Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)

Painting Fireplace Brick Grey (the right way)

Painting fireplace brick grey, step-by-step guide addresses all your concerns regarding the proper approach to painting a brick fireplace. It includes recommendations on the best to paint a brick fireplace, the most suitable paints for the painted fireplace to paint a brick fireplace with, the best paint, the ideal paint finish, primer paint, and whether chalk paint is a viable option for a painted brick fireplace.

The brick fireplace in the dining room of our family room was far from visually appealing. Initially painted to paint a brick fireplace, itself, the floor, and the entire fireplace were all painted brick fireplaces with two coats of white trim. The painted brick fireplace now featured two coats of unsightly, unpainted red bricks, which I found unappealing.

I’ve never been particularly fond of all the mortar lines of orangey-red bricks, and our fireplace was particularly bothersome due to some poorly executed brick-and-mortar lines and painted-over fireplace doors.

Can I paint my fireplace GREY?

Yes, you can paint your fireplace white and grey. Painting a used fireplace white is a great way to update its look and give it a fresh, modern appearance. Grey is a popular choice for a fireplace white or color as it can complement a variety of interior styles, from traditional to contemporary. Before painting your fireplace white or grey, make sure to properly prepare the surface, choose fireplace paint color and the right type of paint, and consider using heat-resistant paint if your fireplace is functional and in use.

Is painting a brick fireplace a good idea?

Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)

Painting a either painted fireplace or a brick fireplace can be a good idea in certain situations, depending on your design preferences and the condition of your painted brick fireplace and the old brick fireplace surrounding it. Here are some considerations to help you decide if painting a brick fireplace or your old brick fireplace is a good idea:

  • Aesthetic Preference: If you don’t like the current appearance of your brick fireplace or if it doesn’t match your interior decor, painting it can give it a fresh and updated look. It allows you to change the color and style to better suit your design preferences.
  • Surface Issues: If the brick on your fireplace is damaged, discolored, or has unsightly stains that are difficult to remove, painting can provide a solution to cover these imperfections and create a uniform finish.
  • Modernization: If you want to modernize your living space, painting a brick fireplace can be a cost-effective way to achieve a contemporary look.
  • Maintenance: Brick fireplaces can accumulate soot and may require frequent cleaning. Painting the brick can make maintenance easier and keep it looking clean.
  • Non-Functional Fireplaces: If your fireplace is not used for actual fires, painting can be a practical and decorative option.

However, it’s essential to consider a few factors before painting:

  • Permanence: Once you paint a brick, it can be challenging to restore it to its original state, as removing paint from the brick is often difficult.
  • Heat Resistance: If your fireplace is functional and you plan to use it, choose a heat-resistant paint or refractory paint designed for high temperatures to prevent peeling or discoloration.
  • Preparation: Properly clean and prepare the surface, which may require scrubbing, sanding, and using a suitable primer.

What is the most popular color to paint a brick fireplace?

The choice of paint color for the most popular two fireplace doors and wall color used to either paint a brick fireplace or paint a brick fireplace or surrounding to paint a brick fireplace can vary depending on design trends and personal preferences. However, some colors have consistently been popular for painting brick walls and for painted brick fireplaces:

Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
  • White: White paint can give your brick fireplace a fresh, clean, and timeless look. It provides a stark contrast to the dark bricks and can make the room feel brighter and more spacious.
  • Gray: Shades of gray, including light, medium, and dark grays, have become increasingly popular for painting brick hearths. Gray can provide a modern and neutral backdrop for various interior design styles.
  • Black: Black is a bold choice that can create a dramatic and elegant focal point in the room. It works well in contemporary and traditional settings.
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
  • Charcoal: Charcoal is a dark grayish-black color that can offer a sophisticated and moody appearance to your fireplace.
  • Cream or Beige: Light neutral colors like cream or beige can create a soft and inviting atmosphere. They are versatile and complement a wide range of design styles.
  • Navy Blue: Navy blue is a rich and bold color choice for a brick fireplace, adding depth and a touch of luxury to the room.
  • Sage Green: Soft greens like sage can provide a calming and natural ambiance in your living space.

