How To Update An Old Brick Fireplace

Construction & Contractors Blog

Does your home have an older brick fireplace that you aren't too keen on? Is the brick just not the right color, or does it have an outdated brass face that isn't your style? Don't remove that fireplace just yet; you can update it to make it more your style and look like a brand new fireplace with paint, a paintbrush and a few simple steps. See below for instructions on how to update your brass and whitewash your brick fireplace to give it a more modern look.

Update That Old Brass

Look for paint in a color you want--black is a good, neutral choice. Be sure you use a high heat resistant spray paint. Tape off any area you do not want covered with the paint using painter's tape. Tape around areas such as your brick or mantle. Use paper to help cover areas surrounding the brass and use plastic drop cloths to help control over-spray.

Once you have everything covered, you can begin painting your brass with your spray paint. Be sure to keep your can moving so you don't have any streaks.

Allow the paint to dry completely before touching or before applying a second coat if necessary.

Whitewashing Your Brick

Whitewashing your brick is a process of painting a thin layer of paint over your existing brick. Mix your white paint with a water ratio of 2 parts paint to 1 part water. Depending on the cover you are looking for, you can add more paint or more water. For example, if your brick is dark red or brown, you may want more paint to help cover the color a little better. Lighter brick doesn't need as much cover, so you can add more water to your paint.

To whitewash your brick, you will need:

  • White latex paint with a satin finish
  • 2 1/2 inch angle paintbrush
  • A couple of old rags
  • Plastic container
  • Water
  1. Begin by vacuuming your brick to get rid of any dust, dirt, and maybe a random cobweb or spiderweb (sorry spiders).
  2. Tape off your brick so you don't get paint on your walls or anywhere else you don't want paint. 
  3. Mix your paint to water ratio, as stated above. Then begin painting your brick with your paintbrush.
  4. After doing a small section of brick, such as a 1 x 1 inch section, wipe the paint off with your old rag using a blotting motion. Be sure to catch any drips before they dry since your paint may be a little thin.
  5. Continue on this pattern until your entire brick fireplace is whitewashed to your liking.

You can update your wooden mantle, if your fireplace has one, by painting it a bright white, or even gray. Finish the job by adding stylish decorative elements to your mantle and hearth.

If you want to go the whole nine yards and completely update the entire fireplace, it may be time to call in a professional like Southwest Brick & Fireplace.

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31 December 2014

Those Cold, January Nights

When I was in college, I lived in an old house just south of the university campus with five other girls. When we came back from Christmas break, the heater was broken. The beginning of January was the coldest time of the year, and because it was the weekend, the heating company couldn't come fix it for a few days. My roommates and I pulled our mattresses into the front room and slept all together to keep warm. Two weeks later, our heater broke again! That time we ended up getting a completely new furnace. Needless to say, we got to be good friends with the heating contractor that month, and it was a good experience that led to the creation of this blog.