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How to paint an outdated red brick fireplace

Updated February 21, 2017

A red brick fireplace may not fit your room's interior-design scheme, but do not fret. You can paint the brick. Be aware that painting brick is a permanent change. Choose shades from your room's colour palette. Look at fabrics, artwork and even interior-design magazines for inspiration. Using an eggshell or satin-sheen paint will make cleaning the painted brick a snap.

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  1. Move all furnishings and fixtures away from the fireplace. Place a clean dust sheet on the floor. Cover any nearby accessories with painter's plastic.

  2. Prepare the fireplace for paint by scrubbing away soot and grime. Use a hard-bristle brush and warm soapy water. Scour the fireplace until all the dirt has been removed. Allow the fireplace to dry for about 24 hours.

  3. Stick painter's tape on all adjacent walls and areas such as door frames, window frames and fireplace mantle. Ensure that the tape is stuck well to the surface so primer and paint will not seep underneath.

  4. Pour a masonite bonding primer into a paint tray. Using a rough-nap roller, slowly roll the primer onto the brick surface. If the roller cannot fill in any areas, such as the grout lines, use a chip brush to paint in these sections. Wait two to four hours, and then add a second coat. Allow the primer to dry four to six hours, and clean the roller.

  5. Paint the entire brick fireplace the newly chosen colour. Make sure the sheen is eggshell or satin. Roll on the paint, using the previously used rough-nap roller. Again, dab the chip brush into any hard-to-paint areas. If the paint looks uneven in colour or sheen, add a second or even third coat.

  6. Tip

    If you are still unsure of the exact colour to paint your outdated red brick fireplace, ask an interior designer or colour specialist for help. Many colour specialists work at paint stores and will visit your home for about an hour to give advice. Fees vary. Paint the selected colour on a large piece of cardboard before you start your project. Place the cardboard in front of the red brick to visualise what the fireplace will look like. Look at the colour at different times of the day and in artificial light.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean dust sheet
  • Hard-bristle brush
  • Soapy water
  • Painter's tape
  • Bonding primer
  • Paint tray
  • Rough-nap roller
  • Chip brush
  • Eggshell or satin latex paint


About the Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.

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