I had so many of you ask about our fireplace transformation and I have great news for you! First, I’m going to share with you how I did it tuh-DAY. And secondly, this project should cost you under $30 (maybe much less, depending on which supplies you already have on hand) and it was entirely DIY.
As I shared in this post about our family room, our fireplace was one of the first DIY projects we tackled in the house. Before I share with you the “how” and all the details of how it’s holding up, first I want to share with you why.
So, since we were spending the majority of our budget in other places, I was looking for a super affordable way we could give our fireplace an updated look. We had a beautiful place to start; I mean guys, look at that mantle and trim detail!! Speaking of that, here’s an interesting fact. I’ve been in a few of the houses around mine and they have the same or similar mantle, just with a unique variation. How cool is that Again, I just the love the craftsmanship and character of the 1950s!
I’ve always loved the way whitewashed brick looks, so I researched online some how-to’s. The backup plan? I figured if it didn’t turn out well, I also liked the look of painted brick. So, I’d just paint it.
Friends, if I can do this, you can do this! The best part? High impact for low cost!
I had all the supplies below except for the spray paint, so friends…this entire project cost me $8! Just in case you don’t have the items on hand, I’ve listed everything you’ll need. To make it even easier for you, I’ve linked what I’ve used – click to see where you can purchase (or just go to Lowe’s!)
- High Heat Spray Paint
- White Paint (I used something we already had on hand) or Trim Paint (I’m not a paint expert, but this specific trim paint will straight up stay on your paint brush; just a warning to not use a nice one!)
- Paint Brush (3″)
- Painters Tape
- Paper Towels
- 2 Wet Towels
- Dry Towel
- Medium Bowl (Don’t use your fine-china, friends!)
- 1-2 Trashbags (or dropcloth)
- *Only needed to paint floor tile: Bonding Primer (I used this from Lowes, but it looks like they don’t offer it anymore. Ask your local hardware store for their recommendation.)
A few things to note before you move on. Your bricks may be different than my bricks (color, texture, shape, etc), so be mindful of that before you proceed. The steps may look the same, but the outcome
may have will have variations (and that’s okay!). I’d recommend reading through all the steps before you start, so you have a game plan and the big picture of the project.
- Clean the brick and doors with a clean towel. Allow it to dry.
- Using painters tape and newspaper, tape off the brick, floor, and glass. This step will take you the longest out of all of them! It’s important that you thoroughly cover anywhere you do not want black paint.
- Following the instructions on the can, shake the spray paint can and spray the metal doors evenly in long strokes. I’d suggest moving at a “medium” speed: too slow will cause dripping in certain places and too fast will make for inconsistent coverage. Let paint dry between coats. I did three coats and then touched up where it was needed.
- Remove newspaper, being careful to not drip/wipe paint as you move it. Look carefully if any of the paint was applied to any unwanted places and scrub immediately.
- Once fully dry (I’d wait as long as you can, up to 24-48 hours. I went through all steps in a few hours, but it would have been better to let paint cure.), tape around the trim, the doors, and the floor.
- In a bowl, combine equal parts white paint and water (1/2 paint & 1/2 water). Mix and set aside.
- Dip paint brush in paint and water mixture (stirring prior to dipping brush). Ensuring it does not drip and moving with the direction of the brick, paint the grout around one of the corner bricks then use one stroke to paint to cover the brick. Wipe off with dry cloth. *Look out for dripping paint! If you feel like it looks like too much paint, use a wet cloth to wipe off and try again.
- Repeat step 7, cascading throughout each brick. I moved from top to bottom. Some of this is preference, but pay attention to your application and step by to look at the entire view every once and awhile. I ended up going back and adding a few coats to certain bricks to make them consistent. I primarily went with two coats of paint and water mixture throughout.
- Step back and admire your work! Touch up where you need to.
- Hate it? Allow it to dry and remove painters tape and look at the entire project. Still hate it? Paint all the bricks white. 😉
Optional Steps: After I stepped back and looked at my handiwork, I came to the conclusion that my floor tiles didn’t fit with the newly updated fireplace. If you’re in the same boat, continue on!
- Use painters tape to tape around doors, trim, and surrounding floor.
- Paint tiles with bonding primer. Allow to dry.
- Paint over with white paint. Allow to dry. *Add a second coat if needed.
- Remove painters tape, allow to cure for a few days, and enjoy!
*When I did this project, I whitewashed the brick before painting the metal doors. Looking back, I think I would have painted the doors first (because I got black paint on my bricks and had to scrub them, removing the paint). That is reflected in the steps above.
How It’s Holding Up: 2.5 Years Later
First in the topic of “how it’s holding up”, I think it’s important to let you know that to our knowledge, this fireplace is not working. So, I can’t speak to how this transformation would do with a working fireplace. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to test that soon! We haven’t had the chance to get the “fireplace doctor” over here to check it out.
Secondly, overall everything has held up super well! After vacuuming, walking on, and cleaning, the paint has pretty normal wear – on the floor and obviously the brick. (I actually wrote “just like new” originally, but when I looked really closely at the floor, there were some areas that didn’t look as new…so, normal wear! 🙂 ) The doors were doing excellently, until Hal entered our life. Hal is our Roomba vacuum (yeah, we named it, which ends up being really funny in conversation!). When going through this room, Hal runs into the doors to get “all the dirt”, which has caused the area to chip a little bit. It doesn’t bother us too much and it’d be easy to touch up. Here’s a closer look.
Again, overall we just love it! It suits our style, but holds true to the original character. Eventually we’d love to get it completely redone, but for the meantime we’re loving how it looks!
If you try this out on your own fireplace, I’d love to see it and so would the rest of the Redeeming Hampton community! (Don’t forget to take a before photo!) Tag me in your post (@redeeminghampton) and use this hashtag #RHBtransformations. I’d love to share some of your photos on my Instagram or Facebook accounts!
Happy DIY-ing, friends!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.