As with any type of home improvement project, there are pros and cons to painting a fireplace. Many homeowners wouldn’t dream of altering the natural brick of their fireplace and surrounds, while others feel it would improve and modernize the space if they did. The choice is entirely personal, but if you do decide to paint your brick fireplace, be sure to hire an interior painter in San Francisco to get it done right.

Before painting your brick fireplace, you must first weigh the pros and cons. Here are some suggestions for guidance.


Improve Appearance

If you want to paint your brick fireplace, chances are, you’re remodeling the living room and want to make the space more modern and bright. This is an appealing project for homeowners who feel their old fireplace is dark or drab, as painting a fireplace or focal wall a lighter color can certainly brighten up a room. Also, if your fireplace has bricks with cracks in them, chips, or discolorations, painting it a single color serves to minimize those imperfections while making the room look more clean.

It’s an Inexpensive Project

Compared with more invasive remodeling projects, painting a fireplace is an easy and affordable way to make a change in your home. Replacing the entire brick surface can get costly, so if you don’t like the existing red or brown brick, you may consider a lime wash or whitewash to allow some of the natural brick color to come through without spending a fortune.

It’s Easy to Clean and Maintain

As a general rule, a painted surface is easier to clean than an unpainted one. That’s because brick is porous, and can retain dirt, dust, grease buildup, and moisture. This makes it difficult to clean. With proper cleaning, prepping, sealing, and painting, your fireplace area will be much easier to maintain.


Many of these drawbacks apply to DIY’ing the fireplace painting project, and can be avoided by hiring a professional.

The Prep Work is Time Consuming

While it may seem like it on HGTV, painting over brick is not as quick of a DIY job as you would expect. Not only do you have to thoroughly clean the brick surface of dust, dirt, grease, and soot, you have to allow for sufficient drying time. This can take many days. Then, you have to repair all cracks and mortar issues, as well as replace crumbling bricks, before you attempt a paint job. You also have to seal and prime it before adding a coat of paint.

Special Knowledge is Required

It takes skill and experience to prep and paint brick fireplaces. That’s because brick is textured and your painter will bring the special tools and supplies necessary to address those pits and crevices. The mortar joints between the bricks must also be painted, which adds another layer to the challenge. Different types of rollers, sprayers, brushes, and even paint formulations are necessary for brick projects such as these.

The Job is Irreversible

Once you paint your brick fireplace, there’s no going back. It’s a permanent decision you will have to live with forever – unless of course you want to paint it a different color. But in terms of restoring the real brick façade, that ship will sail as soon as you paint the fireplace. It could technically be done, but it’s an expensive and time-consuming job to remove paint from brick because of the sponge-like quality of this material. Also, the chemicals that you would need to remove the paint can’t always restore the brickwork to its original state.

Underlying Problems Can Resurface

Ensuring a high-quality and long-lasting finish takes a deep understanding of the right kind of primer and paint you need for brickwork. If you neglect to clean, prime, and paint the brick initially, underlying problems will resurface over the years. In fact, if you paint a fireplace, this action will seal the brick, which locks in moisture. This can break down mortar over time.

In Conclusion

Still undecided about painting your brick fireplace? Think about it long and hard, and be sure to consult with a professional painter in Daly City. They will take a look at the situation and recommend the best course of action. If you’re looking for a way to brighten up a room, there may be other design tactics you could try first that wouldn’t be quite so permanent. Of course, if you’re not afraid of change and love making bold statements, by all means – go ahead and paint your brick fireplace!

Get a Fireplace Painting Quote From Fresh Start Today

The experts at Fresh Start Painting SF in Daly City CA can assess the condition of your brick fireplace and discuss different painting strategies with you. Contact us today at (415) 347-7689 for your free quote and to schedule a consultation.