How to Patch & Paint a Brick Fireplace: Our Green Fireplace Makeover
I promised you that I would break down our color blocked family room reveal into smaller bite-sized DIY tutorials since we did a few projects in that space. Today I am sharing the first of those projects, our green fireplace makeover. This project was one that Chris and I worked on together since it involved some heavy lifting as well as priming and painting brick which is no easy feat when you are doing it by hand. Honestly though, don’t be discouraged… it’s definitely not too challenging and easily doable by one person! I just used my resources. 😉 Let’s get right into it today! (This post uses affiliate links. I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through these links.)
Let me refresh your memory with where this fireplace started… (Listing photo)
It was dated, I really despised the mantle corbels and the decorative screen. It had a very weird traditional country vibe to it that just wasn’t me. When Frogtape invited me to be a part of their Paintover, I was excited to finally turn this room and fireplace into something I would be proud of.
Prepping and Patching Your Brick Fireplace
To prepare the fireplace for painting, we removed the mantle as well as our TV which we had mounted there when we moved in. After everything was removed, we had several screw holes to fill in the masonry.
To patch holes in masonry for painting:
- First, use a wire brush to clean any dirt or debris from brick and vacuum it up.
- Use a masonry sealant to fill holes. I like a tube like this one because you can just squeeze it in.
- After filling in the hole, smooth it out. Because brick is a rough surface, I find that using a finger works better than any tool.
- Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s directions, and then you are ready for the next step!
Below you can see all of the spots that we had filled because they are light gray compared to the color of the brick and mortar.
Priming Your Brick Fireplace
Once you’ve patched all of your holes and cleaned off your fireplace, you’re ready to prime.
- Tape off any areas that you don’t want paint to hit. Our fireplace doesn’t have any molding around the base (I think the previous owners DIYed the flooring and left out this detail, and we haven’t gotten there yet.)
- Protect your floor with drop cloths or protective pads from Frogtape. I loved these smaller green pads because they helped us get in these corners.
- Using an angled brush, apply masonry primer to your fireplace. As I mentioned, we were working together so I literally painted a line down the middle and told Chris to prime his side and I would do mine. It was much easier than getting in each other’s way.
- Once it is fully covered, allow to dry for 24 hours before painting. By the way, you can see some holes left on the brick. We didn’t worry about all of the holes because we knew that art would hide those.
Painting Your Brick Fireplace
You’ve prepped and primer, and now it’s time for the fun part… paint! I was so excited to add some color to our brick fireplace! If you’ve prepared your fireplace properly, you can use regular interior grade house paint. We chose Sherwin Williams Emerald satin finish in Secret Garden. This green had the moodiness I wanted but also the earthy undertones. And I liked the name. 😉
- Just as with priming, I find an angled brush works best to apply your fireplace paint. We once again split the job in two and I painted on one side and Chris did the other. Painting brick by hand is not hard at all, but it’s time consuming, so that helped our efficiency.
- When it came to painting a darker green over the white, I found that we needed a couple of coats of paint. We applied two solid coats, and then I went over and touched up some spots to finish it off.
Once it’s dry and has cured for 24-48 hours, you can decorate and have fun with your painted fireplace!
As you may have noticed, we do not currently have a mantle. We do have kids though, and we will need a mantle with stockings this Christmas! I wanted to share with you what our plans are in that regard. I absolutely love the minimal vibe that it has right now, but those stockings are crucial.
The old mantle shelf is made of solid wood and actually in great shape. The things I don’t like about it are the finish and the brackets. We can easily salvage and reuse the mantle, which is a relief to your budget and to my soul. I plan to sand it down to a raw finish, then refinish it, or just wax it. Because we prefer the more modern look, we plan to buy this floating mantle bracket, which is similar to the floating shelf brackets we used in our kitchen. It should be relatively easy to attach and install. I opted not to try to do it for the Paintover challenge because we had to work with the limited budget of $500 and the bracket alone costs over $120. I didn’t want to use a large chunk of the budget on that. Also, because I was on a very strict timeline, I was afraid it wouldn’t arrive in time, but now we have yet another project to look forward to. 😉
Well, there you have project one of a few from my Frogtape Paintover challenge! Next up will be the DIY wall hanging that Emmy and I created collaboratively, and then how to paint paneled walls, followed by a detailed color block tutorial. If you are interested in seeing how I did the colorblocking now, you can actually get a quick step guide over at Frogtape.