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Painting a Fireplace or Interior Brick Wall

For many people an exposed interior brick wall in an older home would be at the top of their architectural wishlist. But not everyone loves the look of brick inside their home or is lucky enough to have beautifully-aged brick. Some newer bricks can be downright unattractive or fight against your design aesthetic. In those situations painting your brick is a great option that might just transform your least favorite element in your home to the one you like best.

Preparing Your Brick for Paint

Brick is a porous material and has different preparation requirements than the other walls of your home. Inspect your brick carefully looking for any large cracks in the mortar or signs of efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white residue, actually a deposit of salt, left behind when moisture evaporates off the surface of your bricks. This residue, along with any other dirt and debris, needs to be removed prior to painting.

Wash your bricks with soapy water and a stiff bristle brush then wait for it to dry completely before applying paint (usually 24 hours). If soap and water isn’t enough to get your bricks clean, a mixture of TSP should remove stubborn dirt. Mix a half cup of TSP with a gallon of water and give the bricks another pass, allowing them to dry completely afterwards. One word of caution: never use acid solutions to clean brick! This can cause your paint to chip.

Once your brick is clean fill in any cracks with acrylic caulk, and allow the caulk to dry completely.

French Quarter Pied-a-Terre

Painting Your Interior Brick

You have your choice of brush, roller, or sprayer for applying paint to your bricks, but using a paint sprayer will get the job done the most efficiently. Whichever application method you choose, tape off the area around your brick wall or fireplace and lay down drop cloths to protect your flooring before starting.

Begin by applying a coat of latex primer and let dry completely. Use either an elastodynamic paint or a regular acrylic-latex blend for your paint color. Elastodynamic paints are especially well-suited for brick because they have a high elasticity that fills in cracks. Most likely you’ll want to use a semi- or high-gloss finish that will show off the unique texture of your brick and be easy to clean.

If you aren’t happy with the appearance of your interior brick wall or fireplace, there’s no reason not to transform it into something that fits your personal style. With the right preparation and careful color selection you should have a refreshed interior that will look beautiful for years to come.

As always, we’re here to help with your painting projects! If you live in the central California Coastal area, give us a call today to get a free estimate.

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