Fireplace, before and after
Erica Sooter portrait

Fireplace Update

From Drab to Fab: The Classic White Brick Fireplace

Erica Sooter

Dwell Beautiful

A lot of older homes come with fireplaces that are either extremely outdated, or have been painted over so many times with random paint colors that they become an eyesore. Get a fresh start and create a sophisticated focal point by using BEHR ULTRA PURE WHITE paint! Take your drab fireplace to fab in a few simple steps!

Behr Color Palette

This color is Ultra Pure White

Ultra Pure White

1850

As a new homeowner, or even if you've lived in your home for years, it can be extremely exciting and rewarding to work on projects around the house. One of the easiest and most eye-catching ways to switch up the look in your home while not breaking the bank is to utilize paint in your makeovers and designs!

We have a fireplace in our home that the previous homeowners had painted at least half a dozen times, with the most current paint job being an orange and red sponge-painted attempt at making the bricks look like real bricks. It was an eyesore that greeted visitors when they walked in the door.

The original red brick fireplace
Painters tape on the floor and walls before painting
Gallon cans of BEHR PREMIUM PLUS paint and KILZ ORIGINAL primer

The paint we decided to go with was BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ULTRA PURE WHITE® that we got at Home Depot. This is literally the whitest paint you can get – it doesn't have any pigment added to it! When painting a fireplace, choose a satin or a glossy finish – this will keep it easy to clean! Simply wet down a cloth and wipe. A matte finish would absorb ash smudges and be harder to keep neat. So, if you chose anything from satin to high gloss, you should be as right as rain!

A common misconception about painting fireplaces is that you need to get 'heat-resistant' paint. If you are only painting the outside of your fireplace, your paint just needs to be approved to withstand temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and most general interior paint is!

This truly was an easy project, and anyone can do it!

Time to Paint

When painting a brick fireplace, the best place to start is the brick faces. Roll a layer of paint over the bricks using a roller for semi-rough surfaces, which ensures you fill the uneven surface of the brick! See this BEHR® tutorial for tips on how to paint brick.

The previous red/orange paint was pretty strong, but BEHR ULTRA PURE WHITE paint was still able to cover almost everything with one easy coat. We did an additional 2 coats (with a couple of hours of dry time in between) just to make sure we had a nice even finish! Take the time between coats to finish up other DIY projects around the house!

Visualize It

The newly painted fireplace in our remodeled living room

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The Big Reveal

Three-quarter view of finished fireplace
Detail of the finished fireplace
Head-on view of the finished fireplace

This project only took us a day to complete and the end look is simply stunning! A white fireplace is always a good design choice as it draws the eye and makes a wonderful, clean, crisp focal point. Our painted fireplace is the star of our wall and is a great place to display photos and treasures and it makes the best place to gather on holidays and everyday evenings. While we were at it we also decided to redo the wall behind the fireplace by using Stikwood, which are thin, real wood planks that you just peel and stick to the wall! The Stikwood combined with the new white fireplace definitely provides a WOW factor focal point for everyone who comes into our home!

When it comes to designing your space or painting your fireplace and don't know where to start Ultra Pure White is always a good choice! It's neutral and classic and goes with all sorts of décor. Once the paint starts flowing you'll be sure to transform your home in beautiful and unexpected ways!

Erica Sooter portrait

Erica Sooter

Erica Sooter is the designer and blogger behind Dwell Beautiful. She and her husband are new homeowners living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Erica loves to showcase updates they do to their home, current design trends, DIY & craft tutorials and home owner advice. In her spare time, she loves exploring the outdoors, reading, and going to barre class!