Chalk Paint Fireplace Ideas

chalk paint fireplace ideas

Transforming your fireplace with chalk paint can breathe new life into a room, creating a stunning focal point that instantly catches the eye. In this comprehensive guide on chalk paint fireplaces, we will walk you through every step of the process to ensure a flawless finish.

We’ll start by discussing popular color choices and how to match them with your existing decor. Next, we delve into preparing your fireplace for painting – from cleaning techniques to taping off surrounding surfaces.

Once you’re ready to begin painting, we’ll share expert tips on achieving even coverage and explore the distressed color wash technique for brick fireplaces. Additionally, learn about using Zinsser Gardz primer before applying chalk paint and its benefits in enhancing adhesion and durability.

Finally, protect your masterpiece by choosing between clear lacquer or traditional wax as protective coatings. We’ll provide helpful advice on applying these products correctly so that your newly-painted fireplace surface remains beautiful for years to come.

Choosing the Right Chalk Paint Color

The first step in transforming your fireplace with chalk paint is selecting the appropriate color. With a wide range of colors available, it’s essential to consider factors such as room decor and personal preferences when making your decision. In this section, we will discuss popular chalk paint colors for fireplaces and provide tips on matching paint color to existing room decor.

Please read our other article on the difference between Whitewash and Limewash.

Popular Chalk Paint Colors for Fireplaces

Annie Sloan’s Pure White Chalk Paint™ is an excellent choice if you want to blend tiles into the mantel for a cohesive look. Other popular options include:

  • French Linen – A cool neutral gray that works well with most color schemes.
  • Coco – A warm taupe shade perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere.
  • Duck Egg Blue – A soft blue-green hue that adds a touch of vintage charm.
  • Aubusson Blue – A rich navy blue ideal for adding depth and sophistication to any space.

Tips on Matching Paint Color to Existing Room Decor

To ensure your newly painted fireplace complements the rest of your home, follow these helpful tips:

  1. Analyze Your Space: Take note of prominent colors in furniture, artwork, textiles, and other elements within the room. Choose a chalk paint color that either matches or contrasts nicely with these tones.
  2. Consider Lighting: The way natural light enters the room can affect how different shades appear throughout various times during the day. Be sure to test out small swatches before committing to full application.
  3. Seek Inspiration: Browse through home decor magazines, websites, and social media platforms like Pinterest for ideas on how others have successfully incorporated chalk paint into their fireplaces. This can help you visualize potential color combinations in your own space.

Remember that the beauty of using chalk paint is its versatility – if you’re not satisfied with the results after painting your fireplace, it’s easy to repaint or distress the surface until you achieve your desired look. Embrace the freedom to explore and discover a hue that truly expresses your individuality.

Key Takeaway: 


Choose the right chalk paint color for your fireplace by considering factors such as room decor and personal preferences. Popular colors include Pure White, French Linen, Coco, Duck Egg Blue, and Aubusson Blue. Analyze your space, consider lighting and seek inspiration to ensure that the newly painted fireplace complements the rest of your home.

Preparing Your Fireplace for Painting

Before you can begin the exciting process of transforming your fireplace with chalk paint, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly. This includes cleaning soot and residue from around the opening of the fireplace, scuffing tiles, and taping off areas that should remain untouched during application.

Cleaning Tools and Techniques

To remove soot from your fireplace effectively, consider using a heat gun in combination with newsprint to melt away any wax buildup. Once melted, use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe away remaining residue. If stubborn stains persist, try scrubbing gently with a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap.

In addition to removing soot and wax buildup, it’s crucial to ensure all surfaces are free of dust or debris before applying chalk paint. Use a vacuum cleaner or soft brush attachment on tiled areas for best results.

Taping Off Surrounding Surfaces

To protect surrounding surfaces such as mantels or inserts while painting your fireplace, be sure to tape them off carefully using painter’s tape. Apply tape along edges where you want clean lines between painted and unpainted sections – this will help prevent accidental smudges during application.

