What will happen if you paint brick?

It will look pretty, that’s what! Brick inside a house brings a rustic and warm feel with it that I just love. The trouble is, not all brick is lovely to look at. Some of it can be down right ugly! If you find yourself afflicted with generally unattractive brick, paint is a simple way to improve it. I’m going to give you two examples of this, one of fake brick, the second of real brick.

My work shop walls had some troubling issues, termite damage for one, and ugliness for another. I decided I wanted a nice statement wall on one end of the room, so we procured some fake brick paneling from the hardware store.

how to make fake brick look real chapter37

I didn’t think it was all that nice of a color, or the slightest bit realistic looking, but I had a plan. First, I filled in the grout with white paint, which was easy to do with a small paint brush.

how to make fake brick look real chapter37

Then I dry brushed several shades of white on the bricks in as uneven a manner as I could manage. I followed up with black to add dimension. Dry brushing is very easy, you just want to scratch the surface with your paint brush. The paint will catch in the grooves, leaving you with a weathered look.

how to dry brush paint chapter37

That vastly improved my rather sad, fake looking brick into a nice, fairly realistic focal point. It’s the little touch of unexpected fun in this room that makes the room feel special to me, just like I was talking about yesterday.

improve brick paneling with paint chapter37

I did something similar to my fireplace brick. It had a pinkish hue to it that I did not like a single bit. I felt like it didn’t do the fireplace justice. Disregard the mess if you please (and the creepy quality picture, my house really isn’t haunted that I know of), this was while we were ripping out carpet.

painted fireplace brick chapter37

I watered down some white paint until it was the consistency of water. I used a sponge to dab it on unevenly, then I dry brushed black paint in random places. It made the whole fireplace seem larger and grander. (White walls around it didn’t hurt anything either!)

painted brick fireplace chapter37

There’s a built in brick bench in this same room that I did to match, which I’ll be showing you later. Brick has such beautiful texture and interest.  To me, it’s like adding built in artwork to a room to make “the bones” as pretty as you can. (You can find the pumpkin art on the mantel HERE.) I know a lot of people view brick like they do wood (or pianos), don’t paint it ever! I say if it’s ugly, make it pretty! What do you think? Is brick painting a DIY transgression?

1 John 4:19   We love him, because he first loved us.

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About Abby

I'm a mom, blogger, and shop owner. I love all things creative, especially sewing! Follow along at www.chapterthirtyseven.com
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10 Responses to What will happen if you paint brick?

  1. Erin says:

    I’ve been debating painting our brick fireplace/wall for years. It sits at an angle at the end of a narrow room and the fireplace corner and the adjacent wall are red brick. Ugh. The only thing holding me back is the hearth ledge is solid limestone…very yellow. I’m not sure how to paint the brick and not have it clash with the stone slab (which cannot be painted).

    Your brick looks great!

    • Abby says:

      Thank you Erin! That’s a tricky one, I don’t know much about limestone. There’s so many different types of paint out there, are you sure you couldn’t find one for the ledge? A concrete paint maybe? Thank you so much for stopping by!

  2. melissa says:

    Timely post. I was just talking about this with my mom yesterday. I have a very light and bright living room, with a dark brick chimney. To paint or not to paint. I think the fear comes in knowing that to “un-do” it would be painful.

    • Abby says:

      Melissa,
      Yes it would be awful if you didn’t like the finished product! Maybe try an inconspicuous spot with a lot of water and a rag handy to wash it off it you didn’t like it? I think that most projects are best if you wait to do them until you know you want to and have a clear vision for what you are doing. Good luck!
      Abby

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  4. Andi Ruch says:

    I just bought a house with a really ÛGLY rock fireplace that I’m thinking of painting.

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  6. Harry Brax says:

    Hi Abbey, I stumbled upon your site today while I was looking for some new inspiration for my brick and stone refinishing business. I have to say that I love the looks you have created. You obviously have a wonderful decorating style and a great talent.

    I wanted to also share some the work I’ve done with fireplaces and invite anyone interested in more ideas to visit our website at http://BrickTransformers.com. There, you’ll find many more examples of refinished brick and stone fireplaces.

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