White washing a brick fireplace is super trendy these days. Many people want to learn how to white wash their brick fireplace but aren't sure where to start. You may be wondering "How much water do you mix with the paint?" or "How do you apply it?" If you have questions like these, this article is for you. We will take you through the how-to's... and even the why's of white washing if you aren't convinced it is for you. So, get in a comfy reading spot and let's get started.
What Is White Washing?
Before we go into the how-to's let's do a quick overview of what white washing actually is. Whitewashing is a painting technique that mutes the dark tones of brick and only allows a little color to show through. You do this by blending paint and water at a consistency that's based on how much brick you want to show through. If you want a lot of brick to show, go with about 50% water and 50% paint. If you want less, go for 75% paint and 25% water. The mixture you make is totally based on your preference. So have fun!
Spaces You Should Consider White Washing
White washing a fireplace is a great idea for rooms where you are trying to stick with neutral colors. Though, that is not the only style it is good for. You can also white wash if:
- You have dark floors and want to add contrast.
- You have dark-painted walls and want to bring some light into the room.
- You have dark furniture and would be overwhelmed by keeping an older, deep red brick fireplace in that space.
- You want to make an older fireplace more modern.
- You want to freshen up a fireplace that's worn down.
How To White Wash
1. Testing - Before you commit to painting you need to do a spot test. Clean off the brick and remove all dust. Next, mix the paint according to how much brick you want showing through. Remember, the more water you add, the more the brick will show through. Then, test the paint on a small area on the side of your hearth or in an unseen corner. Let it dry for 24 hours then evaluate if that is the right mixture. Brick is very porous so it can change dramatically overnight after it drys.
2. Painting - Now comes the fun part. Once you have tested and approved your mixture, you are ready to go! Tape off the area you are painting. Cover the floors, walls, and furniture around your fireplace to protect them from splatter. Then grab a brush and some old clothes and go to work.
Don't forget to paint in between the brick and stop to evaluate as you are painting. Step back after you've done a dozen bricks or so and see if you like what you have done. There is no right or wrong here, the final outcome is totally up to you. Though, you need to pay attention along the way to make sure you are not painting one side heavier than another.
If you notice the paint is going on too thick, use a wet rag to smear it and thin out the color.
3. If it is going on too light, add in more paint to your mixture and do another coat.
4. Let it dry for 24 hours, look over the final product and if you are happy, remove the tape and be on your merry way!
Hopefully, this article gave you everything you need to know about white washing your fireplace. If you happen to have more questions, please call us at 800.203.1642. Our NFI-certified techs are waiting to hear from you.