the painted surface
How To Paint Brick Trim Around A Fireplace - page 2
Painting the Brick Trim
The wood trim around the brick and the woodwork in the remainder of the room had previously been painted with a good quality oil-base trim paint. To match those trims the same paint was used to paint the brick trim around the fireplace. An oil-base paint will dry very hard and be durable enough to withstand washing in case smoke and soot soils the surface. Though acrylic and latex type paints could have been used they will not dry as hard and are more porous to surface contamination. (There are now hybrid types of paint that are alkyd-modified. They are said to have the durability of an oil-base paint but with the ease of use and clean-up of water-base paints. I have used them with good results but do not know their long term durability.) The oil-base paint used here had a semi-gloss sheen. Between the two coats of finish paint some areas were caulked again where the initial application of caulk shrank and did not completely fill the space between the bricks and moulding.
An alternative to painting the brick around a fireplace would be to “whitewash” it. Using a mixture of about half water-base paint and half water a wash could be made that would not be opaque. Apply it with a brush or roller, allow it to penetrate a few minutes and wipe off the excess. Like using a stain the results will vary with the ratio of paint and water and the amount of time the wash is left on the surface before you wipe it off. Whitewashing brick will work best on brick that is porous allowing the wash to be absorbed into the brick. Multiple coats could be applied to deepen the look and increase the opacity of the wash. Test an inconspicuous spot before proceeding.
If the fully opaque look or the whitewash is not what you want you could use a sponge technique. This involves using at least two colors, one for the base coat where all of the brick and mortar joints are painted giving the fireplace a solid look. A second and possibly a third color is then sponged onto just the bricks, not the mortar joints. Do the sponging in a random pattern varying the amount of paint applied to each brick. If convenient cut the sponge to the size of the brick. Use it as stamp, turning it over and around from brick to brick creating a random pattern. This usually works best when the sponged on colors are similar to the base coat. This mottled result gives the sponged brick some depth and an attractive uneven appearance instead of the solid look.
If you like the look of the unpainted brick but just want to add some life do a dull finish you might try a concrete, brick and tile sealer. There are many varieties on the market, one is from Home Depot. I have used this on brick patios and porches with good results. Multiple thin coats should be applied on clean surfaces. Wet Look Sealer is very thin so applying it horizontal surfaces like fireplace brick trim might be a challenge. To avoid drips and runs I would protect the surrounding area carefully and apply the Wet Look Sealer with a brush and roller in light coats, planning to apply more than one until a satisfactory gloss level is achieved. This product's sheen will increase with each coat. It is milky looking while wet but dries completely clear. Try to avoid leaving puddles just in case they might not dry clear. Feather them out as you go. Go back to How To Paint Brick Trim - page 1.
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links:
Pantone 2016 Color of the Year ◊ Sherwin-Williams 2016 Color of the Year ◊ How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors
More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, painting tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles: