painting a brick fireplace

I plan to paint an interior brick fireplace to balance the color scheme in the room.
What type of paint would be best? Should the brick/mortor be sealed before painting? If so, with what?
Thanks a heap, -jbb
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Just paint with quality latex paint
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m Ransley wrote:

Yep, probably two coats, maybe more. Brick can be like a sponge. And do not EVER assume that you can remove the paint. Brick, once painted is ALWAYS painted thereafter. Just something to keep in mind.
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Personally, i see painted brick and want to scream at the person responsible... but it's the OP's house... I wonder if several coats of shellac before the paint would allow for a reversible paint job. The shellac should fill the pores and prevent the pain from seeping in.
I have a green/brown craftsman style tile fireplace. We don't like the look of it at all and it doesn't match the other three marble fireplaces in the victorian era home. I think if i were to do anything, i'd use cement board (whatever is appropriate for the high heat), then faux paint it to look like the other marble fireplaces.
Perhaps the OP could consider a similar scheme.
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On 17 Nov 2004 14:40:46 -0500, Philip Lewis

Yeah, I used to think this too, until 22 years ago I moved into the 1921 house I now live in. The brick fireplace was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen, and in an otherwise very beautiful building.
The bricks were the same bricks as on the outside of the house, but inside they looked dreadful and out of place. The joints were crooked and way too wide -- I think they had been repointed, but very badly. The style was supposed to be a nod to the Arts and Crafts style (the house is technically a Dutch colonial, but with many Arts and Crafts touches). However, instead of the simple honesty of Arts and Crafts, the fireplace just looked like a mistake.
I hated to do it on general principle, but repainting was the only choice other than tearing it down and rebuilding it with more interesting bricks and better masonry technique. Or I supposed I could have faced it with decorative tile. But there were more important places for my money in those days, so I painted it.
Amazingly, it turned out great. Looked 100% better, a huge improvement. I just primed it and painted it with Murello flat latex the same color as the wall. And it sort of disappeared.

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-> I plan to paint an interior brick fireplace to balance the color scheme in -> the room. -> -> What type of paint would be best? Should the brick/mortor be sealed before -> painting? If so, with what? -> -> Thanks a heap, -> -jbb
I know very little about this sort of thing, but it seems to me that the brick should be primed before painting. I'm very surprised the other responses to your question didn't mention this. But like I said, I'm far from "expert."
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No primer necessary, shellac will leave shellac is it is stripped. But if it is painted, thats it, it is painted. If you want a color that can look like stone or concrete and can easily be lightened to a lighter stone color with White, get Benjamin Moore Briarwood. It is a color that can truely easily match to look like stone or concrete. I have used it on many jobs. Even white painted concrete- stone as in painted white window ledges to make them look natural again. Then you could Faux finish the fireplace with Briarwood as the base if you want something more.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) writes:

yes.. but shellac is mostly clear and easilly removed with alcohol. so the restoration of the original bricks will be achievable. (not to mention it will act as a primer...)
I imagine restoration folks would love it if you did this. ;)
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be safe.
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Shellac is gloss and hard , a bad surface for Latex. Latex does not bond to hard gloss, did you ever see a gloss primer? no.
Shellac darkens, removing shellac from brick completely will be likely impossible, brick and mortar are porous . Alcohol is Latex remover also.
Brick is porous, needs no priming. Ive painted maybe 500 gallons on various concrete and brick surfaces with latex no primer used. No failures.
The fireplace, if wood was burnt should be acid and soap washed
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Phil I don't recommend painting it, But I am in restoration, If it looks that bad now then OK. But people that think 'Prime everything" like you are wasting time and money.
If they remove the latex the shellac will come off, it will still be a mess.
Pros prime only when needed. Changing set-ups wastes time, time is money.
Home owners don't know any better and "Prime" everything and anything unnecessarily, because HD says so and it is the 'Right" thing to do. Well BS
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Well,.................may be BS, but it is necessary to usemultiple coats on some types of brick. I used a primer . Mostly because I needed to paint a couple of coats due to the color of the brick on my fireplace and the brick is still very pourous ( planning to change the color drastically). Someone else has already mangled the color of the original brick, a typical "Santa Clause" brick fireplace color, sponged on, and terribly,........I am going to a color similar to or the same as the walls in the room it's in. The original brick would have been great, but since they screwed it up already, I'm gonna do some coverage.
The surface of the brick is also very , very rough. This means I will be using a HUGE amount of paint due to the actual surface area. These bricks are some of the strangest. They appear to have been made double wide, then scored and broken in two , the length of the brick,............yeah, broken. Makes a hell of a rough surface.
Anyaway, it is sometimes wise NOT to use the finish paint to change the color of the surface, unless you're using the cheapest paint you can find. It's necessary in my case to use a primer to change from the red, back to a light color, and fill the pourous surface. After that I will paint the finish color and not spend as much on the finishing paint. This would suggest using something for a primer, or more truely a first coat......but I only post this as an alternative set of issues, not to be ignored when sharing advice.
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<< I plan to paint an interior brick fireplace to balance the color scheme in the room. >>
Uuuugh!
Joe
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