When it comes to selecting the best paint and the perfect color for painting your fireplace, it’s essential to take your room’s existing decor into account.

If your primary aim is to infuse your fireplace surround your space with a sense of airiness and illuminate the room, opting for a white hue or selecting a color from the lighter spectrum is an excellent choice. Painting your fireplace in white can also facilitate a seamless blend with a white wall, creating a harmonious and cohesive look in your family room.

Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)

Conversely, if your room requires a striking focal point, a more vibrant and bold color can be just the thing to make your brick fireplace truly stand out. A darker shade, in particular, can impart a sense of groundedness and substance to any space that could benefit from a touch of added depth.

For rooms with painted walls, a brick coat that is either slightly darker or lighter than the wall color can be a smart choice. This approach creates a monochromatic look, offering an elegant and unified appearance to your space.

What is the longest-lasting paint for brick?

Painting Fireplace Brick Grey (the right way)

The longevity of paint for brick depends on several factors, including the quality of the paint, surface preparation, exposure of regular paint to the elements, and maintenance of regular paint on brick-dry surrounding surfaces. Here are some paint types that are known for their durability on brick surfaces:

  • Acrylic Latex Paint: Acrylic latex paint is a popular choice for painting exterior brick surfaces. It adheres well to brick, provides good color retention, and resists cracking and peeling. High-quality acrylic latex paints can be long-lasting.
  • Elastomeric Paint: Elastomeric paint is known for its durability and flexibility. It can bridge small cracks and gaps in the brick and provides excellent protection against moisture. Elastomeric paints can last for many years and are often used on commercial and residential exteriors.
  • Masonry Paint: This is specifically formulated for brick and other masonry surfaces. It is designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor exposure, resist fading, and protect against moisture.
  • Mineral Silicate Paint: Mineral silicate paint is a breathable and highly durable coating type. It chemically bonds with the mineral content of the brick, creating a long-lasting and weather-resistant finish. It is often used on historic or natural stone surfaces.
  • Stain: Brick stain is another option for changing the color of brick while allowing the natural texture to show through. Stains can penetrate the surface and provide a long-lasting solution.

While these paint types are known for their durability, the key to long-lasting results is proper surface preparation. Ensure the brick is clean, dry, and free from mold, mildew, dirt, and loose mortar, scrub with mortar wash and scrub brush for off dirt and mortar particles before painting. Also, consider using a high-quality primer designed for masonry surfaces before applying the final coat or topcoat.

Regular maintenance of white walls, such as cleaning and inspecting paint bricks for any signs of wear or damage, can extend the life of latex paint on the painted paint brick surface. Keep in mind that the longevity of the paint can also be influenced by climate conditions and the level of exposure of interior paint brick to sun, wind high heat, and precipitation.

Does painted brick need a primer?

Yes, painting brick typically requires the use of a top or second coat of primer, especially if you want the top or first coat” of paint to adhere well to dark brick and achieve the desired appearance. Here are some key reasons why you should use a top or second coat of primer when painting brick:

Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
  • Adhesion: Brick surfaces are porous and may contain loose particles, so using a primer helps the paint adhere to the brick more effectively. The primer creates a bonding layer between the surface and the paint, preventing issues like peeling or flaking.
  • Stain Blocking: Primer can block stains that might bleed through the paint. This is important when you’re painting over a brick that has discolorations, soot stains, or other imperfections. The primer seals these stains and prevents them from affecting the topcoat.
  • Uniform Appearance: If the brick has variations in color or texture, a primer can help create a uniform and consistent base for the paint. This is especially crucial when you’re changing the brick’s color or covering up blemishes.
  • Surface Sealing: Primers can seal porous surfaces, reducing the absorption of moisture and preventing efflorescence (white, powdery deposits that can occur on masonry surfaces). This ensures the longevity of the paint job.
  • Enhanced Coverage: Priming the brick can enhance the coverage and spread of the topcoat paint. It can also reduce the number of topcoat layers needed to achieve the desired color and finish.

