The fireplace is the most versatile feature of your home. It keeps us warm in the winter, a place to hang the stockings during the holidays and provides a great setting for social gatherings. Just like us, your fireplace could use a new look every few years. A fast and cost effective way to give your fireplace a face lift is by painting the bricks. It has quickly become a popular DIY project for the weekend warrior. Painting brickwork can often be a tedious job that requires both preparation and attention to detail. While the choice to paint your fireplace’s bricks can achieve some amazing results, the decision should be considered carefully.
Consider the following tips to help make your decision whether you should paint your fireplace’s brickwork:
To Paint or Not to Paint
Consider the quality of the bricks. Bricks that are cracking, deteriorating, or molding should not be painted by the average DIYer. Paint will intensify the underlining issue by sealing the brick’s surface, allowing moisture to continue to fester. Also know that paint is extremely difficult to remove from bricks. Only specially-formulated chemicals can remove the paint and will often leave residue.
Prepping to Paint
To ensure there is a lasting finish, take time to properly prep the area, saving time in the future for further touch up work. If needed, repair any issues such as sealing cracks and repointing joints. Thoroughly clean the area with soap and water and allow the surface to dry completely. If your bricks have been plagued by efflorescence, a white residue caused by water-soluble salt buildup, remove the residue using a stiff brush. Avoid cleaners containing acid which can lead to paint chipping. Allow 24 hours for the bricks to completely dry before you prime and paint.
Best Paint for Brick
Use an alkaline-resistant primer. Brick is a neutral material, however mortar often has a basic alkalinity. There are conditioners and primers specifically designed for bricks. Use a breathable, high-quality latex interior paint for the top layer. Neutral colors are recommended as trends quickly change. It may take 2-3 coats to cover the entire fireplace. Once the paint is completely dry, you can enjoy your fireplace, making summertime perfect for this DIY project.
For homeowners looking to complete more extensive fireplace renovations, contact Rooftop Chimney Sweeps. As a full-service contractor, we cover every aspect of the fireplace, from gas conversions to chimney inspections and repairs.