Painting A Stone Fireplace Guide

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Painting a stone fireplace doesn’t have to be hard. With this guide, you’ll know the tools and techniques you need to paint a fireplace.

Stone Fireplace Painting

How To Paint A Fireplace

1. Paint Prep

Prepping for painting a fireplace is very important. To best prep, you need to tape off around any parts you don’t want to get paint on like the mantle or fireplace cage. Drop cloth is great for protecting your floors. You can tape the cloth to the floor as close to the fireplace as you can get. Be aware that when painting the top of the fireplace, paint can and will drop down. So allowing enough drop cloth around your fireplace is key. 

After protecting your floors and anything you don’t want paint on, you should clean the fireplace. Dust can accumulate over time and it can tamper with how the paint adheres. Dust can also make the paint thick and chunky. You can use a microfiber cloth, a duster, or a wet cloth to wipe down the fireplace to make it free from dirt, dust, or whatever else is stuck on it.

2. Choosing A Fireplace Paint

Choosing a fireplace paint is actually very easy. A latex based paint or a chalk paint is best because they cover well and stick great. 

I actually ended up painting my fireplace three different times. I first tried to achieve a grayish worn-in look but ultimately decided on white. The first paint I used was an Amy Howard chalk paint. I watered it down and it was very easy to use. I also used latex based flat paint and semi-gloss paint. 

You should choose a paint based on the final look you want to achieve. Do you want a matte look? Go with a chalk paint or flat paint. Do you want a paint that is easy to wipe off and has a little bit of sheen? Go with a semi-gloss paint. If you want a super shiny finish, choose a high gloss paint.

As for color, it will depend on a few different things.

3. Choosing A Paint Color

You want to go with a color that will match everything in your home. If you end up wanting to change your decor in the next year, will the color still match? It’s best to go with a white or neutral shade that is versatile and will match whatever your style is.

I decided I wanted to go with something more on the grey, worn, natural look. It did not go as planned and I hated how grey it turned out. I wish I would have just stuck to white in the first place. Painting a fireplace takes time and I did it about 3 different colors. 

I ultimately ended up using the same color that was on my walls. It matches, it goes with everything, and it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb but still looks beautiful. Plus, I didn’t have to buy extra paint since I already had some leftover. 

4. Painting Technique For The Fireplace 

When it comes to actually painting a stone fireplace, there is a bit of a technique that comes in handy. It’s not a flat surface so it’s going to be a little tricky until you get the hang of it.

  • Start with the grout, in-between the stones. Water down your paint and use either a sponge or paintbrush depending on the size of the space in-between. I used a sponge and pressed the paint/water mixture into the cracks and if the cracks were too small, I used a paintbrush. It will drip down so it’s best to start at the top of the fireplace. 
  • Next is painting the stones. I used a small roller for the stones. It’s what I found to be the quickest and easiest way. I also used a paintbrush to get any spots that the roller missed. I didn’t water down the paint used for the stones.

While I recommend starting at the top and working your way down, I did some sides starting at the bottom. The reason I say start at the top is because the paint will drip down and get on bottom stones. It may leave paint streaks if you don’t go over them right away. If you work from the top down, the streaks won’t matter since you’ll be painting over them anyways. If you start at the bottom and go up, you’ll have to paint over the drips right away.

On the roller…

I used a foam roller since it’s what I had on hand from previous projects. Keep in mind the foam will start to tear after a while from the stone and you’ll have to change it multiple times. A roller with a nap might be better to use. 

For any paint that got on my floors, I just scraped it off once it was dry with a tool like this. Or you could use a lacquer thinner to get it off. 

Before and After

I just love a good before and after. We’ve made so many changes to our home since we first bought it and the fireplace is one of my favorites. That and our new floors that we put in when I was 7 months pregnant, but that’s a different story.

Here is the grey I painted, thinking it would turn out different than it did. This is when I decided I should have just painted it white to begin with. Nothing like wasting paint and time, right?

The paint has held up great. It’s been a year since I painted the fireplace white and it hasn’t chipped or discolored. It’s still as bright white as it was at the start.

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