DIY Projects · Flip #2

White Washing Tutorial

I love the distressed look of white wash. In Bachelorette Pad Flip #1, the fireplace was super dark (and dirty), and I opted to paint it a pristine white. In this house I’ve chosen more distressed elements, and I knew a pristine painted fireplace wouldn’t complement the distressed floors. So I chose to do a white wash on the brick fireplace.


In this photo from Bachelorette Pad Flip #1, pristine white matched all the white trim and lighter elements. Painting a fireplace a pristine white is a very easy process. Whitewashing a fireplace is even easier!


When painting a fireplace a pristine white, you need to prime and paint (several) coats. Fortunately, when whitewashing it’s not near as labor intensive. I chose a latex white. In particular, I chose this paint:


I have a rather large fireplace and hearth, and it did not take the entire gallon. I suggest buying an empty paint can that they sell at Lowe’s that way you can store your excess whitewash. To create the white wash mixture, mix approximate 3:1 paint and water. It’s not an exact science, but it is important to have more paint than water in the mixture. To apply the whitewash mixture, I suggest NOT using a sponge roller (even a sponge designed for brick). Instead, use a heavy-duty bristle brush. The first coat will hardly make an impact; however, I painted two coats and reached the desired results.


In order to contrast the whitewash and the wood grains in the floor, I am keeping the mantel the same color (I just haven’t hung it back up yet). Since the walls have now been painted a High Noon blue, the fireplace stands out even more. I love it!



The entire process took a little over two hours. I could have done a third coat to further mask the creamish bricks, but I liked the color showing through. It mimicked the floors well.



9 thoughts on “White Washing Tutorial

    1. The best method I’ve found is to use some soapy water and a wire grill brush to scrub. It might also help to use some spray cleaner directly on the bricks while srubbing.

  1. My fireplace is wood burning and has red brick but has burnt looking brick from the smoke, how do you clean it off before painting it? I love what you did on he whitewash.

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