Painted Stone Fireplace

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

To paint or not to paint brick or stone fireplaces is always a big decision.  This question is the most popular topic I get emails about.  I have to admit I’m fearless when it comes to painting brick or stone.  I realize it’s permanent, but I have always liked the results.  When we first purchased our Connecticut home I was convinced we would demo the fireplace and replace it with something more traditional.  Once we started exploring that option, we realized it was expensive and we would still have a raised hearth.  So with expense in mind and results not what we wanted, we decided to have it painted white.  Basically that’s my answer to every design dilemma.  Have you ever painted brick or stone?

Painted Stone Fireplace

My favorite white paint is Benjamin Moore Cloud White.  Or if you are out west, Dunn Edwards Whisper White.  It’s not too white or too creamy.  It’s a true white, but still warm without any yellow.  I repaint the fireplace about once a year to freshen it up.

White Paint Colors


Painted Stone Fireplaces {Before}

Our painters were still not convinced that I really meant everything painted white.



  • Michelle

    I love it! Your bravery definitely paid off.

  • Garden, Home and Party

    I love your painted stone fireplace. Our tract house fireplace, in southern California, had a painted brick fireplace when we moved in. Like you, expense kept us from making more than a mantle change. While it’s not the fireplace of my dreams, I like the ease of keeping it fresh with some paint.

  • Stephanie

    It looks so much better white. I am married to a painter and that picture made me smile.

  • classic•casual•home

    I just love your fireplace!!!

  • Camille

    Do you also use the same color for trim? I’m getting ready to paint our living room since half of the walls have new sheet rock on them. Thinking of using the same color as the trim to make the choice of picking a white easier.

    • annie

      Yes! I use the same color for trim, just a different finish. Makes it so much easier!

      • Laura f

        Which finish for the walls and trim? I’m getting ready to paint my walls (and fireplace 😬😬) cloud white. Should I do a satin trim or semi gloss? Thanks!!

        • annie

          Hi Laura,
          I just checked our paint cans to be sure–we used semi-gloss for trim and matte finish for walls in Regal Select by Benjamin Moore. Good luck with your painting project! I love to see before & after photos is you have a minute. You could text them to me at 917-349-4215.

  • Elizabeth

    It’s perfect Annie! I wish you were in SoCal to give me some painting advice. 🙂 It’s so hard for me.

  • Kathleen

    I couldn’t do it! Yours looks fabulous and I know my brick would look nice. But at night with a fire going the brick takes on a warm glow to it. Stops me every time from picking up that brush.

  • Pam

    You might have changed my mind on the white paint thing. I love the color of your house so…

    And, yeah, I always have a hard time with contractors believing I KNOW what I want. The glass from cupboards in my kitchen for example. Ugh.

  • emily

    i love it painted! it becomes a cool texture in the room instead of a big swatch of brown color. your fearlessness pays off!

  • Anne

    Beautiful! I love white. The shade and fiinish you chose completely transformed that space, especially with the addition of the white pillows.

  • debra @ 5th and state

    bravo! and thank you for this post, i have a client with a 70’s stone fireplace like yours which they hate. thought i was crazy when suggested painting. yours is beautiful

  • Alexandra

    I am so inspired by this picture that we’re painting our two story stacked stone fireplace the exact same color tomorrow. I love what you’ve done and hope ours turns out even a fraction as beautiful and I’d be thrilled. The grout between our stones is really crumbly – so wondering if you faced any difficulty getting the paint in between the stones? Also – your annual refresh of the paint – is that because the paint comes off in places? or absorbs and lightens over time? Very curious as for us, with the two story factor, I really would rather not have to re-do this annually.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!
    Warmly in Colorado,

    • annie

      Hi Alex,
      I would love to see before and afters! The grout was pretty crumbly as well and the paint seems to take care of that. The reason I repaint to freshen it up is that it starts to look a little dingy. The paint does not come off or chip at all, but a fresh coat just seems to freshen it up. It does not take long and if I had used the “correct” paint I would not have had to do the entire thing. I clearly marked my can of paint this time and will only do the area around the fireplace opening next time. I hope you love your results and would love to see!
      Have a great day! I’m from Denver btw!

  • Jen O

    I love your use of white and how it brightens and lifts up the whole space. But it’s also nice to see fireplaces in historical homes from any era left in their original condition or traditional style. I guess that in the end, this requires good judgement to know the right way to go with any home.

    • annie

      I agree! If this fireplace had been original I would not have painted it….It’s so massive that we are guessing a stone mason once lived here.

  • Jen

    Great decision on your fireplace. It looks WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing. I had not considered doing this at my house but now I’m thinking its a good idea. 🙂

  • Hillary

    What sheen of paint did you use for this? I am planning on tackling this exact project next week! Love the look of yours!

