How to Repaint a Brick Fireplace


If you have moved into a house and acquired a brick fireplace with a bad paint job, another coat of paint can solve the problem. An acrylic or latex paint should provide sufficient coverage when disguising painted brick, and because the brick already contains a coat of paint, you will not need a primer. Simply choose a color to complement your décor and prepare the brick for a new application of paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Dropcloths or plastic sheets
  • Vacuum with brush or crevice tool
  • TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Stiff brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Bucket of water
  • Thick paintbrush
  • Thick paint roller
  • Prepare the brick fireplace for repainting by covering the floor and the fireplace base with either dropcloths or sheets of plastic. You can also use old sheets or blankets or tarps if you do not have dropcloths or plastic.

  • Vacuum the fireplace brick using the brush or crevice tool. The vacuum will help remove any loose debris, dust or surface dirt attached to the painted brick.

  • Pour TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaning solution into a bucket and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the TSP with a stiff brush. A heavy-duty cleaner that removes grease, smoke and ground-in dirt, TSP can help to clean and prepare the brick for repainting.

  • Rinse the TSP from the fireplace using a clean cloth and a second bucket filled with clean water. Wipe the brick fireplace down with a soft, clean cloth after you finish rinsing the TSP.

  • Apply the new paint color using a thick paint roller. Use a paintbrush to paint inside smaller crevices that the roller cannot reach. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Acrylic and latex paints take only several hours to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes when using TSP.
  • Do not apply the paint thickly. Two coats of paint, with an appropriate drying time in between, come out much better than a thick single coat. Too thick of a coat of paint will produce air bubbles, paint blobs and drip marks.
  • Do not paint the inside of the firebox with an acrylic or latex paint.

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