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TUTORIAL: How to Paint an Old Brick Fireplace With Brick Anew

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This painted brick fireplace tutorial contains affiliate links for Brick Anew fireplace paint


When we moved into our old, 1973 house, it didn’t cross my mind that I would one day have to DO something about the ugly brick fireplace that spanned the entire wall. You know what I’m talking about–that wall that sucks the life out of the room….that wall that your eye instinctively travels to each time you entered the room.

That eyesore.

Yeah, exposed brick can be cool, industrial and chic, but in our case, my friend, it just screamed, “This house was built in the 70’s!!!”

It was time to do something about that.


How to Paint an Old Brick Fireplace

There was nothing attractive or “rustic” about it our fireplace. It leaked air in the colder months (well, um, it still does). And the brick screamed for attention in a room that I wanted to feel light-hearted and neutral.

This, my friends, wasn’t neutral. It was more like an outdated disaster.



Hubby actually liked the brick, but he’s a man, and men are crazy about red brick. I don’t understand that. LOL. But I at least wanted to honor his desire to keep it looking like brick.

So one night I was scanning online at 2 a.m. and I found a fireplace painting kit from (from Brick Anew). I couldn’t find any reviews on it, and honestly, didn’t know if it would work. But considering they had a money-back guarantee, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least try it.

It did hurt my pockets, though. At $199, it wasn’t cheap. But calling in a contractor to bust out the wall and put up drywall–sorry–that wasn’t going to happen on our “we-just-bought-a-house-and-we-are-dirt-poor-now” budget.



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How to Paint a Brick Fireplace with BEFORE and AFTER Pictures

Materials Needed:

  • Brick Anew Fireplace Painting Kit
  • Extra paint for large fireplaces
  • trisodium phosphate (TSP) or soap and water with a scrub brush for cleaning fireplace
  • Drop cloth
  • Spray paint (if you’re actively using your fireplace, don’t use spray paint for the surround, which isn’t made for high heat).
  • Optional: Black firebox paint to freshen up the inside

STEP 1: Clean the fireplace.

I had ordered the fireplace cleaner from Brick Anew. But really, you could use the TSP, which will work just as well.

It comes with an instructional DVD. I ended up recording the whole process myself for anyone who’s reading this that need that extra help in doing it (see the video tutorial below).


STEP 2: Cover your fireplace with the base color.

The Brick Anew kit comes with a quart of a base coat. If your fireplace is as large as mine (spans the whole wall), plan on getting a second container. I ran out halfway through the project!

Use a paintbrush to cover the entire fireplace in the base coat. It’s your choice whether to do the grout, too. I went ahead and painted mine. It will be all one color.


How to paint a brick fireplace - cover fireplace in a basecoat


STEP 3: Paint the fireplace surround.

(FYI: you might want to do this first before using the base coat). I just used black spray paint on mine, but be careful here. If you use your fireplace, it could be dangerous if the heat touches the spray paint. Don’t spray paint INSIDE of the fireplace. Use a black firebox paint that’s specially made for the inside of your fireplace to make it look new again.


How to paint a brick fireplace - spray paint


STEP 4: Apply the highlights.

Using “Step 2” of the painting kit is basically like applying a highlight to the brick. You know how natural bricks have lighter and darker colors mixed in? That’s sort of what the highlight color will do. If you notice here, you’ll see that the bricks behind me have sections where I just painted on a lighter color.


How to paint a brick fireplace - highlight color


STEP 5: Apply the glaze.

The glaze is just a slightly darker color, to give it some variation in color. I’m applying this right to sections of the highlighted color.


How to paint a brick fireplace - adding glaze


STEP 6: Use an even lighter highlight color.

For the painting kit system, color #3 is an even lighter color. If you look closely, I chose random bricks to dab on the lighter color, to highlight them. Using all these colors together creates a layered look that resembles brick. So you get your painted fireplace that looks like brick but you kick that ugly red stuff to the curb. Woot!


How to paint a brick fireplace - lighter highlight color


STEP 7: Use a sealer (if you want to).

Honestly, I didn’t use a sealer and had no problems with the paint. EDITED: October 2017, there is one small area that chipped where my kids have thrown down their Xbox controllers. The color has lasted, otherwise, and looks great. Brick Anew does make a matte finish sealer which I would recommend if you’re planning to store things on the hearth. Just be sure to buy enough for your fireplace.

The Results

When you’re done and it’s all dry, this is what your new painted brick fireplace will look like:



What I like is that it doesn’t look painted. I’m sure we’ve all seen white painted brick fireplaces that just look like a thick coat of paint. My fireplace actually still looks like brick, only it’s much lighter and makes my family room feel more modern instead of outdated. It looks natural, which is what I like (and hubby likes, too).


Thrift Diving How to Paint an Old Fireplace


5 Years Later: Watch My Interview With The Owner of Brick Anew!

Fall 2017: Five years after I painted my fireplace I wanted to interview the owner of Brick Anew, Sam Wilhoit, to talk about fireplace painting! You can also watch the interview on my YouTube channel.


fireplace painting
Sam, the owner of Brick Anew, and I talking about fireplace painting, Fall 2017.

