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DIY Whitewash Brick Fireplace

I updated our ugly fireplace with a whitewash brick fireplace look. Here’s how to do it yourself!

whitewash brick fireplace before and after

During our remodel we removed the brick hearth from our fireplace. That left some very ugly brick exposed.

I decided to whitewash the entire brick fireplace to cover the ugly brick and brighten the space. Since I was able to water down some leftover white latex paint I had sitting around it didn’t cost me a thing.

Here’s how my DIY whitewash brick fireplace project went!

Scary before picture

before brick fireplace

Here is the brick fireplace during the remodel. There was previously a hearth that took up a lot of much-needed floor space. 

Since the fireplace was no longer functional, we decided to remove the hearth.

You can clearly see where the old brick hearth was. We replaced the floor in our house and added a piece of baseboard, but the ugly brick was still exposed along the bottom of the fireplace.

What Is Whitewash Actually?

heavy whitewash painted brick

Whitewash can mean to physically paint something OR to “a deliberate attempt to conceal unpleasant facts about something or someone”.

The second definition applies in my fireplace situation lol. I wanted to cover up the ugly exposed brick. 

Historically, whitewash was a cheap alternative to paint that involved ingredients such as chalk, builder’s lime, egg whites, and flour

How To Mix Your Whitewash

behr brick paint

I liked the character of the brick but wanted to cover the ugly discolored brick at the bottom of the fireplace and brighten the space.

So I decided to try a whitewash brick fireplace look. I hoped it would cover enough while still letting the character of the brick shine through.

Traditional whitewash is a 50/50 mix of paint and water. I went with less since I wanted good coverage.

I estimated my mix was closer to 3/4’s paint and 1/4 water.

You can use any white latex paint for whitewashing but oil-based paint will not work.

I would recommend this brick paint from Behr which is available at Home Depot.

Whitewash Brick Fireplace: Clean and prepare the area

brick fireplace whitewashing prep

Prep work just involves cleanign the brick and taping. Most of the brick I was able to clean by wiping with a damp rag.

However there was some soot on the bricks closest to the opening. I used an all-purpose cleaner on a rag in that area. Then be sure to follow that with a few wipes with just water so no cleaner remains on the brick.

After cleaning, the only thing you need to do to prepare is to tape any area you don’t want covered in paint.

Also, be sure to use a drop cloth because the whitewash is quite runny.

How To Whitewash The Brick

whitewashed brick fireplace after picture

I liberally applied the whitewash mixture to the brick with a small roller and paintbrush and let it dry completely.

I ended up going over it again because I didn’t get enough coverage the first time. If I didn’t have the discolored bricks I think one coat would have been plenty!

If your bricks are uniform in color then one coat will definitely be enough.

White Painted Mantle

white painted mantle

I used full strength white paint for the solid wood mantle. I eventually want to add some moulding to it to modernize it, but for now this works.

Here is the completed after picture:

after whitewash brick fireplace

I hope you are inspired by our fireplace transformation!

It took about 4-6 hours to complete this project so it could be done in half a day. 

Would you ever try a whitewash brick fireplace? Please leave a comment below and let me know!

Be sure to check out these other esy DIY projects: 

whitewashed brick fireplace pin

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