joints, in corners and other hard-to-reach areas. Touch up drips and runs with the brush. Apply a second coat of paint if needed.

Need to call in the professionals for a little help getting the job done? Five Star Painting specializes in residential and commercial painting.