August 23, 2013

How to White Wash a Brick Fireplace

I have been debating this project for awhile but after seeing before and after photo's I eventually convinced myself to take the plunge. I'm so glad I did too. Before I tell you all about how it turned out let's start with how......
These are all the items I used:
1.Bucket- that I didn't mind getting paint on. 
2. Painters tape- I actually prefer Frogtape.
3. Drop Cloth
4. Paint brush- Wide brush
5. Bowl- Paint bowl
6. Gloves
7. 1 Gallon white latex paint (you're not going to use the whole gallon)
^ In fact you could just use a quart depending on how large an area you are painting. 

I also grabbed a paper plate to put under my paint bowl for added support, stir stick, old rags, paint opener & paper towels. 
Honestly, I had all this stuff already in my garage so this project cost me exactly $0.00!

There are a few different ways you can mix your paint and water, depending on what look you are going for. I wanted a light white touch to my fireplace and so I went for a 1:2 ratio. You can up it if you want a really white fireplace. 
So, I poured 1 quart of paint in to the bucket. I then added 2 quarts of water. The consistency was very watery. Some describe it as like glue but my mixture was not that thick. Here is a picture that describes it best:
I poured a small amount in to my paint bowl, picked up my cheap, wide paint brush and just started gobbing on the paint. I really tried to concentrate most of the mixture between the bricks. I read other blogs and posts about needing a rag handy, that it's messy. I didn't think anything of it, nooo.....paint sprays everywhere!! You can be as careful as you want, it's still going to get everywhere. Here is a picture of the door I am going to have to paint...again:
Yea, I'm telling myself I needed to repaint this door anyway. 

Here are a few pictures before:
Living room (front of fireplace)

Kitchen (back of fireplace)

It actually goes very quickly. The area I had to paint was quite large. I would say it took approximately 5 hours to complete, that's with 2 small children wanting snacks, hugs & diapers changed. :)

Side by side comparison. YES!
the REVEAL!!!

Tada! My living room looks so much bigger now. I loved it immediately. It's a completely new fireplace. I'm not keeping the arrangement on the mantle. I'm looking for something special to go up there. But until then I can just admire the bricks. 
Finished! Yea, now I need to paint that green cabinet again. It doesn't really go well with the white brick. :(
I love how clean the brick looks. It doesn't feel old and dingy,it looks so fresh now. 
If you're not loving the color of your bricks and you want a subtle change, go for white washing. It's so easy. It can be done in an afternoon and makes a big impact. I really wish I had done this a lot sooner. 



  1. Thanks so much for this tutorial I really appreciate it.

    1. You're very welcome Vanessa. This one project really transformed my whole house. Plus, it was a lot of fun!

  2. Hi did you just brush on the whitewash mixture? You didn't blend in with a rag or anything? It looks great!

  3. Thank you for sharing such valuable and helpful information and knowledge. This can give us more insights! Keep it up. I would love to see your next update.

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