Sunday, July 31, 2016

Whitewashing A Brick Fireplace

When we bought our house in October, 2015, the red brick fireplace looked like this:

and the kitchen looked like this:

We tore out the kitchen and now it looks like this:

There have been ongoing projects that I will post as they are finished but for right now, I have been working on my goal to whitewash the fireplace.

I did Google "whitewashing the fireplace" and watched several videos. I wanted to start the project at the beginning of the week while my husband was gone. That would give me several days to perfect it before he returned. 

My first step was to clean the fireplace brick thoroughly with a mixture of blue Dawn and water. I simply sprayed it on and wiped it off with a clean rag. 

In the videos I watched, they were using a paint wash of 5 parts water to 1 part paint. At Sherwin Williams, the owner suggested a use 6:1 just to make sure it wasn't too white. I liked that idea, I figured I could easily give it multiple coats. But knew I couldn't take it off. 

I used a two inch brush to apply the whitewash. The brush was about the width of the bricks. I did not paint the grout. I wanted to see how it looked without painting the grout. Keep a rag handy in case the paint runs. It is very fluid since mixing it with water. The brick really absorbs the paint mixture. I also used drop cloths over the mantel, the hearth and the floor. 

Here's how it looked as I applied Coat 1:

You can see the red paint bucket below that I used. It was perfect because it had a handle I could easily hold plus it had a magnet so the brush would snap to it when I needed it to (all from Sherwin Williams).

Coat 1 took a little longer because I had the large hearth to paint (about 5-6 hours).

Here's a closeup of Coat 1. I think I could have used a mixture of 5:1 for better coverage. I let it dry overnight to see the look after drying. The red brick had more of a pinky look and needed more plaint. I also wanted the dark brick lighter.

For Coat 2, I used the same 6:1 ratio and started painting again. I started at the top of the fireplace and took the picture below so you can see the difference between Coat 2 (at the top of the image) and Coat 1 (at the bottom of the image).

When I was applying Coat 2, I did paint some bricks 3-4 times as I was going along. It was just a judgment call for the look I was wanting. You kind of get braver by the second day. I bought way too much paint. I think I could have gotten by with a quart of white paint. Can you see the difference between Coat 1 and Coat 2?

Now it is all dry and I am happy with the look. Don't think I will paint the grout at this time.

I do have a little more to do; I need to paint the trim piece around the fireplace and I am considering painting the mantel. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by for another day of Life in Kentucky - Judy.

Linking to:

Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings
Met Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Mosaic Monday @ Normandy Life on Sunday evening
Show and Share @ Coastal Charm
Celebrate Your Story @ Sweet Sensations

Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life on Tuesday
The Scoop @ Stone Gable Blog
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday @ Kathe With an E

Talk of the Town Link Party @ Beyond the Picket Fence on Tuesday
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House
Sizzle Into Summer@ DIY by Design

Creative Ways Link Party @ Posed Perfection on Wednesday

Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style on Tuesday evening
Share Your Style Link Party @ The Essence of Home on Thursday evening
Simple & Sweet Fridays @ Rooted in Thyme

Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have A Cup of Mrs. Olson on Wed. evenings
Share Your Style Link Party @ 21 Rosemary Lane

Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Favorite Things Thursday @ Katherine's Corner
Home and Garden Thursday @ A Delightsome Life
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home on Thursday
Inspiration Thursday @ In The New House

Feathered Nest Friday @ The French Country Cottage
Foodie Friday & Everything Else @ Rattlebridge Farm

Anything Blue Friday @ The Dedicated House

Sundays at Home @ Love of Home on Saturday

Table It Link Party @ Life and Linda

Inspiration Monday @ Our Southern Home 

Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic & Refined on Sundays


  1. Hi Judy,
    Wow, what a difference that makes.....looks really pretty....
    I have never been a fan of red brick for some reason, so I think the white
    looks much prettier.
    Great job.
    Blessings, Nellie

  2. Wow Judy, it looks fantastic! I like the dark grout contrast! It looks very professional, great job!

  3. It looks beautiful! You made a good judgement call on leaving the grout.

  4. Judy I LOVE it!!! Fantastic job and a large job. The hearth is big.


  5. Judy,
    Amazing transformation, dear friend!
    I loved it with Coat one, but I agree there was a "pink" hint.
    Coat two is gorgeous!
    I like the grout showing!

  6. Judy, what a difference to your fireplace, it looks fabulous! I think you did a great job……….

  7. I like it a lot! I've always been a fan of a white fireplace and would have done the same thing. I hope your husband liked it too!

  8. Wow, you really did a great job. I might finally decide to do that with our brick fireplace. I mean I might finally ask my Dear to do that to our fireplace. Thanks for the instructions! Visiting from Mosaic Monday.

  9. Judy, you did a wonderful job whitewashing the fireplace it looks fabulous, love your Savannah Bird Girl statue on the hearth. Thanks for sharing your tutorial with us on Mosaic Monday.

  10. WOW WOW WOW WOW - that looks absolutely amazing. You are so talented, Judy - this is wonderful!

    As for the trim - you are painting it light, right?

    Maybe you could strip the stain off the mantle and have it raw wood - before painting maybe give that a thought? Bet it would look pretty cool.

    I am so happy for you - certainly have made that pretty home your very own.
    Love it! Hugs! ♥♥♥