    • annie

      Hi Hillary,
      Originally it was painted with a flat finish, then when I went back to touch up I used a satin finish….which meant that I needed to do the entire fireplace again. The second time around is not that bad and it really did freshen it up. Good luck with your project!

  • judy

    II just bought a house with a huge white fireplace. Was going to paint it a different color until I saw this. Did you have to prime it first?

  • judy

    So which finish did you like the best, flat or satin?

  • Lis

    Hi, It looks beautiful! I am also wondering what sheen you liked best? And what sheen did you use for the trim?

    Thanks, Lis

    • annie

      I think I prefer the satin….it’s not shiny, but it does allow a little spot cleaning as necessary. Sometimes even just putting the Sunday newspaper on the stone makes it dirty and I can easily clean it with soapy water. Hope that helps!

  • Cristal

    Was it painted with a brush or spray gun . I would love to do my fireplace white

    • annie

      Hi Crystal,
      It was painted with a brush, but I do think spraying it would be easier and have better coverage. Stone and brick really soaks up the paint. Good luck!

  • Michelle

    We are going to tackle our wall to wall floor to celling brown rock fireplace this weekend. I finally have my husband convinced! I’ve seen in your comments that the satin finish was preferred, but my question is I have light brown walls, and dark wood floors with white trim. Do you think I could still get away with white rocks? and in my research I’ve seen that some people recommend praying the wall with water before you paint to that the rock and grout doesn’t soak in as much paint? Did you do this?

    Thank you so much and I love you style!

  • Laurie

    Such a beautiful look! You have inspired and excited me! We just started a Reno in our family room and I was not loving the fireplace at all. Lack of funds has dictated we can’t change or redo the fireplace wall, you have shown me such a gorgeous alternative! Our fireplace isn’t functional right now but we intend to switch it to gas next year as it is the best alternative. Will the paint be an issue if the fireplace is functioning?

    • annie

      Hi Laurie,
      Yes, we also switched our fireplace from wood burning to gas. We had the box painted black and they used a high heat paint just for fireplaces. The white is just regular paint. Painting it white makes such high difference! Good luck with your family room renovation.

  • Melanie

    Hi Annie,
    This looks quite nice. Is there a link to how you did this exactly? no primer I assume? How many coats? Our fireplace is wood burning so I’m wondering if we would have to repaint often as yours requires an annual coat and it’s gas.
    Also, would love to see a shot of how you worked in the color scheme for surrounding furniture. We are thinking of a cream carpet.
    Thank you!

    • annie

      Hi Melanie,
      I think it would be a good idea to use a primer because that first coat of paint rally soaks it up. If your fireplace is in good working order, you may not even have to paint it every year. Our house was built in 1900 and everything needs maintenance! I think cream carpet would look beautiful with white stone. In fact, we have faux sheepskin pillows from Pottery Barn in cream color on our fireplace and I love the look of white and cream. Good luck!

  • Hyun ju

    It looks fabulous!!! Such a awesome job u did. I am so thinking abt doing the same thing but i am afraid ours is wood burning as well. I wonder how often i have to freshen up the paint. Do u have any good idea? Or if we decide to change it to a gas how much would it cost to convert it?

    • annie

      I think it would probably get dark around the fire opening, but you could clean it and then repaint just the part around the opening maybe every spring. We did convert ours from wood burning to gas and I wish I could remember the price…I think the labor was around $1,000 but not sure.

  • Jill

    Hi Annie! Your fireplace turned out amazing! We own a home built in the 70s with a fireplace that looks very similar to this. My sister suggested painting it white and even though I have an obsession with white, I thought she was crazy! 😊 After seeing your picture, I would love to go white. However, the stone is not only on the fireplace, but covers 2 of the 4 walls in our living room. One of the stone less walls also holds the staircase and the other stone less wall has a large window so it feels like most of the room is stone. Do you think going white would be too much since there is so much of it? Also, the previous owner painted it already. She lightened it from the traditional dark brown to a grayish/light brown color. I think I’m nervous since I don’t totally hate it the way it is. Thank you!!

    • annie

      Hi Jill,
      I would love to see some photos if possible. You could text them to me or email. It’s so hard to picture your room, but it sounds cool! 917-349-4215 or

      • Leanne Meirson

        Hi there,
        I recently bought a house with Mexican tile, filthy grout and a floor to ceiling (very high) original coral fireplace. I can’t bear the stress or expense of tearing out clay floors. I’m thinking of painting the floors with marine paint and can’t decide wether to do it in shiny or matte finish. The fireplace will look very dated with the new look of the floor, but it’s already light and very textured. Would you mind if I sent you some pictures? I’d love your opinion??
        Thank you,

  • Cassandre Snyder

    I absolutely love this! We have a stone fireplace that goes up pretty high. I am dying to do this, but just don’t the exact type of paint to purchase and just how much work it will be. I would rather not have to pay anyone to do this, since I just paid someone to paint the room and it’s ridiculously high ceilings. I have lived with this stone for almost 10 years and I think it’s always driven me crazy! Can you share the type of Benjamin Moore paint you used? I am fine to have to touch it up every year if it’s simple enough. Thanks!

