Arts & Crafts Magazine

How I Painted My Red Brick Fireplace with White Chalk Paint

By Laharris1


Do you remember the old bricks we found when we tore up our living room’s fireplace wall?


Well today I thought I’d give you an update on the transformation of this wall because it’s been awhile. You know how home projects go. We temporarily diverted our attention (and money) to the backyard and now we’re ready to finally finish this thing.

And I’m happy to say we’ve made some real progress lately and I’m really liking the direction it’s headed.

Sort of a ‘Modern Farmhouse’ vibe, which is where I seem to be headed with this house.


But first, in case you forgot, this is the circa 1965 living room wall we had when we moved in.

Don’t ask me about the design, it was the sixties remember? Lots of hallucinogens.


Anyway….we ripped it up and designed a wall that would house the TV behind small ‘barn doors’ over the fireplace, with bookshelves on each side. You can see more photos HERE.

But back to the present.


We recently found a mason who added the necessary brick to make it look like a complete fireplace.


Both sides filled in. With a small ‘hearth’ added.


Next, I scraped the old glue and dirt off the bricks, wiping it down with a damp rag and vacuuming the entire area before I painted.

I used Anne Sloan’s pure white chalk paint because I’ve had such good experience in my former home. 

You can read about that experience in---THIS POST which also happens to be one of my most pinned posts ever….


I always get soooo excited when I remove the lid on a new can of paint.

(It’s a nerd thing I know).


I find that using the foam roller is a must since the bricks are so porous and rough.

I used the big roller first to apply to a larger surface. But I needed the foam to get deeper into the cracks. And I used the brushes to fill in the grout and holes.

And that’s really it.

It’s very simple. Don’t be afraid to paint your bricks.


Here’s my point of no return. I always feel that certain nervous ‘moment’ before I start painting bricks… but my answer is to plow right ahead.

And I’ve never been disappointed.


Now here’s where you might learn from my mistakes.

Since I always planned on painting my bricks, I wasn’t picky about the type of brick the mason used, other than size. But as you can see from the photo above, the old bricks are heavily textured and the new ones are not….a distinction that I can see after the first coat.

Hmm..probably should have found reclaimed bricks somewhere.

Still, I’m curious to see how noticeable it is after my final coat. But for now here’s a few photos.




I know some people think bricks are boing or dated, but I love how fresh and clean white bricks can look.

And look …more progress!


This weekend we made our decision on the shelving for this wall too.

This is Ben, the owner of U.S. Reclaimed Wood in Laguna Nigel, CA.

We were toying with the idea of using painted Beadboard in the back of our bookshelves, with basic white shelves. But then we found Ben’s store in Laguna Nigel that sells tons of gorgeous reclaimed wood and look what we came home with!


I love love love these verrrrrrry old wood pieces. We hand picked them and I think these will make very cool shelves on our white wall.

What do you think?


I also found these crusty white corbels for $35.00 each. These should add some much needed charm to the tiny entrance to our dining room.

Meanwhile I’ve got to finish painting the ‘barn doors’ my Dad made for me along with two cabinets for the wall. And hopefully this weekend our wood guy will show up to work on it.

I’ll keep you posted.



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