Whether you’re remodeling or house flipping, it eventually becomes necessary to repaint the rooms in your house. A fresh coat of paint is the best way to bring new life to an old room. If your home has a fireplace, you may be wondering how to match it to your new color scheme. Can you paint the inside of a fireplace?

It is absolutely possible to paint the inside of your fireplace as long as the brick or stone isn’t too old or porous. When painting the inside of your fireplace, use the right products. Make sure to get primer designed for your fireplace’s material, and paint that can withstand extreme heat.

Determine If Your Fireplace is Paintable

Below are the criteria for a fireplace that can be painted on the inside.


If your fireplace is brick, odds are yes, you can paint the inside of the fireplace. Unless the brick is old and crumbling, brick is a good material for paint. Stone is also good for painting the inside of a fireplace, as long as it lies flat. Layered stone may be too jagged for painting. What you’re looking for with the material of your fireplace is a flat surface. A flatter foundation is less likely to cause paint to peel.


How clean is your fireplace currently? The cleaner it is to start, the easier this process will be. If your home is new and your fireplace has rarely or never been used, paint away! If your fireplace is old and well-used, you may want to consider how much work it’s going to be to paint it. The inside of the fireplace has to be thoroughly cleaned before you can paint it.

Paint Selection

The paint you use for the inside of your fireplace matters. The look of the paint needs to match the aesthetic of the room. The type of paint that you use depends on what you plan on doing with your fireplace. For example, if you don’t plan on lighting fires in your fireplace, you could use latex-based paint. If you plan on lighting fires in your fireplace, you will need to choose paint that can withstand temperatures of up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people prefer the aesthetic of oil-based paint, but this isn’t a suitable choice for every fireplace interior.

How To Paint Your Fireplace? (Step-by-Step Guide)

Now that you’ve determined that your fireplace can be painted, here are the steps for properly painting the inside of your fireplace.

Step One: Clean Your Fireplace

Before you can begin painting, your fireplace needs to be completely cleaned. This is a very messy project, so wear clothes that can get dirty, and cover your floors with towels or painter’s cloth to protect them. You should also wear protective eyewear and gloves.

First, use a dry stiff wire brush to locate and brush away any loose material. Next, use a coarse scrub brush and hot soapy water to vigorously scrub the face of the bricks. You need to remove any dirt, soot, dust, and efflorescence from your fireplace.

The cleaner your fireplace, the better the paint will stick to the surface. If your fireplace won’t come fully clean with soapy water alone, you can add vinegar to your hot soapy water. Aim for one-third part vinegar to two-thirds part soapy water.

If your fireplace still isn’t clean, use a mixture of trisodium phosphate and water to coat the inside walls. Allow this to soak into the brick or stone for at least an hour, then scrub away with hot soapy water.

Once your fireplace is clean, let it dry completely for 24 hours.

Step Two: Prime Your Fireplace

After the fireplace has been scrubbed clean, but before you can begin the painting process, you need to prime the area. Use painter’s tape to protect any areas of the fireplace that you don’t want to be painted. Make sure that your room is well ventilated, and consider investing in a painter’s mask. Working with both paint and primer involves a lot of fumes that could be harmful if inhaled.

Once you’re ready, grab a hand brush. Then, using a paint primer appropriate for your fireplace material, apply a coat to the inside of your fireplace. Make sure to get into all the cracks and crevices with your primer. If you’re painting over any metal, you will need a galvanized etching primer. After you’ve applied a liberal coat of primer, wait at least 12 hours for the primer to dry.

Step Three: Paint Your Fireplace

Now it’s time to paint the inside of your fireplace. Carefully select a paint that is appropriate for the material of your fireplace. The paint also has to withstand heat of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t intend to light fires in your fireplace, you can use latex paint. If you do intend to light fires in your fireplace use high-heat paint. Some brands have paints specifically designed for fireplaces called “fireplace paint”. Be sure to read your paint labels carefully to make sure you choose the right paint.

Using a paint roller, apply one to two coats of paint to the inside of your fireplace. If you decide to use two coats, the first coat has to dry at least 24 hours before you can add a second coat. Then allow another 24 hours for the final coat to dry. Once the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape. We recommend waiting one more day before lighting your first fire to be sure the paint is dry.

What If The Paint Peels Off?

If you use your fireplace a lot, even a well-painted fireplace can peel over time. Unfortunately, fireplaces with peeling paint need to be completely repainted. It may be tempting to paint over the old paint, but this will only lead to further peeling. You need to scrub off the under paint as best you can, re-prime, and repaint your fireplace. Start over from step one. Luckily, if you used the correct materials the paint should last a long time before it begins to peel.

Lighting fires in the fireplace is what causes the paint to peel. If you want to avoid this altogether, you can put candles or a wood-burning stove in your fireplace instead. This can help prolong the life of the fireplace paint.

In Conclusion

The entire process of painting a fireplace takes about a week. The first day is spent cleaning the fireplace, and then allowing a full 24 hours for it to dry. The next day you can prime the fireplace, then allow the primer to dry for another 12 hours. On the third day you can apply your first coat of fireplace paint, and then wait 24 hours for it to dry. If you need a second coat of paint, you can apply this on the fourth day. Wait another 24 hours for the last coat of paint to dry. We recommend waiting another full day after the last coat dries before lighting a fire.

Make sure you have the appropriate time and materials set aside for your fireplace project. Important materials to remember include safety gear: gloves, eye protection, and a mask. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local home improvement store. While you shop, consult with the experts to find the right products. And remember: a good paint job begins with a thorough clean.