BEFORE & AFTER: Painting a Brick Fireplace

Let me remind you of what my family room looked like when we moved in. It’s a very long room (about 24 feet), full of dark paneling and dark brick.

Once we had a contractor replace the paneling with drywall and then painted the fireplace, the room looked like this for several years:

BEFORE (December 2010)



In 2015, I made over my family room, removed a huge tree from the backyard that was blocking the light, and this is what my family room looked like afterward! Even years later, it still looked great! 



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As you can see, the brick still looks amazing!

Painting it was the best decision ever! And it still looks like brick which is what we wanted.

I highly recommend the Brick Anew fireplace painting kit. I think it was the best money spent.


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Halloween 2016


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Close-up of the brick (6 years later)


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July 2020 – (Nearly 8 Years Later)

It’s been nearly 8 years later and this paint has been holding steady! There are two little spots that have chipped away, but these are spots where the kids (who are older now and I swear do more destruction than when they were younger) have placed their XBox games and have rubbed up again the paint with their feet while playing video games. 


How to Paint a Brick Fireplace - 7 years later how does it look - Thrift Diving


This is the second area with some chipping from the brick and where the kids have rubbed their feet on the area while sitting in front of the TV playing video games. 

Since it’s been nearly 8 years and these are the only two spots with significant chipping (due to my kids), this is definitely a solid product that will provide years of coverage. 

If you’re ordering this kit in 2020, I would recommend, after having lived with this painting kit for the past 8 years almost, have some extra paint on hand so that you can easily do some touch-ups down the road. I’ll likely just need to dab on some paint over these areas and it should blend right on in. 🙂


How to Paint a Brick Fireplace - 7 years later it's still holding up with very little chipping - Thrift Diving


How to Paint a Brick Fireplace – Video Tutorial

If you’d like to watch the original video of when I painted my fireplace, just watch below!


I get emails often about the details of this project, and here are some of my most frequently asked questions:
Yes, it is possible to paint a brick fireplace.




Q. Can I buy Brick Anew at Home Depot?

Nope…..Sorry, unfortunately, they only sell from their own website, as far as I know. (I bought the Twilight Taupe, but there are a couple other color choices). The shipping is free, I believe, which is good.


Q. How much does it cost?

It’s a whopping $199.50, to be exact. I know…. I think it’s a bit overpriced for paint. But the beauty of it is that you don’t have to do any guesswork in trying to come up with your own color combinations to try to fake the same look. You can try if you’d like. I know that a few people have emailed me and said they did their own faux finish, and it turned out! You can also just buy the kit. Brick Anew offers a money-back guarantee, which is awesome because if you try it and find that you don’t like it (not very likely that you won’t like it), there’s no regret. Since making this video, I have worked with Wendy and Sam, the husband and wife owners of the company, and they’re super sweet people who will answer any questions you have about the kit. Just tell them that you watched Serena’s video tutorial. 🙂


How to paint a brick fireplace with brick anew


Q: How much Brick-Anew paint will I need?

If your fireplace is huge like mine, you will probably need to order more than the kit offers. The website says it covers about an 8′ x 10′ fireplace. If you see my video and pics above, one kit covered just the top half. Order according to your fireplace size. Use mine as a gauge.







Working on an older house is….draining….exciting….and expensive, even when you’re DIY’ing the heck out of it. When we bought this house, every room needed updating, including this family room. I’ve not gotten to all the rooms yet, but here’s what my sweat and crocodile tears have afforded me so far! 🙂 Feel free to check out these other projects or to sign up for my 30-Day Makeover series, where my readers and I work on our houses together.

Are You Ready to Buy Brick Anew?

I understand your hesitation because it’s a lot of money. But since they have a 30-day money back guarantee, you can always get your money back if you don’t like it. Just try it out first. If you don’t like it, they do accept returns. But I’m pretty confident you’ll like it, though. 😉 When I first bought mine, I was going to send it back without using it because I kept focusing on the fact that it was $200. But Wendy, one of the owners, spoke with me on the phone and said, “Just try it first. If you don’t like it, you can send it back to us.”

I took her advice, gave it a try (in the video you saw above), and loved it! I’m glad I didn’t just sent it back without trying it first. We would probably still have that ugly brick fireplace! LOL

Exposed brick, in the right setting, can look fabulous! But it can also border on “dated” if it’s too dark and it can suck the light out of living spaces.

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So do you have an old brick fireplace that is driving you crazy? Leave a comment below and share your horror story! 😉



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  1. Wow, what an improvement. Glad to know it held up for years (with boys!).

  2. Why? The original brick had so much character. This looks dull and bland.

  3. I have to thank you!! I watched your video and bought brickanew. That was by Oct,2018. I absolutely love my fireplace. It really changed the look in living room. I can’t get over how easy it was and how great it turned out. Thank you for your video!!

  4. Jeannie Barnett says:

    I have a red brick fireplace with a stove insert.We use this to heat out home.So do you know if this paint holds up to heat?

  5. Cheryl Nino says:

    Exactly how much primer and paint did it take? I have the same wall but with a wooden beam mantle. Unfortunately I also have paneling on one of the long walls which I’m thinking about painting too.

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