If your brick fireplace is looking tired, a coat of paint is a beautiful way to brighten that area of your home and update your home’s look. Brick is a porous material that can absorb a lot of dirt, dust, and soot. Prep work is vital.
Washing the brick of your fireplace will take some elbow grease and can be quite messy. Tape down plastic around the fireplace then lay cotton or canvas drop cloths over the plastic. The plastic will protect your floors from the moisture of cleaning the fireplace, and the drop cloths will protect you from slipping on wet plastic.
Brushes and Soap
The first round of cleaning can be done with a stiff-bristle brush and warm water. After each cleaning product, scrub the brick with plain water to rinse. The cleaning steps will include
- soap and water, for dust and dirt
- trisodium phosphate and water, for soot
- bleach and water, for mildew
Wear painting clothes when working with bleach, wear gloves when working with trisodium phosphate, and always wear eye protection when working with a scrub brush. After cleaning, let the bricks dry for 24 hours.
Invest in a concrete primer to get the best adhesion and penetration. Use brushes to get into the grout lines and use a heavy nap roller to get the most paint into the brick with your primer. Work slowly and evenly to apply an even coat without leaving drips. Unsealed, freshly washed brick will be quite absorbent.
Once your fireplace is primed, you may notice small cracks in the mortar. Fill these in with a paintable caulk that adheres to multiple surfaces. If possible, try to fill these before you prime. However, you can touch up these cracks once the primer is dry as well.
Consider using matte paint and small foam rollers for the most even coverage for your topcoat. Because bricks can be rough, even after priming, invest in extra roller covers so you can swap them out as they start to break down. A matte finish paint will offer an excellent finish on the bricks’ rough surface, and using a fine finish foam roller will provide the most even coverage for your fireplace.
If you’re doing this on your own, you’ll want to paint your brick fireplace when you can open your windows; bleach fumes can be unpleasant, and both primer and paint will have an odor. You may prefer to contact a trustworthy Las Vegas painter to manage this multi-step process. Ram Painting Company can be reached at 702-300-3359. We’re just a phone call away.