One of the selling points of our new house was the brick fireplace in the front room. We could imagine ourselves hanging Christmas stockings on the mantle and watching the snow fall from the fireside. However, in our dreams the fireplace is whitewashed brick and the built-in bookcases are white. As soon as the SOLD sign was lifted from the lawn, my friend and brother in law showed us how to whitewash a brick fireplace.
I would like to take credit for our whitewash brick fireplace, but my friend Kristina is the talented mastermind behind the transformation. She told me what to buy at Home Depot and she came over armed with her own supplies. I set her up in the living room with a cocktail and two helpers.
Materials Needed to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace
- white paint – nothing fancy, something cheap
- a paint brush – nothing fancy, something cheap
- a mixing bucket/cup
- a wooden stirring stick (ask your paint store)
- painter’s tape
- a drop cloth
- multiple cloth rags
- wet wipes
- rubber gloves
Steps to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace
- If you are going to whitewash a brick fireplace, you need to prepare your fireplace first. Wipe down the fireplace with a rag to remove dust, dirt, any sediment.
- Protect your working area by taping the edges of your fireplace so you don’t get white paint on your floor, walls, mantel, etc.
- Cover the floor around your fireplace with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting.
- Pour three parts of white paint and one part of water into your mixing cup. Stir the mixture with the wooden stirring stick until combined, smooth, and even color. If you want a lighter white wash, use a 1:1 ratio for paint and water.
- Dip your paintbrush into the whitewash and begin to paint an area of the fireplace. Make sure you paint into every nook and cranny (the mortar joints),
- Use a damp cloth rag to smear the paint into the brick. Work in small sections.
- Allow the whitewash to dry before deciding if your fireplace needs a second coat.
My brother in law painted the built ins and cabinets a glossy white and it truly changes the overall look of the area in our home. We removed the blue carpeting and installed a gray tile entryway, as well as white oak laminate.
The fun part now begins where we decorate the fireplace and bookcases differently for each season. We are considering a television above the mantle, dark knobs on the cabinets, as well as spray painting the fireplace doors a darker color.