Painted Black Brick Fireplace

One of my favorite things about the new house in the brick fireplace and mantel.  It is SO cool.   I love the masonry work.

Mantel before

However, I didn’t love the color.  But seriously, look how cool that mantel brickwork is.   It is really simple but just lovely!  Also, I like that there is a fireplace insert, that I could keep my home warm in case of emergencies, even though it is looking rather tired.

Mantel Before

Two of my fabulous sisters volunteered to come help me out with a project last week.

So we chose to do the fireplace… let the fun begin!!

The night before the project, I stopped by Home Depot and grabbed two gallons of Behr Masonry, Stucco and Brick Flat paint and had it mixed into Black Suede. The color is maybe 2 shades lighter than solid black.  I appreciated the subtle gray-ish feeling.

How to paint a brick mantel

Let the Games begin!
How to paint a brick mantel

My sister, Kristen, was really sad we weren’t spraying it… but I didn’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning up the sprayer… and setting up a spray guard everywhere.

Instead, we used a roller with a really thick nap at least a 1/2 inch or more.  We rolled on the paint and then we worked the paint into the mortar lines… with a special tool!

How to paint a brick mantel

That is right our special tool was a toothbrush.  We could scrub the paint into the cracks, it worked really well!  Just make sure you watch out for drips!  The best news is when you are done these “paint” brushes, can be thrown away and you can get another for super cheap.

*I recommend buying the simple rectangle head- cheapo tooth brushes, since they get into the mortar lines easier.
How to paint a brick mantel How to paint a brick mantel So the fireplace took us about 20 man hours to paint.  I am SO thankful I had such great helpers!  (Including two adorable nieces and a handsome nephew that helped while their interest held… maybe an hour and half each) All told with the 3 of us it took about 4 hours to paint one solid coat of paint.
How to paint a brick mantel

How to paint a brick fireplace Black

Tips for Painting a Black Brick Fireplace:

Clean It Up:

  1. Brush off any loose debris with a course bristle and a softer bristle brush.
  2. Vacuum up as much dust or debris as possible
  3. Blow off any remaining dust with an air compressor

Get the Right Supplies:

  1. Choose the proper paint, I went with Masonry, Stucco and Brick paint by Behr.  The paint sheen is flat, I feel like using a flat/ or matte paint sheen really makes the brick look natural and not necessarily painted.  (Where as a sheen will make it apparent that the brick was painted)
  2. We used one whole gallon of paint and then a tiny bit for one coat of paint (after the rest of the room is finished, I will add a second coat)
  3. Get a roller with a long nap 1/2 inch or more
  4. Toothbrushes, and other small paint brushes for mortar lines.
  5. Painters tape for walls (optional), drop cloths and other misc supplies for keeping the area clean!
  6. Keep a clean wet washcloth on hand for drips or smudges.

Get Painting:

    1. Working in small sections, roll the paint onto the brick.
    2. Then using your paint brush or toothbrush work the excess brick paint into the mortar cracks.  And be sure to nab any drips before they dry.  Periodically check for drips while you are working.  NO DRIPS!
    3. Work the paint into the cracks and cranies with that handy dandy toothbrush!
    4. Do not paint your fireplace insert with regular paint, you need to use special high heat paint for fireplaces (Use the right product, better be safe than sorry, you may actually want to use it someday!)

Clean up and ENJOY!

I can honestly tell you that I am IN LOVE with the new color.  Every time I walk around the corner and see it, I totally want to jump for joy!  I actually don’t even mind the funny little white fireplace ledge or the fireplace insert now (although it does need some TLC) .  It is amazing how much better the brick looks.  In all reality it looks brand new.

How to make a simple wood mantel @remodelaholic #DIY #mantel (12 of 34)

(I will show you how I built the mantel soon!)

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

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  1. We’re currently in the process of buying a house that needs some serious masonry painting to make all the add-on foundations blend together. This paint sounds perfect! About how much did it cost per can?

  2. I love the black brick, it really gives a sophisticated look. Does that insert come out? My brother had one in a fireplace in a house that he bought and they managed to get it out and just have a regular wood burning fireplace. It really looked good since you could see the fire when it was going. I think yours would look great too! Get a cool black mess screen. WOW

  3. Great job! Our 40+ year old home was black brick across the front and one catacorner wall in the living/family room was a wall of black brick fireplace…after a few years it just seemed so very dark and dreary so I painted my fireplace white (wow, toooooooooo light) all by my little lonesome and then a custom pumpkin color! I love it except during Christmas and 4th of July when my red decorations/flag are decidedly clashing…that’s ok, its still cool. My point is that we have a very similar fireplace insert. Ours is a NewAire and I even got high heat stove paint from Rustoleum and repainted the insert a jet black. In case you ever do this, just a heads up that the first time you fire up the insert it will stink like you tarred your roof (I mean S.T.I.N.K!!!) but by the second or third time you heat it up, it will be fine…hey, you could paint yours orange!!

  4. Looks great! You probably already knew this, but you can also paint the fireplace insert with high-heat paint. We bought a damaged free-standing wood stove from Lowe’s for a major discount, and made it look perfect…the paint has held up over 2 winters of heavy use.

  5. I love what you did there painting the bricks black, it gave the entire surround such a drastic change and a startling backdrop to what was there before. Everything you can do with it now with such a bold color there boggles the mind. I often forget that one can paint masonry to get an all new look that opens the door to so much more. It looks fantastic!

  6. I too belong to the remodelholic club. I wish my husband was as interested as! Thanks for the details on the how to for the fireplace, I can’t wait to do mine now. I also have the same insert. We had to remove it before the bank would approve the purchase of the house, because it wasn’t certified. I would love to know how you mounted the mantel. We have a chunk of old barn beam that we are wanting to use as a mantel, but not sure how to secure it to the brick securely. If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them immensely.