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Brick Fireplace Makeover

Brick Fireplace Makeover

While I have plenty of DIY projects to share with you, I wanted to start with my brick fireplace makeover. One of the most popular questions I get from family and friends is how I went about transforming the brick. Here is how the fireplace looked when we first purchased our home.


whitewashing brick fireplace

While I like many types of brick, I didn’t like the undertones in this variety. The outdated, brass surround certainly didn’t help. I removed the  surround and got to work. While I cannot tell you the exact ratio of paint to water I used as I did not take precise measurements, I will tell you I went for a more watered down formula. Probably around 3 parts water to 1 part paint. I wanted some of the brick texture to still be visible and figured it was best to not achieve enough coverage than it was to have too much coverage. Once the paint seeps into the brick, there is no going back so please be mindful of this. When I first applied the whitewash mix, I freaked out a little. It looked as though I had completely covered the brick. Once the brick absorbed the paint, however, I actually had to apply 2 more coats. Please also keep in mind that this is extremely messy. It would be ideal to have one person working behind you with a rag to wipe off dripping paint. I got plenty of dripping paint on the wood floor and had a wonderful time cleaning it all up. To avoid messes, tape off your working area with painter’s tape and craft paper.


Materials Used

  • white flat latex paint
  • water
  • rag to wipe excess paint
  • large cup for whitewash (easy to hold)
  • paint brush
  • recommended: painter’s tape, craft paper or painter’s cloth and measuring cups for white wash formula


Whitewash Formula for Minimal Coverage

3 parts water : 1 part paint

As I mentioned, I thought it better to be safe than sorry. I wanted to avoid over covering so I went with a more diluted whitewash formula. In the end, I had to apply 3 coats.

transitional living room

Here is the final product. My husband added more character to the fireplace by wrapping the existing brick in stained wood. I will explain that process in a separate post.

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My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...


Thursday 5th of November 2015

This is gorgeous! I love the whitewash look, I feel like it has so much more character than fully painted fireplaces!

Designing Vibes

Thursday 5th of November 2015

Thank you so much for the positive feedback, Kate. Yes, I totally agree about whitewashing adding more character.