You have a fireplace. You do not like how it looks and you are not sure what to do with it. Aside from removing the brick, you can Paint or Whitewash your fireplace.
This year we have had several customers call us with the question of what to do with a brick fireplace. There are different options. We are focusing on Painting or Whitewashing your brick.
Getting ready to refinish your brick
It doesn’t matter if you have a gas or wood fireplace, you need to get it ready. When was the last time the fireplace was cleaned?
A wood fireplace will have some black on the brick that needs to be cleaned. A gas Fireplace can also have some black, but it is nothing compared to a wood burning fireplace. Usually soap and water will do the trick, you may need one of those small vegetable type scrub brushes to help.
Are there any holes in the bricks or in the masonry? These will need to be fixed or filled before you start as well. If you are painting, then you can be a little flexible on what you decide to fill the holes with ans the primer and paint will fill it in nicely. If you are doing the whitewash- you may have to get some masonry repair materials so the color and texture will match.
What will you do with the Mantle?
Almost all fireplaces have mantles of some sort. Mantles can be stone or wood. What can you do with a wood mantle?
- You can refinish it with a new stain color!
- How about distressing it?
- Maybe just paint it.
A stone mantle is more tricky. Most people we have worked with just replace it or eliminate it.
Is there a surround or enclosure?
This is another thought. What do you do with brass enclosures? Similar to wood, you can paint it, keep it or replace it.
There are many fireplaces with stone around the sides and the hearth as well. Will you keep it or replace it?
Painting a fireplace
Just like painting anything else, you have to do some prep work. Cleaning aside, the right primer makes the best results. We still use Stickz. If you are in the Chicagoland area, this is found at JC Licht stores. It is a great product! This is for bonding- it will not nor is it intended to get rid of stains such as water, soot, etc. We have both rolled and brushed this product and sprayed it on.
Once your fireplace is primed, then you need to make sure you get a good washable paint, Scuff X is one of our favorites! It goes on nice, and realy gives the best washable surface for you. This again can be rolled, brushed, or sprayed.
Whitewash or Limewashing brick fireplaces
These terms are pretty much the same thing. You are giving a colored glaze over brick. Because bricks are porous, the color will soak in to the brick, you can then wipe away some or none of the color to make things as you want them to be. You can make it almost solid, but you can also remove the color to get a very light color over your bricks. This finish is very fun to do because you can be really creative with the style, variation, color (s) you want to achieve.
Check with your local paint store on what type they have. There are several variations and each one have specific methods and instructions for you to achieve you desired results. Most of these companies have videos as well which are very helpful.
Don’t be afraid!
Typically we are from $500-$1000 to work on fireplaces- it depends what we are doing and how much. (it wont be less than that) But it can be more, just a fyi. We can help you achieve the look you want. Paint or white washed it is up to you. It now your turn to turn that brick into what you want! Let us know if you have any questions!