When selecting a primer for painting brick, choose one that is specifically designed for masonry, walls, or exterior surfaces color-coated brick. Masonry primers are formulated to address the unique characteristics of brick, such as porosity and texture. Additionally, consider whether you need an oil-based or water-based primer to paint brick, depending on the high-temperature paint and the type color of paint you plan to use.

Proper surface preparation and prep work, including cleaning the interior, using spray paint, painting it on the brick, repairing any damage, and applying the primer, is essential for a successful and long-lasting spray paint job on brick surfaces.

What To Consider

When it comes to painting an indoor brick fireplace, several factors play a role in determining the success of your project.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to ensure that you have the right tools and equipment for the job, considering the specific requirements of your home. For instance, I considered the option of using a paint spray gun to apply mortar wash to our brick fireplace. However, after careful consideration, I chose to brush on the paint because we had the necessary tools and ample time to do so. This approach ensured that the mortar wash paint adhered properly to the brick surface, and I could easily wipe off any excess with a damp cloth.

Another essential factor to consider is the type of brick you’re dealing with. The paint adhesion may vary depending on the brick’s texture and composition. In our case, the brick surface accepted paint from a brush quite well. It’s important to note that this can differ from one situation to another, as every brick may respond differently to various paint application methods.

I highly recommend conducting a test on a small, inconspicuous area of the fireplace using your chosen painting technique, such as high-heat spray paint. This allows you to ensure that the final outcome aligns with your expectations and that the method you select is suitable for your fireplace size-specific brick surface while protecting the surrounding area with a drop cloth.

Supplies You’ll Need

Here is a list of the materials we used for this project:


  • A dated and unattractive old brick fireplace
  • Cleaning supplies (including a stiff-bristled brush, bucket, dish soap, sponges, rags, etc.)
  • Wide painter’s tape
  • Bristle paintbrushes (specifically, we used a 3″ flat brush and a 2″ angled brush)
  • Primers, such as Zinsser Bullseye Primer, or a paint designed for masonry surfaces
  • Drop cloths to protect your surrounding area during the painting process.

What kind of paint do you use on an interior brick fireplace?

When painting an interior brick fireplace, it’s crucial to choose the right type of paint to ensure both a beautiful finish and safety. Here are the most common paint options for interior brick fireplaces:

  • Latex or Acrylic Paint: Latex or acrylic paint is a suitable choice for interior brick hearths. It’s easy to work with, dries relatively quickly, and emits fewer fumes compared to oil-based paints. These water-based paints come in a variety of colors and finishes, allowing you to achieve the desired look.
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
  • Chalk Paint: Chalk paint has gained popularity for its matte finish and ease of application. It adheres well to brick surfaces, often without the need for a primer. Chalk paint is a great option if you want to create a shabby-chic or rustic appearance.
  • Enamel Paint: Enamel paint, especially latex enamel, provides a glossy and durable finish. It’s easy to clean, making it a practical choice for an indoor brick fireplace.
  • Masonry Paint: This is specifically designed for brick and masonry surfaces. It offers excellent adhesion, durability, and resistance to weathering.
  • High-Heat Paint: If your fireplace gets exceptionally hot, as is the case with wood-burning fireplaces, you should opt for high-heat paint designed to withstand extreme temperatures. It’s typically used on the interior firebox or the hearth, where the heat is most intense.

The choice of paint type depends on your desired finish, the heat exposure of the fireplace, and your personal preferences. Regardless of the type paint fireplace brick in a gray shade.” amount of paint you choose, it’s essential to properly clean and prepare the brick surface before painting to ensure good adhesion and a smooth finish. Additionally, consider the location of the fireplace, as some paints are suitable for interior fireplace brick use only, while others are designed for both interior fireplace brick and exterior fireplace brick surfaces.

