The Solution to the Dated Brick Fireplace That Even Your Husband Will Approve Of

Do you ever think about painting a brick fireplace?  One of my recent clients had a brick fireplace that dated from the early 1960s.  The brick was not at all unattractive, but the redness of it kinda put a damper on the lighter direction she was wanting to go in this space.  

dated brick Fireplace_before

 brick fireplace before

 

In order to lighten up the brick without making it feel like painted brick, I chose three light neutrals and had a faux painter do her magic:

painted brick

 brick fireplace after

 

The result is a painted brick fireplace that simply looks like different brick, not “painted.”  Now we all know how most men feel about painting wood and brick, right?  I believe this just might be the solution for many ladies out there whose husbands just can’t stomach the idea of painting brick!  Here is another shot of the before:

brick fireplace

brick fireplace before

 

I should reiterate that the “before” state of this brick fireplace was certainly NOT bad, but it had been bugging this client for many years as she tried to lighten the look of this great room connected to her kitchen.  I doubt anyone who walks into her home today would think this fireplace was painted, do you?  This kind of painted brick technique would be quite labor-intensive on a brick exterior, but it’s a great idea for updating interior brick finishes, like an interior brick wall or fireplace wall.

painted fireplace brick

painted fireplace brick after – excuse the flash photography!

 

I have another client who is looking to do a similar thing with her dark, under-appreciated brick fireplace.  I showed her these photographs, and she can’t wait to get started with her own transformation!  So, do you think YOUR husband would go for this kind of painted brick? 

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Christine
Guest

This is exactly what I have in mind for a friend of mine. It is a great way to update the fireplace without the labor and expense of crazy painted moldings. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to pass this along to my friend, as I am sure she will love it!

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

My husband would absolutely go for this. Too bad I’m seeing it now, since we moved from our home with a dark brick fireplace last August! Wonder if I could paint some wood furniture so it still looks like wood to him…. 😛

Sue Buchanan
Guest
Sue Buchanan

I have a bachelor friend who is interested in this idea because he is restoring an 1886 house with white painted brick on the lower half of a huge fireplace. The upper half had been hidden behind wallboard and, when uncovered, was painted bright red! Now he needs a cohesive look for his 10′ tall brick feature.

Sara
Guest
Sara

Oh my word that looks SO good, and you’re right- it doesn’t look painted!

Brenda
Guest
Brenda

I love the color on the walls…Do you know what it is?

Nan
Guest

It looks amazing! To bad she couldn’t talk him into painting the built in shelves and mantel. Baby steps, right?

Suzy
Guest

Great post, and just in the nick of time! We recently purchased an old (1885) home with a similar dilemma — while the entire fireplace isn’t exposed brick, the fire surround is. I can’t wait to paint it black — but fear the repercussions from you-know-who. I may have to do a before-and-after with Photoshop first. Your blog gives me (*sniff!*) courage.!!! :0) (wish I could post a picture).

Another brilliant solution, Kristie!

barbara
Guest

Nice paint work. I’m just surprised you didn’t stick with the lighter painted wood.

Connie Nikiforoff Designs
Guest

It’s gorgeous in the ‘after’ version! Wondering why they put wood inside the shelving unit….. I’d have left it in the ‘before’ version, painted those white shelves one of the colors used on the bricks (to blend it in better) and then I would have also painted the ‘beefed up’ mantel. But that’s me…. 😉 I suspect her hubby wanted wood. Maybe it was a trade off for painting the brick(?) Hee hee!

It looks so much nicer faux painted lighter! Love your idea!

Chez
Guest
Chez

We painted our brick fireplace white and now want to reface it to modernize it. Any suggestions on what materials to use for an updated and timeless but contemporary look? We want to avoid the look of 12×12 square tiles with grout. 🙂 Thanks for any ideas!

Darryl Bueckert Photography
Guest

Your painter did a great job delivering a very real look to the brickwork. It’s amazing what a change in colour tone will do to a space. Not all colour tones are created equal (specifically with wood). I might be in the minority, but I whole heartedly approve of painting (or re-staining) wood/brick/etc when the colour is wrong.

Linda
Guest

Looks SO much better. Great job Kristie. I have been trying to talk a client into painting her dated red brick but her husband has said no way. I am sharing this with them as a possible solution.

