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How to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace

If you’re looking for the easiest and cheapest way to update a fireplace, you’ll want to put your tile away and pick up a paint brush.

I truly believe the biggest impact you can make to your living space is a clean and bright painted brick fireplace (see below for proof!).

Bonus—making and applying whitewash paint is an easy and cheap DIY project that can be completed in a few hours!

Whitewash brick fireplace with wooden mantle

How to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace

This easy tutorial walks you through exactly how to whitewash paint your own fireplace. We have done this twice now, and it is one of the easiest, cheapest and quickest DIY’s you can do.

The difference a painted brick fireplace makes is HUGE, especially if you feel that your living room is too dark and boring. This quick change will immediately get a “wow” from your friends that visit.

Not sure if whitewashed brick is the look you are going for? No problem! Check out these 10 other ways to give your fireplace a makeover!

Before and after photos of a whitewash brick fireplace that is painted white

1. Clean off the fireplace

When you start your whitewash brick project the first thing you will want to do is remove any and all dust and debris.

If you are planning on changing out your fireplace mantel this is a great time to go ahead and do that too…like we did with our DIY new fireplace mantel.

Use your vacuum and suck out as much of the dust as possible, then go over it with a microfiber rag, or use these dust wipes like we did (affiliate link) to remove the remaining dust so it doesn’t ruin your painted brick fireplace.

Using a vacuum to clean a fireplace before a whitewash brick project.

2. Make Whitewash Paint

It’s time to make your whitewash paint.  I always make my whitewash by creating a simple mix of 50% latex paint and 50% water. If you search for “how to make whitewash paint” online, you’ll find all kinds of recipes from using acid to a lime wash brick fireplace (yes, with actual lime!), but I’m all about doing thing the simple way! This method has worked on two of our fireplaces so I’m totally confident that it will work.

Can of paint with mixing stick.

3. Start Painting!

From there it’s painting time.

Dip 1/3rd of your brush into the paint mixture and gently scrape against the side of the container, allowing it to drip before applying. I work in 1 x 1 foot sections to have better control on the evenness of the paint. It works best to make your way down since the paint will have a tendency to leave drips (stay on top of that rogue paint!). 

When you finish your first section from top to bottom, work your way across until you finish your first coat. It is important to get between the bricks so the mortar gets plenty of the paint otherwise the whitewash brick will look incomplete. 

It is also possible that you will want to do a second coat of paint on your new fireplace, but this is completely up to your preference. We ended up doing two coats of paint and I think it looks amazing! 🙂

I also finally had a chance to get some of my books put in the cabinet next to the fireplace—all arranged by color of course! 🙂

Close up of a whitewash brick fireplace
living room with white walls, dark wood floor and a whitewash brick fireplace with wood mantle
Bookshelf with color coordinated books to the left of a whitewash brick fireplace
Blue Books organized by color

White Washed Brick Before and After

I’m so happy with how bright and clean the whole space looks now…much improved! 🙂 Here’s a nice before/after shot so we can take a walk down memory lane. So much better!

Before and after pictures of a painted brick fireplace.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Painted Brick Fireplace

How do you make a whitewash?

The easy way to make whitewash paint is to mix 50% latex paint with 50% water and use a standard paint brush to apply.

How much does it cost to whitewash a fireplace?

You can totally do a whitewash fireplace style for less than $50 (or even FREE if you have supplies on hand!). Of course, it would depend on the size of your fireplace but a standard floor to ceiling fireplace 5-foot-wide would only take one gallon of paint and any brushes you need to buy.

Can you whitewash with any color?

Yes, you can mix any color paint with water to apply it to your whitewash brick fireplace. However, white seems to be the most popular, with a gray whitewash brick a close second. 

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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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  1. It’s amazing what a little bit of paint can do for a room. I love your makeover, and love the look of the whitewashed brick!

  2. Pingback: www.lgcyb.com
    1. That does look so much better after painting! I love the look of painted brick, and would like my house exterior (when I have a house of my own) to be painted brick, in some light shade. Nice job!

  3. This new painting gave room new fresh look and somehow it looks that it has more space. Best thing you are satisfied, that is only what it matters.

  4. I love this way much better. I am fan of white and pink. White color makes spaces look much wider then they are. new closet is much better than old one.

  5. Great round-up! I just love a good fireplace makeover. it adds so much dimension to a room. I love all these ideas and it makes me wish I had a fireplace in my house to redo!

  6. I know this is an old post but could you tell me where you got your brass fireplace cover. We just bought a house with perfectly arched fireplace and I need a vintage cover. This one is exactly what I’m looking for!

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