Whitewashed Fireplace DIY
We closed on our home April 20th, 2016. And every day since that day, I have dreamt about lightening up our fireplace.
I really do like the look of brick, but with our fireplace being so huge, our ugly paint color, and a lack of natural daylight during the day…the brick just felt really dark and heavy. Our living room is not a huge space, but it does have vaulted ceilings, which helps make it feel bigger.
Because of those vaulted ceilings, though, I’ve been so intimidated to do this fireplace! It’s like, the focal point of our living room, so I really did not want to mess up. I also had a hard time deciding what exactly I wanted to do to it. I knew I wanted it lighter. We had read about whitewashing, painting, German smear, all of the things.
After 2.5 years, I decided to just do it. I’ve been wanting it done for that long, and it just had to get done. After tons of research, I found everyone saying, “do what works for you!” Which is great. And incredibly unhelpful.
We decided to do a light whitewash. I didn’t want an opaque white fireplace, but I did want the white to be pretty even all over. I really like the German smear, it was just a little too patchy for what I wanted, and I’ve heard it can be pretty tedious and time consuming. We were looking for even coverage with the warmth of the brick still showing through.
Y’all, I’m so mad at myself for not doing this sooner. We did this project for less than $50, and it took a total of 3-4 hours, which we spread over 2 nights.
Affordable DIY Whitewashed Brick Fireplace
- White paint (or color of your choice)
- Bucket for mixing paint/water
- Paint stick
- Sponge (we bought the big ones to wash cars in the auto section)
- Drop cloth
- Brush to clean fireplace
- High heat spray paint (if painting the face to your fireplace)
We started by wiping down the fireplace. We weren’t too detailed here, but we took a brush and scrubbed at the brick to remove any dust or debris, then vacuumed over it. That’s it.
Mix paint and water. We started with a 50/50 mix and just painted it on a small section to see how we liked it. Please note- brick really absorbs this stuff, so what you see is not what you’re going to get. Give it at least 20-30 minutes to see if you like where it’s heading. The 50/50 mix was waaaay too light for us (we have dark brick and I wasn’t trying to do 5737 coats). We upped it to 60% paint, 40% water. Then we took brushes, painted it on, and immediately sponged over it to wipe off any excess and prevent drips.
I had read that this can get messy, and the paint is supper splashy since it’s mixed with water. We had a drop cloth to put the paint mix bucket on, but other than we weren’t to strict about taping anything off. Our brick is also really rough. We had originally planned on using rollers but found out right away that was not going to work. As soon as it started drying, I knew I was going to want another coat. Again, though, the number of costs will depend on how dark your brick is and how light you want your whitewash.
We did the second coat on the next night because of how long the first coat takes to really dry and soak into the brick. Two coats was PERFECT! I’m so in love with how it turned out! 😍
We also updated the brass face by spray painting it black. We used a high heat spray paint, and it only took a few coats to make sure it was all covered evenly. (Excuse the baby handprints on it…literally happens seconds after cleaning it, so WASN’T WORTH IT!)
I do still want to change out the mantle to a solid piece of wood, and this change has made me so ready to paint our walls! That’s the only problem with projects like this, I start inching closer to my vision and just want to do it all!
For now, though, I’m so excited that this is done. It immediately has made our living room feel lighter and more updated. Y’all- less than $50 and 3-4 hours total!! Cannot beat it.
Next up for us is painting our living room/dining space in early January. After that, we’re refinishing our dining room table! I can’t wait for all these individual projects to tie together and make our home more representative of our style!
In case you missed my last DIY, make sure you check out our updated, rustic coffee table here!
Have a phenomenal day!