In our first house, we debated for SO LONG if we should whitewash our dark brick fireplace. I had always been drawn to that look so I had been on the “YES” train for a long time, but it’s a scary decision. Once you paint it, you can’t go back; everyone had a different opinion for us. After four years, we finally decided to go for it.
Bye, bye dark red brick!
Check out how much brighter the room became (thanks to the shiplap and fireplace)! To read about the shiplap process we did, check out this post.
Below are my favorite before and after pictures EVER because of the two cute boys in the pictures. 💙💚 On the left is our Elmer Fudd baby😂, Kenton, one Christmas before we painted the fireplace. And then a few years later I happened to take an almost identical picture of our second son, Markus (right). 😍 Gaaaah give me back these squishy babies! 🤗💋
Anyway, do you want to know how we whitewashed the fireplace? I’ve been asked this quite a few times, so it deserves a place on the blog! 🙂
Step 1) Wipe down the brick with a damp cloth to get any dirt and debris off.
Step 2) Pick any white paint — interior/exterior/anything! I’m 99% sure we used a bucket of exterior paint left over from the previous owner. If you were whitewashing exterior brick, I’d tell you to do something different (upcoming post!), but for interior brick, the kind of paint doesn’t matter (in my opinion). I’d try to stay away from a semi-gloss sheen, however.
Step 3) Make a mixture of 1-to-1 paint and water. We poured it into an ice cream bucket, cause that’s how we roll. 🍦
Step 4) Apply the watery paint mixture with a large paint brush and wipe off any excess with a cloth. The paint may run down the brick a bit, so definitely have some extra cloths nearby!
Note: This (below) is what the fireplace looked like after one coat. We wiped off quite a bit of excess paint because I wanted to see the variation in color of the brick, but this was too light. It almost made the brick look pink!
Step 5) Paint another coat, depending on the look you’re going for. (We did another coat!)
Step 6) I took sandpaper to certain bricks to get the look I desired, but it really all depends on your preference. Like I said, I wanted to see through the paint.
Step 7) Add decor to your mantel, step back, and snap a photo to send to your favorite blogger — ME! 😉
I changed up the decor on the mantle oooonly a few times. 😉 What do you think? Do you like the varied color, or would you do solid white? I like that look, too! Overall, we loved how much brighter the room became once we painted the brick.
For the record, I think there is some really pretty brick out there that I wouldn’t touch. I don’t think ALL brick should be painted, but in our case, I think we made the right choice. 😉
If you’re wondering if you should paint or whitewash your brick, I’d love to see and offer my advice, if you’re interested! Feel free to post a picture in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy painting, my friends! I hope this helps! Feel free to reach out with questions.
Huge hugs! XO!