How to Blackwash Your Brick Fireplace

Blackwashing a brick fireplace

A few months ago, I posted about how to whitewash your fireplace. The whole time that I was working on that project, I was thinking to myself: Gee, I wonder if “blackwashing” is a thing?! After much searching (and Pinteresting) I decided that no one else was going to let me know how to do it, so I might as well figure it out myself! Let me tell you- despite the adrenaline rush I got while working on this project (my fireplace is a giant and scrubbing it down with acid to un-do my work is not on my list of things to do), it was 100% worth it! I’m tickled with the results and so glad that I took the risk! Here’s a tutorial for you on how to black wash your fireplace or other brick.

How to color wash brick fireplace

What You’ll Need (affiliate links):

First, take a before picture—you’ll never believe how different this beauty will look!

If you’re in the middle of a renovation or planning on doing this down the road, I would suggest that you complete this project before putting down new flooring, painting, or adding anything into the space that you want to keep clean.

Ugly Brick Fireplace


The next step will not be very fun…sorry! Put some drop cloths over anything that you care about within a 5 foot radius. Next you’re going to grab a scrub brush and some soapy water and start scrubbing every nook and cranny. This is important so that all the dust and cob webs stuck in there don’t create weird patterns in your blackwash.

painting brick black

After that is dry, we’re going to get to the fun part! This is where your heart will race a little as you lather on black paint to your existing brick! Yes, it’s a somewhat permanent treatment, but it’s totally going to pay off!

Blackwashing a brick fireplace

First, mix your black paint and water: 1 part water to 2 parts paint. Depending on how much your brick absorbs, this ratio may need to change a bit. There’s a little bit of experimenting with this, but it really doesn’t make a giant difference.

Working in 2 foot sections, use your chip brush to dab the black paint mixture into the mortar of the bricks. Go back over the section and use the same dabbing motion on the brick face.

how to blackwash a brick fireplace

Next, dab excess paint off with a lint-free rag. Continue working in sections across the entire fireplace.

how to whitewash a fireplace with other colors

Let the paint dry completely overnight. Even if it feels dry right away, the brick is porous and will continue to absorb paint for a while. It’s also good to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and decide if you want a second coat.

painted black fireplace

If you choose to do a second coat, I will say that it goes much more quickly than the first! I would typically suggest a second coat on most surfaces, as it fills in nicely and creates an even look.

Finally! It’s time to decorate and show off your fireplace in the images below! I have my finished images on the way! I’d love to see your take on this project and make sure to leave any hints or tips that you picked up on the way!

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  1. Hi can you start the painting as soon as done washing or should you wait for thr brick to dry?

  2. Could this work over a previously white washed fireplace? Also would the black wash work on floor tiles in front of fireplace. Mine are a reddish and I hate the color.

    • Great question Kim!

      I haven’t done this before, but would think that the effect would work. You might need multiple coats to cover the white completely or a different ratio of water to paint. I’d suggest playing with it on a spare brick or a spot that won’t be seen too easily.

      As for the tiles, it probably won’t work. Again, a simple test run on a spare tile would give you the official answer, but typically tiles are coated and won’t absorb the paint like brick does.

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