Painting brick fireplace

I have a fireplace and the brick are UGLY. They were mismatched colors of brick that were stained brown to make them match. They match too well, the color is very monotone without the normal variations you find in brick. Even the mortar is the same color as the brick. I may color this black and see if this helps.
I have been thinking of just painting them or maybe use some of the techniques for painting faux brick to bring them to a normal looking appearance. Ive seen kits and books for sell but I was hoping I could find something less expensive(free). Any opinions or suggestions would be considered and appeciated.
Jimmie
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Free? Is it safe to assume you intend to pay for the paint & tools?
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You might strip and acid wash first, see what you have, a color that matches Limestone Is Benjamin Moore Briar Wood mixed with white it will look like any Lime Stone shade.
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On Mon, 10 Mar 2008 15:31:10 -0400, "Jimmie D"

There are high-temperature paints. Look for BBQ paint. Personally, I'd prefer no paint at all.
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ugly as you describe. However, we did bring in a lady who was an expert in the field to do the real work. She not only did a faux-style paint job, she had a mixture that contained some sort of silicon sand or something, so the final result looked like sandstone, complete with texture and "sparkle".
It wasn't free, but her work was fairly priced, judged by the result. We figured we'd be looking at it every day, so cheap wasn't our main priority.
I'd check around and ask to see some portfolios. At best you'll find someone who can do the job reasonably priced. At worst, you'll see what you want your end result to look like.
Cheers
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Maybe fireplace stores and paint specialty stores would be places to ask for referrals.
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