    • annie

      Hi Cassandre,
      We used Aura paint the last time, but really any paint will work fine. The important thing is to remember which paint so that if you do need to go back and touch up you won’t have to do the entire thing. We really like the painted stone/brick look. It makes the look much less “busy” in a
      room. If you decide to do it, I hope you love it!

  • Joanne

    Love your painted fireplace! We renovated our kitchen which is right next to our family room which has a 1980’s stone fireplace and it really screams rustic! It does not fit in with our renovation. We looked into having it covered with sheet rock, molding and a new mantel, but we didn’t want to spend anymore money. My kitchen is a very off white, more towards the yellow tones, my walls are benjamim more Sandy Brown and all the molding in the family room is matched to the kitchen cabinets. Also, the large hood above my stove is painted to look like limestone, but in the same color as the cabinets. Would you recommend painting our stone fireplace the same color as the kitchen cabinites?

  • Jackie

    Please advise if a thin coat of poly on brick fireplace would affect painting. My walls are light tan, not sure if the brown bricks should be white or a darker shade of the walls
    Thank you!

  • Lisa Williams

    I absolutely love this. I have an entire wall of stone with a fireplace. I’ve never liked the stone. I think I’m gonna try this. Is there an address I can send a pic to, to get your advice?

  • Bonnie

    I asked about the trim color on another pic but see here that u used the same color on everything but different finish. So if your walls are satin what finish is the trim in? Thanks….I just love your home! I’d love to send u pics of my home for color choices?

  • Kathy

    I painted my stone fireplace using Annie Sloan Paris Gray. I even added white to the paint and it’s still darker than I want. Can I just paint over it with a satin or gloss white?

    • annie

      Hi Kathy,
      If you are sure it’s too dark I think it will serve as an excellent base coat for painting it a lighter color. The hard part is done…that first coat of paint. I wish you the best and hope you are happy with the results. I would love to see a pic if you have time.

  • Sarah

    Hi! I love what you did to your fire place. I am in the process of painting my stone fire place white and I want to add a white mantel to it as well. Do you mind me asking where you got your mantel and was it hard to mount on a stone fire place?

    • annie

      HI Sarah,
      Here’s a link to an update where at the bottom you can see the link to the mantel. It comes unfinished and we decided to paint it white like the fireplace because I really didn’t want to attract more attention the the stone. I’ve seen them finished in a nice warm stain and that looks nice too, just not on ours. We did not use the brackets. My husband used a stone drill bit and lag bolts (the size depends on the weight). Drill a hole in the stone, pound the lag bolts in and insert bolts and tighten. You bolt the wood that comes with the mantel and then the mantel sits on top of that wood. It sort of lifts on into place. You may have to use shims to make it sit flush in areas where the stone is uneven. Hope this helps!

  • Kris Tucker

    Hey A-
    We have a duplex rental property and I’ve gutted it completely and the fireplace still is the Bain of my existence…not really, but I keep tossing the idea of painting it! Now after seeing yours I’m gonna finally do it! Question is do you think I could get away with using primer and paint mixed together in satin sheen? I have Accessible Beige SW on the walls–
    so what color of paint would you suggest???
    Thx in advance for your inspiration!!!

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  • laurie

    Is the mantel painted the same color as rock? Exactly what color is on your rock and what is on the mantle? You fp is beautiful.

  • Denese

    I am in the process of painting pretty much every room in our 1880 farmhouse white. My color of choice is also Benjamin Moore Cloud White. It is not a “blinding” white and looks beautiful in every room. We have a huge fireplace made of stone found on the property (there is a center stone carved with 1885 on the hearth) that looks similar to yours so your post validated my desire to paint ours. Farmhouse DIY has become my hobby and is almost therapeutic for me. With a large old farmhouse I can always look around and come up with, “What to do next?”

    • annie

      Your house sounds amazing! And I agree with your comments on Cloud White. With an old house, you never run out of projects! Especially a big one!

  • Paige

    Wondering if you’ve ever painted a stone backsplash. Mine is a peachy beige tumbled travertine that I would love to freshen up. It also has some small glass tiles mixed in, and I’m not sure how well the latex paint would stick to them. I’m kind of afraid it would make it look worse!

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