One project we have been wanting to tackle since we moved into this house was the living room fireplace. The brick didn’t go with our decor style, and the mantel was a yellowish-white color. Maybe it was white at one point, but when we moved it in was very dated due to color. It was time to create a white brick fireplace.
Then comes the One Room Challenge, so we had to finally deal with the fireplace… because that is what this challenge is all about!! Forcing you to take on those projects that have been sitting on your to-do list forever!!
I knew I love white brick fireplaces, so that’s how we were going to paint the brick. And since the mantel needed to be painted, we went with the same color as our interior doors.
Painting the brick white was a piece of cake since we painted out the exterior brick on our house white. And we learned a ton of stuff along the way, so I have some easy tips to help you when you paint your brick white!!
The Best Way To Create White Brick Fireplaces
This post is in collaboration with Sherwin Williams. I received paint in exchange for this content, but all thoughts, ideas, and opinions are my own. For more, see my terms of service.
Primer Is Your Friend
For any brick painting projects (or any project really), we start with a primer. The primer helps get the brick ready to hold the paint.
For brick, it’s best to have something that has an extra stick so the paint actually stays. We used Extreme Bond Primer from Sherwin Williams. It went on really smooth and covered everything, making it extremely easy when it came time for painting!!
Trim It Like It’s Hot
Once the primer dries, it is time to start painting!! We found that if you do the trim first (like around the outline of the entire fireplace), then use your roller, it is easier to smooth out any drip marker.
For this project, Ben did all the trim work while I used the roller. That was I was able to smooth things out as he was trimming the fireplace.
For the fireplace, we used Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior paint in extra white with a flat finish. For the mantel, we went with Emerald Interior paint in Iron Ore, to match all our interior doors. I am a huge fan of this paint, as it contains anti-microbial agents that inhibit the growth of mold or mildew on the paint surface. Plus it hides dark colors and stains while providing a smooth finish. All the things we are looking for in our paint products!!
I never knew that the feel (or nap) of the paint roller mattered until we were painting our outside brick. Then I learned that the nap of the roller actually made a huge difference!! (Insert my sore hands from having to push the rollers rather hard into the nooks and crannies of the brick.)
For the white brick fireplace, we used a 3/4 inch nap. You can get the roller in various sizes, but make sure that the nap is at least 3/4 inch!
The reason why is that the thicker nap will fill in more porous surfaces better, while the smaller nap size will create smooth surfaces. (Thank you experts at Sherwin Williams store for explaining this!!)
For this project, we used a variety of handy products!! First, we started by taping off the entire fireplace using Frog Tape. We also used a drop cloth… well it was an old sheet that has turned into our drop cloth.
As for rollers and paintbrushes, we used the 3/4 inch nap with roller for the brick. Then we used a trim brush for all the trim. For the mantel, we used a flat brush and 1/4 inch nap roller set so we could throw away the tray when we were done.
We are also huge fans of the HANDy paint cup! It is such a great thing to have as you are doing all the trim. Plus it magnetically holds the brush on the side, because it’s so handy (see what I did there?!?!)
And the paint can pour spout is a total lifesaver when it comes to painting any project!! This pour spout saves so much cleanup time because the paint isn’t spilling over the side of the can. It just drips back into the can because of the angle.
For more tips on painting white brick fireplaces, check out The Organized Mama TV, where I break down all these tips!!