  • Family Handyman: How To Paint A Fireplace (Step-by-Step Guide)
  • Bob Vila: Tips For Painting Brick Fireplaces
  • In My Own Style: How To Paint A Brick Fireplace (DIY Tutorial)

By following these essential steps in preparing your fireplace for painting, you’ll ensure a smooth and successful transformation using chalk paint. With the surface properly cleaned and protected, you can confidently move on to selecting the perfect color and applying your chosen technique for a stunning new look.

Painting Techniques for Brick Fireplaces

When it comes to painting brick fireplaces, the right technique can make all the difference in achieving a professional-looking result. In this section, we’ll explore two popular methods: distressed color wash and tips on achieving even coverage.

Distressed Color Wash Technique

A distressed color wash finish is an excellent option for those who want to lighten up their red brick fireplace without completely covering its natural texture. To achieve this look, start by mixing your chosen chalk paint with water at a 1:1 ratio. Apply the diluted paint mixture onto the bricks using a large brush or sponge, working quickly to cover small sections at a time before moving on to the next area.

  • Step 1: Begin by focusing on grout lines and edges of bricks first.
  • Step 2: Go back over centers of bricks with lighter coverage – this should only take a couple of hours at most.
  • Tips:
    • Use long strokes when applying paint.
    • Wipe off excess paint from brush or sponge as needed.
    • Allow each layer to dry before adding additional layers if desired.

Tips on Achieving Even Coverage

To ensure that your chalk painted fireplace looks uniform and well-finished, follow these expert tips for even coverage:

  1. Select The Right Brush Size And Type: Choose a brush that is appropriate for the size of your fireplace and its brick texture. Synthetic brushes work best with chalk paint, while natural bristle brushes are better suited for oil-based paints.
  2. Apply Paint In Thin Layers: Applying thin layers of paint will help prevent drips and runs, allowing you to build up coverage gradually without creating a thick, uneven surface.
  3. Maintain A Consistent Brushing Technique: Be consistent in your brushing direction and pressure throughout the painting process to avoid streaks or patches on the finished surface.

Incorporating these techniques into your project can help transform an outdated red brick fireplace into a stunning focal point within any room. Remember always to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using chalk paint products and allow adequate drying time between coats for optimal results.

Key Takeaway: 


Learn how to paint your brick fireplace using chalk paint with two popular techniques: distressed color wash and achieving even coverage. Use the right brush size and type, apply thin layers of paint, and maintain a consistent brushing technique for optimal results. Transform an outdated red brick fireplace into a stunning focal point within any room.

Using Primer Before Applying Chalk Paint

To prevent chalk paint from soaking straight into bricks after cleaning soot residue away (which could compromise its longevity), it’s a good idea to apply a primer beforehand. One highly recommended product is Zinsser Gardz, as advised by Ron Taylor, a Traditional Painter who used Gardz along with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint successfully on his own project involving two brick fireplaces needing updating.

Benefits of using Zinsser Gardz primer

  • Durability: The use of Zinsser Gardz can significantly improve the durability and lifespan of your chalk paint application, ensuring that your fireplace looks fresh and well-maintained for years to come.
  • Bonding: This primer helps create an excellent bond between the porous brick surface and the chalk paint, allowing for better adhesion and coverage.
  • Surface preparation: In addition to providing an optimal base for your chalk paint, Zinsser Gardz also seals any remaining soot or stains on the bricks, preventing them from bleeding through the final coat of paint.

Application tips and tricks

  1. Clean thoroughly: Make sure you’ve cleaned all soot residue off before applying any primer or paint. Use a heat gun if necessary to remove stubborn wax deposits from tiles around the opening of your fireplace.
  2. Tape off areas: To avoid getting primer on unwanted surfaces like mantels or inserts, tape these areas off with painter’s tape before starting work. Remember to remove the tape carefully once the primer has dried.
  3. Apply evenly: When applying Zinsser Gardz, use a brush or roller to ensure an even coat across the entire surface. Allow it to dry for at least two hours before moving on to chalk paint application.

Incorporating these tips into your fireplace painting project will help you achieve professional-looking results that last. By using Zinsser Gardz primer and following expert advice, you can transform your outdated brick fireplace into a beautiful focal point in any room with confidence and ease.

