Decorating Tutorials

The Perfect Fireplace Makeover: Brick Limewash Tutorial

All right, y’all. Today we’re talking about how to limewash your brick to give your fireplace a refresh – just in time for seasonal decorating! Let’s be honest, that’s the best part of having a fireplace, right?!

We recently did the reveal of our Irving House remodel and if you’ve seen it, you already know – the whitewashed fireplace completely steals the show. 

I mean, look at this stunner. 

Brick fireplace makeover with limewash

Gorgeous, right? We love how the whitewashed brick brightens the whole space up and adds so much character to the home. And it definitely gives it that Old World feel, too.

In fact, we love it SO much that we’re going to show you how you can do this makeover yourself! It’s a super simple weekend project that completely transforms your space and makes it more inviting.

Now, before we give you all the DIY details, we want you to know that we have a ton of experience finishing brick. We’re talking dozens and dozens of homes – and a variety of methods. Each method has its pros and cons and can help you achieve different types of looks – but today, we’re going to walk you through a tutorial for limewashing your brick fireplace. 

Without further ado (we’re not food bloggers over here – you don’t need some long-winded story about a brick building we swooned over while vacationing in Europe) let’s jump on into this DIY project, shall we? 

Here’s what you need:

  • Romabio Classico Limewash (for the Irving fireplace, we used Avorio White and loved the color!)
  • 5-inch thick bristle brush
  • One skinnier brush for touch-ups
  • Buckets
  • Rags
  • Water
  • Drill with stir attachment (optional but recommended)

By the way – if you don’t love it on the first try, this limewash can be removed for up to five days after the initial application. But if you do, it’ll last for decades! And unlike paint, this method won’t require maintenance down the road. That’s the great thing about limewash – it’s simple, it’s low-commitment, and it’s low-maintenance. Can we get an amen? 

All right, let’s get started. 

First Things First: Gather Inspo and Prep the Brick and Materials

  1. Print photos of the exact look you want to achieve. As you go through the process, you can have these on hand to reference. Here are some of our other fireplaces you can use for inspo!
  2. Use water and rags to wipe down the brick and get it as clean as possible. 
  3. In a separate bucket than the limewash container, dilute the mortar with water for 5-10 minutes. You can mix it by hand, but we find it FAR easier to mix using a drill with a stir attachment! We also found it helpful to drape rags on the bucket, around the drill, to prevent the mixture from splashing out. Dilute the mixture approximately 50-75% or until you reach a “milkshake” consistency. It shouldn’t be too runny, but should be thick enough to spread…almost like you’re icing a cake. Clearly we’re thinking about desserts over here!

The Fun Part: Limewash the Brick!

  1. Using the bristle brush, dip in the paint mixture and apply. We applied a thin layer with horizontal strokes. Here’s a time-lapse showing how we limewashed the brick on the Irving House fireplace. 

2. Let dry until slightly damp and then fill in the grout lines, comparing to the grout lines in your goal photo. Often, the grout lines are deeper or more shallow and require layers. You may find it helpful to use the skinnier brush to apply in this step – or, you could use something like an icing bag or gallon freezer bag with the corner snipped off to pipe the paint mixture into the grout lines. This helps you touch up the grout lines without making a mess or changing the look of the brick – so use whatever works best for you and gives you the most control!

3. After letting it dry for another 10-30 minutes, touch up as needed and distress the brick until you achieve the look you want. To distress, we cleaned our bristle brush really well and used it to scrape off the mortar in spots we wanted to the brick to show through a bit more. Alternatively, you could use damp rags for this step!

Finis!

Check out this amazing transformation.

Isn’t she a beauty? 

Okay y’all – what do you think? Want to tackle this limewash makeover yourself? Let us see your finished project!

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