Dark Gray Painted Fireplace Focal Wall

Even though white and bright colored spaces are very popular right now, sometimes the change that will make a room pop is a dramatic contrast — something like these black and white ideas we shared recently. Our guest today knew her traditional-style fireplace wall needed an update. Instead of going with white like the rest of the room, she painted the fireplace a contrasting deep charcoal gray to create an eye-catching focal point in the room — and it also helped hide the smoke-stained brick and soot! Check out the results:

Living Room Before and After with Dark Painted Fireplace, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic.com

If you’re not sure about going darker, check out some of these beautiful spaces that have used gray and black to make a beautiful statement — and keep reading to learn how to paint a brick fireplace (whatever color you want!)

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And now, give Tanya a warm Remodelaholic welcome — if you’re a long-time reader, you might remember her and her blog (formerly Dans le Townhouse, but a new house means it’s now Dans le Lakehouse!) from our previous features of her play kitchen made from a microwave stand and her simple modern DIY desk

How to Paint a Brick Fireplace
by Tanya of Dans le Lakehouse

My husband and I recently purchased a lovely house on Lake Superior that we plan to renovate more extensively once we save up some cash, and figure out how we’d like to use the space and what really needs to be tackled.  In the meantime, we wanted to refresh the space on a small budget and the fireplace was one of the projects where we’ve seen the most impact for smallest outlay of cash (and time!):

Painted Fireplace Makeover, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic.com


The fireplace facade is a kind of faux stone made from concrete, which was decked out with brass vents and doors.  The vents and door were painted with Rustoleum High Heat Enamel spray paint, which required no primer and has a fabulous formula that seems to prevent any drips or sags.  It also dries really quickly!

how to spray paint fireplace vents, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic

To paint the stone, I vacuumed the faux stone thoroughly with a shop vac, and then brushed off any loose bits with a brush.

prep and clean brick fireplace before painting, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic

Then I simply brushed on a paint and primer in one (Behr premium plus in Evening Hush).  I applied the paint thickly with an angled brush, pushing the painting into the crevices and then smoothing it out.  I only needed one coat, although I did go back and touch up a few areas after the first coat had dried.

how to paint a brick fireplace, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic

To paint the uneven edges beside the white walls, and around the vents, I used a small artist’s brush for better control.  The same paint and primer covered the pine paneling as well.

tips for painting a fireplace, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic

I used a can of spray paint and a gallon of paint and primer, but the results are so dramatic!  I used a satin finish paint to keep the finish from looking too matte.  The “facets” of the concrete now catch the light and in the right light it seems like the fireplace could almost be slate or some other dark grey stone.  The satin also makes the fireplace much easier to wipe down and keep clean than a flat finish.

painted dark gray fireplace, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic
Painted Faux Stone Fireplace, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic.com

Gray Painted Fireplace Detail, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic

I’ve seen a lot of beautiful painted fireplace, especially white ones, but I decided on a more unusual dark grey because ours was smoke-stained and I thought grey would easily hide any future soot while adding a dramatic focal point to our all-white living area.  When we first toured the home it was difficult to see past the homeowners’ furniture and the dated fireplace, but in the end it was so easy and inexpensive to make the space ours:  in addition to painting the fireplace we removed the window valences, and painted the walls, oak trim, and ceiling a crisp white.

living room with dark painted fireplace focal wall, Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic

See more photos of the finished living room (plus before and after photos) in this post and this post.

Dramatic Painted Fireplace Makeover + Tutorial | Dans le Lakehouse on Remodelaholic.com

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Tanya, we are so pleased to feature you again and we LOVE the new look you’ve given the place! Can’t wait to see what else you’ll do in your new home!

Head on over to Dans le Lakehouse to pay Tanya a visit and see all of the great work she (and her husband) have done, both in her previous townhome and in the new lakehouse, like solid wood DIY kitchen counters and a painted particle board floor

PS: Check out more of our favorite fireplace makeovers here25-best-diy-fireplace-makeovers

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7 Comments

  1. Personally I would of lightened this fireplace, I think she did it injustice by making the whole space so dark you can’t define anything. And instead of pictures I would of put up shelving there. I don’t mind the modern furniture, but I think that big wall now looks like a black hole sucking all the light in the room out.

  2. I love this so much. Im really not a fan of the white walls that are popular right now, so its really refreshing to see spaces that incorporate dramatic color choices. The fireplace transformation is beautiful.

  3. I love the dark color ,but probably wouldn’t have painted the brick
    The sofa feels like it’s on the wrong wall ,I feel the need to look out the window
    BUT you did great job updating the room