The Allure of Painted Brick Fireplaces: Colorful, Traditional and Decorative Options

A fireplace serves as the heart of a home, providing warmth, ambiance, and a gathering place for family and friends. Its design makes an architectural statement and reflects the homeowner’s style. For many homeowners, a painted brick fireplace offers the perfect balance of traditional charm and colorful flair. From whitewashed brick to bold reds and blues, painted brick fireplaces enliven a space with personality and vibrancy. This article explores the allure of painted brick fireplaces, delving into popular hues, techniques, and ways to incorporate colorful brick into both classic and contemporary home decors.

Why Choose a Painted Brick Fireplace?

A painted brick fireplace offers numerous advantages over a traditional unpainted brick surround. Consider the following benefits when deciding whether to inject color into your fireplace:

  • Visual Interest – Plain brick can blend into the background, whereas a coat of lively paint transforms the fireplace into a stunning focal point. Paint allows you to make a bold decorative statement.
  • Reflects Personality – Paint color offers a simple way to infuse a fireplace with your own personal taste and style. Are you traditional or contemporary? Understated or daring? Paint gives you creative freedom.
  • Flexible – Tired of the color after a few years? Painting brick is not permanent. You can easily refresh the look with a new coat of paint in a different hue.
  • Lightens and Brightens – White or light gray painted brick instantly opens up a room and makes it feel more spacious and airy. It also reflects more light.
  • Affordable – Painting brick is much less expensive than a full remodel and offers dramatic impact for little investment.
  • Easier Maintenance – Painted brick is easier to keep clean than unfinished brick. Simply wipe it down to remove dust and dirt.

Prepping and Painting the Brick

Achieving a polished look when painting brick requires thorough prep work and the right tools and materials for the job. Here are some tips for a successful painted brick fireplace project:

Clean and Prepare the Brick Surface

Before painting, ensure the brick is clean to help the paint adhere properly. Use a wire brush to scrub away any loose debris or mortar. Remove any existing paint that is peeling or flaking. Clean the surface with an all-purpose cleaner and rinse thoroughly. Let it dry completely before beginning to paint.

Sand any glossy areas of existing paint to ensure the new paint can grip the surface. Vacuum up the dust before painting.

Fill any cracks or damaged spots using spackle designed for masonry. Let repairs dry completely before painting.

Select Appropriate Paint and Supplies

Choose an interior masonry paint designed specifically for use on brick, concrete, stucco and other textured surfaces. These paints contain flexible acrylic resins to bridge minor surface cracks and imperfections in the brick. Purchase a primer/sealer to apply before painting for maximum adhesion.

Use angled paintbrushes to cut in around the edges and paint rollers for quickly covering large areas. Paint trays, drop cloths and painter’s tape are also must-haves.

Apply Primer and Paint

Before painting, protect nearby floors and surfaces with drop cloths. Use painter’s tape for clean lines around trim and ceilings.

Coat all surfaces with a masonry primer, allowing it to dry completely before painting. Priming ensures better adhesion and even coverage with the topcoats of paint.

Apply two to three thin, even coats of masonry paint using overlapping “W” and “V” strokes. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before adding the next. Use smooth, multidirectional strokes to maintain a seamless appearance.

Finish by rolling gently in one direction for a uniform look.

Color Inspiration for Painted Brick Fireplaces

When selecting a paint color, think about the overall look you want to achieve. Do you prefer traditional and classic hues or something more vibrant and bold? Cool tones or warm? Here are some inspiring color schemes for painted brick fireplaces:

Timeless White Fireplace

Nothing is as timeless and versatile as a white painted brick fireplace. Opt for an antique white or very light gray wash to retain a hint of the natural brick texture. Crisp white paired with traditional wooden mantels and molding gives a stately, elegant feel. Include white candles, greenery and neutral accessories for an understated look.

Soft Powder Blue Fireplace

Transport yourself to the French countryside with a romantic powder blue fireplace. This soft, breezy hue pairs beautifully with white trim and feels light and refreshing. Incorporate white, blue and green accents for a charming cottage vibe. Try clustering white candles and flowers on the mantel or vintage blue and white chinoiserie jars.

Cheery Red Brick Fireplace

Make a bold statement with a cherry red painted brick fireplace. For traditional spaces, use it sparingly on one wall or as an accent. The rich hue feels warm, welcoming and timeless. Add classic elements like black and white family photos, plaid pillows and ginger jars for a classic look. In modern and eclectic rooms, paint the whole fireplace surround red for dramatic impact.

Muted Green Fireplace

Earthy, olive and sage greens feel grounding and harmonious. Paint a fireplace surround in a muted tone for an organic yet sophisticated look. Incorporate other natural textures like stone, wood and rattan accessories. Metallic accents in antique brass or copper pair nicely with the green. Try grouping assorted green pillar candles on the mantel for ambiance.

Black Fireplace

Make the fireplace a striking focal point with dramatic black paint. Use a matte black finish so the brick texture still shows through slightly. The dark fireplace acts as an elegant frame for the flickering flames within. Adorn it with metallic candlesticks, patterned cushions and large artwork for contrast.

Vintage Blue Fireplace

Vintage turquoise, aqua and robin’s egg blue painted brick fireplaces feel playful and chic. The cool blue pops against warm wood tones. Display collected flea market finds like blue glass bottles, shells or stacked books on open shelving or the mantel. Whitewashed floors keep the look light and bright. Try adding touches of white and brass for an updated coastal vibe.