Paula Van Hoogen
Guest
Paula Van Hoogen

Wow—you have one talented faux painter there, Kristie!!! That transformation is the BEST I have ever seen! As I look at the wicker furniture, can’t help but wonder if wicker could be lightened up in the same fashion?
Now, I’ll bet she goes for an area rug to pull the fireplace colors out. (Sorry, I can’t help it—I’m a decorating nut too!)

Jean
Guest
Jean

Kristie, Can you please share what the three neutral colors are that you used?

Reg
Guest
Reg

I.d be interesed in knowing what the neutral colors are. I used the colors from the Lowe,s project and they ended up more grey/taupe instread of the warm colors in your photo

Jil McDonald, Reflections Interior Designs
Guest

Absolutely brilliant!!! You rock Kristie!!!

Kate
Guest
Kate

Kristie, WOW! Can the same thing be done with exterior brick??

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Kristie, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!! After 30 years of nagging, I’ve finally gotten my husband to let me paint 2 oak bookcases that have NEVER gone in any of the 8 homes we’ve owned! (We moved a lot.) Now, I live in a home with a dark brick fireplace that I’m trying to make light and airy and “beachy.” This will absolutely do the trick! I’m wondering if I need to hire a faux painter to do this or can I do it myself? I can paint fairly well and have done some… Read more »

Carter Painting Company
Guest
Carter Painting Company

Very informative post, keep up the good work! 🙂

Chez
Guest
Chez

I keep returning to this post. We are agonizing over the best way to approach our similar fireplace. The brick fireplace has already been painted white, is 12′ tall and off-center like the one featured in this post, and is in a very narrow FR (that has light/cool/dirty gray walls, aqua accents, brown furniture, and a white cathedral ceiling with white beams). The fireplace can be seen from the kitchen and DR (both white). We want to reface the fireplace to modernize it. We are unsure whether to reface the whole thing or put drywall over the top half to… Read more »

trackback

[…] exteriors if they don’t want to, but it can be difficult to take the plunge and actually paint the brick. […]

Kathryn
Guest
Kathryn

This is funny. One of the first things we did when we bought our house (errr-30 years ago!), we to strip the painted brick fireplace. Of course, it had been painted in white flat paint, which was awful! After we got it stripped back to the yellow-tan brick (kind of a tile-like surface), we really hated it because the mortar was black. An artist friend suggested we paint only the mortar. So for a couple of months, using a small paintbrush, we painted all those mortar lines. That was all it needed to bring it some beauty!

Arron
Guest

Amazing site!

Danny
Guest
Danny

I am very interested about paint brick.How to do that?And What about the charge? According to the square foot or other?please reply me .thanks!

trackback

[…] green colors looked like they had been done in the early 1990s, but removing the dated floor and fireplace tiles was not an affordable option. The main issue here was that the homeowner really disliked the […]

Felicia
Guest
Felicia

What colors did you use for this soft neural look?
Thanks

Linda Sewell
Member
Linda Sewell

Must not want to share the paint colors……hmmm?

Beth
Guest

Hi! Love this post. I have been wanting to lighten up our fireplace as well and was looking into limestone paint (have you ever worked with that?) But this may give me a similar finish I was just curious what the colors are that you used? Thanks for sharing!

Jeannine
Guest
Jeannine

Wondering if you can please share the paint colors that are used here? I see many people asking, but never an answer. Is it a big secret? I live no where near Tennesee, I won’t tell 🙂

mrsben
Guest
mrsben

Fantastic transformation!!!! -Brenda-

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

The faux painter did a nice job to make it look natural. I think a low-contrast color choice and soft color transitions is key to making something like this look good, as you did also did with some stone fireplaces. I know you didn’t specify the mantel, but the fact that it doesn’t line up with the firebox does bother me a bit, especially since it contrasts strongly with the brick. Making it a bit wider and with a less dramatic cove would have minimized that problem., or to go MCM traditional and extend the horizontal all the way across… Read more »

Jackie
Guest
Jackie

Great fireplace makeover! Could you please share the colors you used? Base and then did you sponge on the accent?

Thanks.

Jackie

Jen
Guest
Jen

I’m not sure how helpful you think this is to those of us following your ideas when you blatantly ignore requests for the paint colors and technique. What’s the point?

Tracy W.
Guest
Tracy W.

I painted my fireplace last year, and it looks awesome!

Tracy W.
Guest
Tracy W.
Kimberly
Guest
Kimberly

Do you recall what colors you used? I see the Benjamin Moore colors for the stone project which was the inspiration for this project but don’t know if you used the same colors here?