What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for a Brick Fireplace?

A brick fireplace can add a cozy and traditional feel to any room, but sometimes that brick color doesn’t match your style. Thankfully, painting a brick fireplace is a great way to update its look and make it fit in with the rest of your decor. But what kind of paint and primer should you use?

Latex paint is a good option for a brick fireplace, as it provides a strong bond and won’t peel or chip. Latex paint can tolerate up to 200°F (93°C), which makes it suitable for the surrounding brickwork of your fireplace (but not the hearth). A water-based primer should also be used prior to painting.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 5 factors to consider when choosing paint for a brick fireplace
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for a brick fireplace

The 5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for a Brick Fireplace

1. Part of the Fireplace

You should also consider the part of the fireplace structure that you want to paint. Is it the mantle, hearth, or both?

The type of paint you choose will be different for each area since each will have a different level of exposure to heat.

2. Heat Resistance

Heat resistance is an important factor when choosing paint for a brick fireplace. Regular latex paint can withstand temperatures up to 200°F (93°C).

The hearth, however, can reach temperatures of up to 1000°F (540°C). If you’re intending to paint any area of the fireplace that will come in contact with these temperatures, you’ll need to use a specialist high-heat paint.

3. Durability

Whether due to heat exposure or simply daily use, a brick fireplace will likely experience wear and tear. Ensure that you choose a durable paint that can withstand the test of time.

A high-quality paint with strong adhesion will resist chipping, peeling, or fading and maintain its appearance through the years. 

4. Your Lifestyle and Aesthetic

Consider how the fireplace will be used and how it fits your lifestyle. If you use the fireplace frequently, a darker shade may hide soot and ash better than a light color.

If you have young children or pets, a durable, easy-to-clean paint may be more practical than something decorative.

5. Application Method

Another crucial consideration is the method you’ll use to apply the paint. Make sure the paint you choose can be applied using the preferred method. Many types of paint and primers are available, each suited for specific application methods such as roller, brush, or sprayer. 

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Latex Paint

Latex paints dry faster, produce fewer fumes, are easier to clean up, and do not require solvents. Additionally, latex paint has a greater ability to withstand temperature fluctuations, which is beneficial when painting a fireplace. 


  • Easy to apply
  • Dries quickly
  • Easy clean-up
  • Low VOCs
  • Less likely to crack over time
  • Resistant to mildew


  • Might require multiple coats to achieve an even color
  • May not last as long as other types of paint under constant exposure to intense heat

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is one of the most commonly used types of paint for brick fireplaces. It is easy to apply and clean up, has good adhesion, and can be applied with a brush or roller. 


  • Fast drying time
  • Can be cleaned easily with water while wet
  • Less likely to crack due to temperature changes
  • Lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)


  • Requires thorough surface prep, including cleaning and priming
  • May not withstand intense heat unless specifically designed for it
  • Possible color fading
  • May require multiple coats for even coverage

What Paint Finish Is Best?

The best paint finish will ultimately depend on personal preference. However, a semi-gloss or gloss finish would be ideal if you want a finish that will create a bold statement and last for years.

Not only do these finishes provide the most shine, but they’re also the most durable and easy to clean. This is particularly important for anything exposed to heat, such as a fireplace. 

While satin is a step lower in shine and durability, it’s still an excellent option for painting brick fireplaces. A satin finish will provide a subtle sheen that can enhance the texture of the brick without being too flashy. Plus, it’s still quite easy to clean. 

Flat and eggshell finishes are not typically recommended for painting brick fireplaces. These finishes soak up dirt and grime, making them harder to clean. They also offer very little shine, making a brick fireplace look dull and lifeless.

The Best Paint and Primer for a Brick Fireplace

Best Paint

The ONE Paint and Primer: Water-Based House Paint is the best choice for painting the surrounding brickwork of your fireplace.

With its advanced formula, this 2-in-1 paint and primer provides long-lasting durability, saving you time and money in the long run. Its thick and luxurious formula makes it simple to use and exceptionally effective on surfaces like brick.

Multiple surfaces like wood, metal, plastic, brick, stone, and concrete can be coated, and it’s suitable for interior and exterior painting projects, making it an unbeatable solution for your fireplace.

Its rich pigments come in 12 stunning colors in gloss, satin, and matte finishes, giving you options to cater to your specific taste.

The advanced formula ensures that The ONE Paint and Primer is non-toxic, water-based, low-odor, and ultra-low VOC. It contains no harsh chemicals such as phthalates, formaldehyde, heavy metals, or solvents, making it safe for you and the environment.

Best Primer

KILZ 2 Interior or Exterior Water-Based Primer is the ultimate solution for anyone looking to prime their brick fireplace.

This primer is specifically designed for interior and exterior surfaces, providing excellent adhesion and sealing properties, making it a fantastic option for brick.

One of its standout features is its ability to block medium stains, including water stains, rust, grease, ink, pencil, and felt marker. This is a crucial aspect of fireplaces, which are often exposed to soot and smoke stains that are difficult to remove.

With KILZ 2 Interior or Exterior Water-Based Primer, you can be sure that your brick fireplace will be thoroughly primed and prepared for painting.

Another benefit is its enhanced hiding properties. This primer is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to change the color of their brick fireplace.

The enhanced hiding properties help to lessen the number of coats of paint required, making it a cost-effective and convenient solution for anyone who wants to update their fireplace’s look.

Furthermore, it is a fast-drying, water-based, multi-surface primer-sealer-stain blocker with a mild odor. This means that, unlike traditional oil-based primers, it does not emit strong odors that can harm your health. Therefore, it suits anyone with sensitivities or allergies to harsh chemical smells.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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