Incorporating Colorful Brick into Traditional Decor

Painted brick fireplaces aren’t just for modern, eclectic homes. Adding tasteful pops of color can enhance traditional spaces as well. Here are some tips for bringing a colorful painted brick fireplace into a classic interior:

  • Stick with timeless, muted hues like white, light gray, powder blue and sage green rather than bold brights. Soft color enhances rather than overwhelms traditional elements.
  • Paint just one wall or focal area rather than the entire fireplace surround for an accent effect.
  • Frame the fireplace with classic wooden moldings and decorative trim for a stately look.
  • Incorporate traditional accents like oval antique mirrors, urn-shaped vases, framed botanical prints and plaster picture frames.
  • Display collected silver items like candlesticks, trays or picture frames on the mantel.
  • Add timeless textiles like plaid blankets, velvet pillows and lace tablecloths.
  • Arrange fresh flowers in a neutral vase or blue and white chinoiserie jars.
  • Stack white pillar candles of varying heights for ambiance and height.
  • Use timeless furnishings like clawfoot chairs, tufted ottomans and carved wooden tables.

The key is combining the colorful fireplace with classic furnishings, artwork and accents for a cohesive, collected look. The painted brick provides a vibrant accent without detracting from the overall traditional feel.

Contemporary Uses for Colorful Painted Brick

While muted hues work well for traditional rooms, if you have a contemporary space feel free to get creative with bold, saturated painted brick colors. Here’s how to do it right:

Complement the Other Tones in the Room

Look at the other finishes already present – floors, furnishings, artwork – and select a paint color that enhances the overall modern palette. For example, with natural wood tones, try deep red or slate blue brick. With cool gray and chrome, opt for bright white or mint green brick.

Paint the Entire Surround

For contemporary rooms, painting just an accent wall looks unfinished. Carry the color up surrounding walls and across the ceiling for a built-in look. Tying the fireplace to the whole room creates better flow.

Add Unique Accents

Have fun dressing up the mantel with contemporary sculptures or ceramic art pieces rather than traditional candlesticks and garlands. Try a large piece of abstract art above for an art gallery vibe. Use a large stone slab or piece of reclaimed wood as the mantel itself.

Incorporate Industrial Touches

Distressed wood shelves, metal piping, galvanized buckets and factory carts add cool warehouse flair. Try placing votives in small glasses along a pipe mantel. Use Edison bulbs in fixtures.

Add Pops of Contrasting Color

In a blue or green fireplace surround, toss in throw pillows of contrasting orange, yellow or red. Varying heights and textures of vases, candles and objects add interest.

The colorful options are endless with a contemporary painted brick fireplace. Feel free to get creative with patterns, textures and accent pieces for showstopping style.

FAQ About Painted Brick Fireplaces

Many homeowners have questions when considering a painted brick fireplace project. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

Is it ok to paint over brick?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to paint brick as long as you use a high quality masonry paint designed for the surface. Be sure to properly prepare and prime the brick first.

Do you have to seal brick before painting?

Sealing before painting is highly recommended to prevent absorption of paint into the porous brick. Use a primer and sealer formulated specifically for masonry.

How long does it take to paint a brick fireplace?

A medium-sized fireplace takes 15-20 hours total, including drying time between coats. Allow extra time for cleaning, repairs, taping and priming before painting.

What kind of paint should be used on brick?

Use 100% acrylic latex masonry paint, which offers excellent adhesion and durability on textured brick surfaces. Avoid flat finishes, which are harder to clean. Opt for satin, eggshell or semi-gloss.

How often will painted brick need to be repainted?

With proper surface preparation and a quality paint, it should easily last 5-7 years before needing a refresh. High traffic areas may require more frequent repainting.

Can you get paint off brick?

Yes, with some elbow grease. Use a masonry paint stripper and a wire brush to remove paint from brick. Be sure to neutralize the stripped surface before repainting or sealing.

Will paint ruin the brick?

No. Painting brick is reversible and will not permanently damage the brick surface as long as proper painting products are used. Avoid applying a paint thicker than the texture of the brick.

Get Inspired By These Colorful, Traditional and Decorative Fireplaces

Need some visual inspiration before getting started? Here are a few stunning examples of painted brick fireplaces in colorful, traditional and decorative styles:

Antique white fireplace with ivory accents and foliage garland:strip_icc()/WhitePaintedFireplace1-56a052ee5f9b58b7d0be7a96.JPG)

Powder blue fireplace surrounded by traditional white trim

Bright white fireplace with rustic wood beam and reclaimed wood mantel

Two-story elegant antique white fireplace with columns and candlesticks

Sage green fireplace surrounded by ornate molding and antique paintings

Glamorous black fireplace against blue paneled wall with gold accents

Retro mint green fireplace with wooden mantel and abstract art

Which look speaks to you? With the right prep work, materials and color scheme, you can give your fireplace a makeover with painted brick. Embrace traditional charm or contemporary boldness with this simple, stylish update for the heart of your home.


A painted brick fireplace offers a relatively easy and affordable way to transform the style of a room. Vibrant color enlivens the space, whether in a bold hue or a soft neutral wash. With proper preparation of the existing brick, high quality paint and accessories that reflect your taste, you can create a striking focal point full of personality. Paint allows you to refresh the look over time as color trends and tastes change. Consider embracing this colorful fireplace trend to add decorative flair to your living space. With so many beautiful options, from antique white to retro turquoise, your most difficult task is choosing a color that speaks to your style. The transformative power of paint means wherever your color journey leads, you can easily repaint to try a new palette. So pick up a brush, and renew your fireplace with the magic of color.