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greide 07-11-2009 02:08 AM

Trying to change brick color
Hi there!

We have a red brick fireplace that sits in the middle of our living room. We hate it. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if it matched the rest of the house, but it doesn't. So we'd like to whitewash it or give it a lighter look. My fiance is against painting it because he thinks it will look tacky. So is there an alternative to make it look lighter and allow us to put light hardwood floors in the room? The brick wall, which is our fireplace, is red brick with black mortar.

Thanks for the help,


Leftyho 07-11-2009 07:48 AM


They make a mortor dye. I have used this to put colors in brick to match existing.

This was outside. So inside would work fine too.l

Get a dozen bricks close to the texture of your bricks. Then paint the dye on them. After they dry stack them on the mantel. This will let you decide if you like it.

There is no going back. So I would not try this on the actual fireplace.

Do not go to your handyman center.

Go to an actual brick yard.

Leah Frances 07-11-2009 08:26 AM

Leftyho's idea is a good one. Make SURE you and your fiance are 100% in agreement about this project.

Every day I sit in my living room I curse the former homeowner who painted my brick fireplace turquoise blue.

Scuba_Dave 07-11-2009 10:18 AM

I just covered my fireplace with tile, raised hearth w/granite
It was dirty brick
A picture of what yours looks like would help
No need to post the same pic on the other 3 threads you have about the same thing :laughing: :whistling2:

Leftyho 07-11-2009 10:18 AM

Hi Leah,

You should be able to clean the paint off.

Or just put a coat of white paint on.

Or have the fireplace stuccoed.

Or have another layer of brick installed over the top. The bricks could be cut in half to reduce weight.

greide 07-11-2009 11:26 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Sorry for posting in so many forums. I wasn't sure which category this project fell under. Below is a photo of what we're dealing with. Personally, I'd like to knock the think down and open up the room, but that's a risky project. So maybe if we lighten the brick it could achieve the same thing.

Thurman 07-11-2009 02:29 PM

I was going along with everyone else until I saw the picture--That looks like architectural stone to me. Id almost bet they are not as thick as brick either. Im (whats with the apostrophe not working?) not a mason but I have seen them color those cement architectural stones after they were put up and the customer was not happy with them, its probably easier than coloring brick. Maybe you could scrape out some mortar at some inconspicuous spot to see whether those are brick or cement stone. Then you may get a better idea as to how to proceed. Good Luck, David

Leftyho 07-11-2009 03:36 PM


That is not brick. It is not real stone either.

It is concrete made to look like stone.

greide 07-11-2009 08:56 PM

So we chipped a piece off (no so subtly) and we got concrete. Not sure what to do now, though this potentially makes our project easier. Is there a way to get the red off? Paint thinner or something?

How should we proceed?

Ron6519 07-11-2009 09:45 PM


Originally Posted by Leah Frances (Post 300343)
Leftyho's idea is a good one. Make SURE you and your fiance are 100% in agreement about this project.

Every day I sit in my living room I curse the former homeowner who painted my brick fireplace turquoise blue.

You can remove most of the paint with a product called, "Peel-a-way".
You apply it with a trowel and cover it with the paper in the kit. Next day you should be able to take off 80% of it. Next coat should remove most of the remainder of the paint.

Leftyho 07-11-2009 11:19 PM


You are not going to get the red off.

Actually it may not be that hard to remove the fireplace.

Ron6519 07-12-2009 07:37 AM

You have a veneer of a manufactured concrete product. You can paint it if you want. You will not change the color any other way.
You can only remove the fireplace by taking out the entire chimney all the way up through the roof. And you can only do that, if the boiler or furnace has a separate chimney to use.

greide 07-12-2009 11:10 AM

Wow, not very good news. So we're stuck with this unsightly red, huh? Thanks to everyone for all their help.

Leftyho 07-12-2009 11:53 AM


The red does not bother me as much as the installation.

They cut corners by not buying the right pieces for the corners. They also did not know how to lay stone. You can not have joints on top of joints like they did.

That may be what bothers you too. You just know that the installation is wrong. Every look at something and just know it is wrong, but can not put your finger on it? This may be it.

You could never get a stone to meet on a corner like that.

greide 07-12-2009 12:04 PM

Our thing is that we're trying to sell this place and we'd like to put wood in to replace the outdated and dirty carpet. The only thing is that we have to match this ridiculously ugly fireplace. We could probably have it torn down for a couple thousand, but it's not really worth the investment for us. So now we have to find a cheaply priced wood - probably dark - to blend with the fireplace.

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