Considering Painting a Fireplace


My family room, in a picture taken a few years ago:

Family Room
And a preview (courtesy of Sherwin Williams’ Color Visualizer) of the fireplace in white:

Not a perfect preview, but it’s nice to have an idea how it might look before I paint.

When we bought this house, the first thing I wanted to do was paint this fireplace.  Instead, I painted over the sky blue wall color with this golden yellow called Full Moon.  Suddenly, the brown made sense and I just left it.  But years later, I’m staring at the fireplace again with such an urge to paint it white or cream.  It’s so dark at that end of the room, I think a lighter color would make a huge difference.

Have you painted over brick?  Were you happy with the result?

5 thoughts on “Considering Painting a Fireplace

  1. Normally I am a ‘never paint over brink’ kind of gal, but as soon as I saw your photo I thought it would look nice painted. I think the way you have the built ins done makes the difference. I wouldn’t use a stark white because I still think fireplaces are suppose to invoke a feeling of warmth and comfort. I’d pick a slightly off white without being so far off that it becomes cream… if that makes any sense! :) (And I think it will look nicer that that preview.)

  2. Hi, Chia! Thanks for your comment! I totally agree with you, an off white would be ideal, but I had this gallon of white semi-gloss already … well, you know how that goes. I figured I’d see how it looked with the fireplace matching the built ins. (Somewhere down the road I’d like to paint the walls more of a taupe, and at that point I’ll probably repaint the fireplace, too.)

    I’m currently taking a break from painting and have a first coat on the portion above the mantel. I can’t believe how much extra light this gives the room, almost like we’ve added a window! I should have done this years ago.

  3. I hope you put a good primer on it first, or the brick with “bleed through” about 6 coats! I did that to my fireplace at my last house about 10 years ago.

    This time, I re-faced the old brick with tile. I like this better, but it needs to fit the house style.

  4. Sarah, yep I’ve painted over brick. The brick I painted over was nearly 100 year old brick on a very old rickity fireplace. Probably should have tore down the chimney and started over but hindsight is 20/20 & that is a blog post in itself.
    Nonetheless, I agree on a warmer color. However I think next time I’d be a little more creative and add two colors and paint the first one on like a background color and then actually sponge a slightly contracting color to give it depth.
    Lowes and HomeDepot have a few examples I am betting, which may give you an idea what it would look like.
    Best of luck to you and enjoy!

  5. Hi Vicki! Thankfully mine only took three coats, but I used a semi-gloss trim paint that had a very thick consistency. A regular latex paint without a primer against that dark brick …. I’m thinking it would have taken six coats, too! And I bet your tile fireplace looks great!

    Hi Nanette! I do plan to repaint this room in a creamy taupe at some point in the future, and when I do I’ll get a much paler version of it to go over the fireplace. I think that will look better than the stark white, but it’s going to take me a while to get there. Thanks for stopping in! :)

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