Key Takeaway: 


Before painting a brick fireplace with chalk paint, it’s recommended to use Zinsser Gardz primer to improve durability and bonding while sealing any remaining soot or stains. Cleaning the surface thoroughly, taping off unwanted areas, and applying the primer evenly are essential tips for achieving professional-looking results that last.

Protecting Your Newly-Painted Fireplace Surface

Once the chalk paint has been applied to your fireplace, it is essential to protect the surface with a finishing coat. This will ensure that your newly-painted fireplace remains looking fresh and clean for years to come. In this section, we’ll discuss two popular options for protecting your painted surface: clear lacquer and traditional wax.

Choosing between Clear Lacquer and Traditional Wax

Annie Sloan’s innovative clear lacquer was tested by experts as a potential protective coating for painted fireplaces; however, they ultimately decided that a light coat of traditional clear wax, as advised by Ron Taylor – Traditional Painter, would provide sufficient protection in most cases. Both options have their pros and cons:

  • Clear Lacquer: Offers excellent durability and water resistance but may be more challenging to apply evenly on textured surfaces like brick.
  • Traditional Wax: Easier to apply on textured surfaces but may require reapplication over time due to wear or exposure to heat from the fireplace.

Tips on Applying Protective Coatings Correctly

To avoid any mishaps during application (there are many “waxing fails” online), follow these expert tips when applying either clear lacquer or traditional wax:

  1. Cleanliness is key: Ensure that the painted surface is completely dry and free of dust before applying any protective coating.
  2. Use the right tools: For clear lacquer, use a high-quality brush or roller designed for applying varnish. For traditional wax, use a lint-free cloth or wax brush to apply an even coat.
  3. Apply thin coats: It’s better to apply multiple thin coats of protective coating rather than one thick coat. This will help ensure an even finish and reduce the risk of streaks or uneven coverage.
  4. Follow drying times: Allow each coat of protective coating to dry fully before applying additional coats, as recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions.

Incorporating these tips into your chalk paint fireplace project will help you achieve professional-looking results while protecting your newly-painted surface from wear and tear. With appropriate attention and upkeep, your refreshed hearth can stay an attractive centerpiece in your home for a long time.

Key Takeaway: 


After painting your fireplace with chalk paint, it is important to protect the surface with a finishing coat such as clear lacquer or traditional wax. Both options have their pros and cons, but following expert tips like using the right tools and applying thin coats can help achieve professional-looking results while protecting the newly-painted surface from wear and tear.

FAQs in Relation to Chalk Paint Fireplace

What are the disadvantages of chalk paint?

Chalk paint can be more expensive than other types of paint and may require multiple coats for full coverage. It also tends to show brush strokes, which some people find undesirable. Additionally, chalk paint requires a protective finish like wax or lacquer to prevent damage from moisture and wear.

What is the problem applying chalk paint?

Applying chalk paint can be challenging due to its thick consistency, which makes it prone to visible brush strokes and uneven coverage. To achieve a smooth finish, use high-quality brushes or rollers and apply thin layers with even pressure. Make sure the surface is clean and properly prepared before painting.

Is chalk paint resistant to heat?

Chalk paint has limited heat resistance compared to other paints designed specifically for high-temperature areas such as fireplaces. However, when properly sealed with a heat-resistant topcoat like clear lacquer or specialty products (Rust-Oleum High Heat, for example), it can withstand moderate temperatures without issue.

Can you use chalk paint on fireplace tile?

Yes, you can use chalk paint on fireplace tiles provided that they are not exposed directly to extreme heat or flames. Ensure proper cleaning and preparation of the tile surface before application; using primer like Zinsser Gardz will improve adhesion. Finish with a protective coating such as clear lacquer for added durability.


In conclusion, painting your fireplace with chalk paint is a great way to update the look of your living space. By choosing the right color and preparing the surface properly, you can achieve a beautiful finish that complements your existing decor. Using primer before applying chalk paint will ensure even coverage, and using protective coatings like clear lacquer or wax will keep your newly-painted fireplace looking great for years to come.

John Whitford
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