It's The Little Things: Painting My Fireplace Brick

It’s The Little Things: Painting My Fireplace Brick

The thought of painting brick gives some people hives, but I fear nothing — especially when the brick is ugly as sin.

Last December, I decided to paint my basement fireplace brick surrounding in white. (Yes, this post is six months overdue, but better late than never, as they say!) Why? Well, I’ll let the before photo show you why before I tell you the process to get it to where it is now:

basement-fireplace-5

Just gross. If it were all that slate grey hue, I likely (maybe) would have left it, but in combination with the peach and blue-grey, it was terrible. The first thing I did was dry dust it with a really good scrubby tile brush. I used a white plastic number from the dollar store. You really don’t need anything fancy — just some elbow grease to get rid of all the dust and loose stone pieces. If your grout is soft and you find scrubbing just aggravates it and causes more dust, don’t worry about it and stop while you’re ahead — you can seal it all with a good primer. Next, I gently washed it with some TSP diluted in tons of water. Again, be gentle if your stone or grout is soft, the brick doesn’t need to be scrubbed to death, it just has to be clean enough that there’s no barrier of dust or grease between the primer and the stone.

basement-fireplace-1

Then I primed it using a primer made for stone/brick surfaces and painted it in a glossy white interior paint! I used a roller and brush at first but it took forever, so I ended up borrowing my dads spray gun. A great tip to thin out the paint a bit to make it easier to get into the cracks and crevices is to mix the paint with some anti-freeze. And voila!

basement-fireplace-23

Again, here’s a before:

basement-fireplace-6

And after(s):

basement-fireplace-17  basement-fireplace-8 basement-fireplace-15

Also worth mentioning is this chair I found for $5 from my local thrift store. I liked it as is, but when I brought it home and looked at the tag, I realized it’s actually a vintage Canadian-made R. Huber & Co. chair which seems to be worth upwards of $850 (as per my internet sleuthing for comparable pieces). My love for mustard continues on.

basement-fireplace-1

What do you guys think of the transformation? Would you paint your brick?

Sabrina Smelko

Lifestyle blog and shop by Sabrina Smelko, sharing wellness, home design, entrepreneurship and resources