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How to Whitewash Brick with Paint

Ask This Old House painter Mauro Henrique updates a fireplace surround with a whitewashed look.

How to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace:

  1. Before doing any work, use painter’s tape, masking paper, and drop cloths to ensure paint only ends up on the brick.
  2. Mix a flat, water-based paint with water in a bucket at a 1:1 ratio.
  3. Paint the watered-down paint onto the brick with a wide paintbrush. Immediately follow behind with a rag to dab off some paint until the desired effect is achieved.

Resources:

For the fireplace, Mauro watered down a can of Ultra Spec 500 flat white primer, manufactured by Benjamin Moore. He didn’t touch the firebox, but if he did, he would need to use a heat-resistant paint.

The other materials Mauro used to paint the fireplace, including the buckets, rags, and paintbrushes can all be found at home centers and paint stores.


Tools