Enliven Your Brick Fireplace by Choosing the Right Paint Color

Nothing turns a dark, dated brick fireplace into a stunning focal point quite like a fresh coat of colorful paint. The days of leaving brick fireplaces drab and untouched are over. Painting brick fireplaces has become wildly popular for good reason – it completely transforms the space with just a little paint and creativity.

But how do you pick the perfect paint color to give your existing brick fireplace new life? With so many colors and finishes to choose from, it can seem overwhelming trying to select the right hue. White, gray, black and whitewash are trending choices for painted brick, but even within those broad categories there are so many options.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint Color for Brick Fireplaces

When embarking on a brick fireplace makeover, there are several important factors to consider when selecting the color:

Undertones of the Brick

The natural undertones of your brick will impact which paint colors complement it best. Warm brick with red, orange or brown tones will look best with deep, intense colors like black or navy. For brick with cooler gray, tan or neutral undertones, lighter colors like white, beige and gray will accentuate the brick beautifully.

Always test paint swatches directly on the brick to see how the undertones interact. The color that pops off a paint chip may look completely different against your actual brick.

paint colors for brick fireplace

Desired Overall Effect

Consider the overall effect you want the painted brick fireplace to have. Do you want it to stand out dramatically or blend in subtly? The paint color choices align with different overall vibes:

  • White paint brightens a space and makes the fireplace recede
  • Gray has a more sophisticated, contemporary feel
  • Black makes the fireplace a bold focal point
  • Whitewash allows the texture to show through

Decide if you want your fireplace to command attention or softly blend in when determining a direction for your color choice.

Interior Decor Style

Take into account the decor style of the overall space when selecting a paint color. For contemporary rooms, bold black or crisp white fireplaces feel right at home. Soft gray or nuanced white washes complement transitional spaces. Farmhouse inspired rooms suit a whitewashed finish. Let your interior design style guide you.

Existing Interior Finishes

Pull inspiration from the existing interior finishes like flooring, furniture, tile and textiles. Cool-toned grays pair elegantly with marble tile or stone floors, while warm white and beige brick finishes feel right at home with wood elements. View fabric swatches next to paint samples to ensure your fireplace color feels cohesive.

Best Paint Color Options for Brick Fireplaces

Now that we’ve covered the key factors to keep in mind, let’s explore the specific paint colors that work beautifully on brick:

1. White Painted Brick

Nothing brightens up a dark, dated brick fireplace like a fresh white paint job. The crisp clean look of white painted brick freshens up any space.

White paint does double duty – it conceals imperfections in old brickwork while providing a neutral backdrop that sets off any decor. From farmhouse to modern spaces, white fireplaces feel right at home.

When choosing a white, look for warmer hues with a subtle cream or ivory undertone. Stark bright whites can read as too clinical on brick. Soft whites tie in the warmth of the underlying brick color.

2. Soothing Gray Painted Brick

For those looking for something a little softer than bright white, gray is another versatile option for painting brick fireplaces. The right warm or cool toned gray adds a sophisticated, contemporary vibe.

Cooler gray paint colors often complement red brick, while warmer grays pair better with more varied or neutral brick. The subtle variation of gray tones from light to dark allow you to tailor the look from blended to bold.

Gray painted brick fireplaces work with nearly any decor style from modern to farmhouse. Go light or dark, warm or cool – the options with gray paint are endless.

3. Striking Black Painted Brick

Feeling bold? A black painted brick fireplace makes an eye-catching statement. The inky black color transforms the fireplace into a dramatic focal point.

Deep black paint obscures imperfections in the brickwork, providing a polished finished look. It also makes red brick tones really sing, providing contrast that makes the brick details stand out.

Jet black fireplaces instantly create a modern, slightly industrial feeling. Yet a black fireplace can also suit transitional spaces for an unexpected but sophisticated look.

4. Whitewashed Brick

Whitewashing brick provides a soft, varied painted effect while still allowing the original texture to show through. It’s achieved by watering down white paint then brushing, rolling or spraying it onto the brick.

The handwashed technique leaves behind subtle variations in tone for depth and dimension. Whitewashing also plays up the shape and natural patina of the brick for a rustic, antique charm.

Whitewashed fireplaces are perfect for farmhouse styles but also add cozy vintage flair to modern minimalist spaces.

Preparing Brick for Painting

Once you’ve selected the perfect paint color for your brick fireplace facelift, proper prep is crucial before applying any color. Follow these tips to ensure the paint adheres smoothly and lasts:

  • Clean the brick thoroughly to remove any dirt, soot or grease
  • Repair any cracked or damaged brick
  • Sand any glossy sealers to help the paint adhere
  • Prime before painting for enhanced durability
  • Use high-quality masonry paint for the best bond and coverage

Taking the time to properly prep and seal the brick will allow the fresh paint to really shine.

Applying Paint to Brick

When tackling the painting itself, working in small sections yields the best results:

  • Paint in 2-3 foot square sections
  • Use a brush at an angle to get into the grout lines
  • Apply a minimum of 2 coats for best coverage
  • Use high heat paint formulated for fireplaces if needed

Painting brick requires patience – resist the urge to rush through the job. Allow each coat to fully dry before adding another. Stand back periodically to check for any missed spots. Working methodically will create a flawless finish.

Caring for Painted Brick Fireplaces

Once your fireplace sports a fresh painted makeover, a little maintenance will keep it looking its best:

  • Allow paint to cure for several weeks before use
  • Clean gently with mild soap and water
  • Touch up paint as needed over time
  • Add protective sealant for added durability

The proper prep work done before painting provides a sturdy foundation for your painted brick fireplace. Following these care tips will help the finish hold up well over many years.

Updating an existing brick fireplace with paint transfigures it into a stunning focal point that infuses any space with color and wow-factor.

Choosing a hue attuned to your brickwork, interior design and desired effect results in a cohesive, eye-catching change. Fresh white, soothing gray, bold black or textured whitewash all revive brick in beautiful ways.

Keep the scale of your space and overall decor goals in mind as you select the perfect paint for your upcoming fireplace makeover. With the right prep and application, your transformed fireplace will light up any room with newfound personality and panache.

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