Painting a Fireplace Surround with Fusion

Painted brick fireplaces are a HOT debate in the design world.  The idea of painting over naturally aged brick just does not appeal to some but to others it can be what makes or breaks your room. While some prefer to keep the natural brick colours to complement their rooms, painted fireplaces can be the focal point of your room that ties everything together. The before photo of this fireplace shows a washed-out grey brick in desperate need of an update. It was previously painted with Fusion Mineral Paint, so we know it can stand up to the heat.  

black fireplace with grey brick

Brick is a porous surface that can absorb many finishes so it’s important to pick one that not only complements the type of brick you have, but also the décor and aesthetic of the room it’s in. Let’s discuss a few popular types of fireplace finishes and how you can use Fusion to achieve them. 

White Washing brick

Whitewashing brick involves diluting the paint with water and removing the excess with a rag for a more subtle look. You can achieve this by doing a 2-1 ratio of water to any Fusion Mineral Paint colour, the most popular being Casement or Raw Silk.

black fireplace with grey brick, stack of firewood beside

German Schmear

There are many techniques to apply a schmear. It is a heavy version of the wash and nearly solid coverage, but you can leave some areas to show the brick for a “distressed” look. An easy way to replicate this is to trace the grout lines with Fusion Mineral Paint and feather the paint onto the brick, applying heavily on most of the brick.

Painted Brick

This version is just a heavy coat of full-coverage paint over the brick leaving no distressing and no upper layers of washing. This is most popular for those who want to add colour to their room or to hide damage and ugly coloured bricks.  Any Fusion Colour on brick looks fantastic and gives you full coverage with 2 coats for dark colours and 3 coats for lighter colours. For this project, we will be showcasing this technique. 

PREP AND SUPPLIES NEEDED

Below is a list of supplies you’ll need to paint your brick fireplace:

  • Fusion Mineral Paint in the colour of your choice
  • Staalmeester round brush
  • Coarse hand brush
  • Vacuum

Painting brick

The first step is to thoroughly clean your fireplace with TSP Alternative . Start by vacuuming the interior box to remove any debris. Then vacuum around the brick to get any loose bits or cobwebs (yes, spiders love dark and cold nooks)

scrubbing grey brick with a brush with TSP

Next, you will want to use a coarse brush to lightly scrub your fireplace. Doing this helps to remove any built-up grime on the surface of the brick and any other loose mortar bits that haven’t fallen off naturally. 

Note: If your fireplace is extremely dirty, you may want to consider getting a professional cleaning done prior to painting.  If you have any soot buildup, use a water/vinegar mix to spray your brick with and let soak before scrubbing with the coarse brush. 

Since this fireplace was previously painted and had no soot buildup, a light brushing and a quick vacuum was all the prep that was needed. 

Using a dark colour eliminates the necessity of a primer. If a professional cleaning or vinegar/water mixture was not as effective, your next step should be to use a stain-blocking primer specifically for masonry.

Next, is the fun part! Pick your color and get painting! We chose Coal Black for this project because it complimented our space well while making a bold statement. 

pint of coal black sitting on the fireplace with a staalmeester brush leaning against it

Painting with Fusion Mineral Paint is extremely easy. Not to mention the amazing coverage you get with 1-2 coats on a porous surface. We started on the outer edges and made our way to the center.

Painting the grey brick with coal black

We love using the Staalmeester Round One Brushes for projects like this due to the flexible bristles. This brush was able to get into all the cracks and crevices of the brick simply by applying a bit of extra pressure. Using this brush helped us cut down on using multiple brushes because it does the job of many!

painting the grey brick with coal black

The dramatic finish

Is this EVEN the same fireplace? It is amazing how a simple colour change can make such an impact not just on the brick but on the entire room.

staged painted fireplace, black fireplace with black brick, stack of firewood, a throw blanket, wooden shelf above with a picture frame and other black modern decors

Switching up the colour made just a huge difference on this brick. It gave it a more cohesive look and helped to mute some of the texture in the surface giving a bit of a more modern look. Who knew painted brick could look so pretty!

up close image of the painted brick
painted brick surrounding fireplace

Painted brick makeover using Fusion

This project only took 2 coats of Fusion Mineral Paint and 2 hours total, most of which was drying time. Because Fusion’s coverage is amazing, we only used ¼ of the jar for both coats leaving us plenty for another project. 

Using a dark colour eliminated the necessity of a primer. If a professional cleaning or vinegar/water mixture was not as effective, you next step should be to use a stain blocking primer specifically for masonry.

NOTE: Fusion should NOT be used to paint the interior firebox of any fireplace. While Fusion holds up beautifully on the surround, and painted brick, it is recommended you use a high heat/BBQ paint for the interior of your firebox. 

staged painted fireplace, black fireplace with black brick, stack of firewood, a throw blanket, wooden shelf above with a picture frame and other black modern decors

Now that you can see what a bit of Fusion and elbow grease can do, and how painted brick can look classic and stylish, will you be transforming your fireplace? 

staged painted fireplace, black fireplace with black brick, stack of firewood, a throw blanket, wooden shelf above with a picture frame and other black modern decors

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