How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

I’ve gotten several questions through the past few years on how to paint a brick fireplace.

Today we’re going to tackle the basics of painting over a red brick fireplace.

So if you’ve been contemplating painting the brick surrounding the fireplace in your living room or family room, today’s post is for you.

This topic can be a bit divisive as I know many people think it’s a terrible idea, but we’ve done this more than once and in my opinion it gives the fireplace brick a fresh new look.

Whether your looking to hire a painter to do this job for you or you’re looking to do it on your own, it’s a good idea to follow these simple steps below.

Get the painting supplies

The first thing you need to plan before painting the entire fireplace is getting the necessary materials and equipment required for the job.

To successfully paint your fireplace, you will need the following items:

  • Drop cloth 
  • Primer
  • Paint roller 
  • Paint brush 
  • Warm water 
  • Paint
  • A stiff wire brush
  • Sponge
  • Safety clothing, such as gloves, overalls, and goggles

You can get the above items at a hardware store, where you can ask the attendant which brick color paints go well with dark brick surfaces so that you can choose the best paint colors for your fireplace.

Once you have the above items, you’re ready for the next important step of the paint job.

Clean the surface of the brick fireplace

For the paint to adhere and dry properly, you have to clean the surface of the brick thoroughly.

Cover the floors with a drop cloth and use a wire brush to get rid of any dust or dirt.

We recommend you use soapy water while cleaning, then rinse the surface and leave it to dry.

Apply the primer on the brick wall

The next thing to do is apply a coat of primer to the wall.

This masonry primer is a good primer to use on the entire brick surface.

It blocks stains and will protect the paint against soot.

We recommend you use a small brush with stiff bristles to get the primer into the mortar lines.

Then, take the roller and apply the primer across the clean surface of the old bricks.

For optimal results, we recommend you go with two coats of primer.

Leave the primer to dry overnight. 

white primed brick surround of beach house fireplace.
White masonry primer on brick fireplace surround.

Paint the brick fireplace

When the primer dries completely the next day, take the paint and apply it to the face of the brick surface.

We recommend using indoor heat-resistant latex paint that can withstand the high temperatures in the fireplace.

The color of the paint depends on your taste and style. 

However, we’ve found black paint and white paint to be the most common paint colors for fireplaces.

Although any lighter color of your choice will work here. 

We chose Benjamin Moore OC-151 white paint for the bricks on this white fireplace.

Using the paint roller, apply the base coat first, then proceed to add other coats of paint in straight lines on the surrounding wall.

Ensure that you allow the paint plenty of time to dry before adding coats of paint colors.

finished white painted fireplace with black painted interior and white painted bookcases.
Finished after photo of white painted fireplace painting process.

Add final touches

Once you’ve added your fresh coat of paint to your brick fireplace, you can take a small paintbrush and touch up any missed spots on the rest of the fireplace, to accomplish a perfect white brick fireplace. 

white brick modern fireplace with black interior


If you have any questions about how to achieve the best-painted brick fireplace be sure to leave them in the comments.

I always do my best to answer any and all questions

If you’re looking for even more paint inspiration and home design ideas, be sure to check out these other posts by clicking on each title below-

Last,  but not least of all…

Design lovers! Have you joined our fun and VERY helpful design Facebook group?

In this group – members share their own photos with specific design questions and dilemmas from their homes and spaces.

Everyone chimes in with their best advice!

cheat sheet.

We also spill our favorite design sources and tips – it’s SO great for hunting down hard to find items and pieces.

Lastly, to help you even further with your home projects, download my FREE DESIGN CHEAT SHEET!

It’s loaded with all sorts of quick tips and handy measurements.

Sign up below to grab that, it’ll be super helpful!

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Leave a Comment


  1. Kat wrote:

    Looks so clean and fresh. I love it so much better than the natural brick. What paint did you use for the inside black part of the fireplace?

    Published on 5.23.23 · Reply
    • Sue De Chiara wrote:

      Thanks so much. We used a high heat resistant black paint for the inside.

      Published on 5.24.23 · Reply