How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

Painting fireplace brick grey Project Time: 10 Hours (Plus Drying Time)

  • Cleaning your fireplace is a crucial first step in the process. In our case, the fireplace had accumulated 60 years’ worth of soot, and there were even some marker drawings left behind by the previous young resident. To get started, take a warm, soapy solution and a brush to scrub away as much dirt and grime as possible. A sponge will come in handy for soaking up any excess water and residue. Once you’ve cleaned it thoroughly, allow the surface to dry completely. It’s worth noting that skipping this step is not advisable; the cleaner you can get your surface, the better the paint will adhere. Be sure to exercise patience and let it dry completely; an overnight wait is recommended.
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
  •  To ensure that areas you want to remain unpainted are protected, use painter’s tape. The use of wide painter’s tape will help safeguard the edges along the walls, the floor or carpet, and the mantel (if you have one). Don’t forget to lay down drop cloths for added protection. Properly preparing your fireplace for painting is a key to success in the process, and you can even consider using trisodium phosphate to ensure thorough cleaning before you begin applying your first coat of paint.
  • Apply primer. We experimented with two types of primers and found that Zinsser Bullseye worked better than masonry paint. This step is especially crucial if your brick has any stains because the primer will effectively seal them, preventing them from bleeding through to the paint layers. Note: Rollers didn’t work well for our brick, so feel free to test various application methods based on your brick’s porosity and condition. You can also try spray application, but we opted for a brush-on method due to ventilation limitations.
  • When priming, ensure that every nook and cranny is properly coated. It’s essential to prime and seal every area for a durable and successful paint job.
  • Apply a second coat of primer. Yes, two coats of primer might be necessary.
  • Proceed with a coat of your chosen paint. You’ll likely need to apply two coats of regular paint to achieve full coverage and add a bit of sheen, especially if you’re using an eggshell finish. The primer has a flat finish, and any areas where it peeks through the paint will be noticeable.
  • After completing two coats of paint, step back and evaluate the result. If a final coat is needed, go ahead and apply it.
  • Once everything is dry, carefully remove the painter’s tape and celebrate your achievement! You might also want to treat yourself to a relaxing hand massage since your hands have been hard at work holding a paintbrush for the past couple of days.
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)
Painting fireplace brick grey (the right way)

Should the fireplace be the accent wall?

When determining whether your fireplace should be the accent wall in your room, several factors come into play. Let’s explore some considerations that will guide your decision:

Focal Point: Fireplaces naturally draw attention and can serve as the centerpiece. If you want to highlight fire place your fireplace as a central feature, making it the accent wall is a great choice.

Room Size: In smaller rooms, positioning the fireplace as the accent wall can create a warm water cozy, and inviting atmosphere, especially in the colder months. In larger rooms, it can provide balance and introduce a striking visual element.

Fireplace Design: The design and style of your fireplace should harmonize with the room’s overall aesthetics. If your fireplace has a striking visual presence, making it the accent wall can enhance its impact.

Color and Materials: Consider the color and materials of both the fireplace and the wall. An accent wall often features a different color or texture to help it stand out, creating a look you’ll absolutely love. You can achieve the wall a distinct color, using stone or tile cladding, or adding unique decor elements.

Room Layout: The layout of the room plays a significant role. If your furniture arrangement naturally centers around the fireplace, making it the accent wall makes sense. However, if the layout doesn’t emphasize the fireplace, you might opt for a different wall as the accent.

Personal Taste: Ultimately, your personal taste is a crucial factor. If you love the idea of showcasing your fireplace and cozying up to it during the colder months, go ahead and make it the accent wall. Conversely, if you prefer a different wall or even no accent wall at all, that’s a valid choice too.

Keep in mind that accent walls don’t have to be limited to just one wall. You can have multiple accent walls painted in the same color throughout a room, creating a dynamic and balanced look. The key is to ensure that the chosen accent wall(s) enhance the overall room design, creating a visually appealing focal point while considering options like other affiliate programs for additional decor ideas.


In conclusion, painting your fireplace brick grey can be a rewarding project that transforms the look and feel of your living space. When done the right way, it can breathe new life into an outdated fireplace, making it a stylish focal point in your home. By following the steps and tips provided in this guide, you’ll achieve a professional-looking finish that you can be proud of. Whether you’re aiming for a modern, rustic, or classic aesthetic, the choice of grey as your paint color can adapt to various styles, making it a versatile and timeless choice. So, get ready to enjoy cozy evenings by your newly transformed, grey-bricked fireplace.






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