For all you Fixer Upper fans out there…this is a classic Joanna Gaines move, and it’s one I was excited to try for myself. This fireplace was in dire need of an update, so I thought I would try my hand at freshening it up a bit.

Shopping List

  1. Primer: water-based, stain blocking
  2. Paint
  3. Mortar (I used premixed for easier application)
  4. Paintbrush
  5. Putty knife, trowel, or plastic knife
  6. Spray bottle with water
  7. Painter’s tape
  8. Painter’s plastic


Setup your space. You will want to tape off the area around the fireplace so that you make sure to keep nice sharp edging. Also, put down painter’s plastic on the floor around the fireplace so you don’t damage the floor and have even more work of cleaning up the spilled paint later.


Prep the fireplace. Because our fireplace had large gaps in it, I wanted to scrape out some of the crumbly bits before filling them with mortar. Use a putty knife to scrape out the old mortar (just scrape until you hit solid areas that don’t need to be removed), then vacuum out all of the holes and over the fireplace to make sure there isn’t any dust that will get in the way of your paint job.


Apply mortar. As you go, spray a bit of water on the area before you apply the mortar. This helps it stick better to the brick since the dusty surface doesn’t encourage adhesion from the mortar. I started using a putty knife but found it too big for this purpose. A simple plastic knife did the trick just fine, and it was small enough to fit between the cracks. *make sure you follow the directions for allowing the mortar to dry before moving on to Step 4.


Apply primer. It’s important that you apply primer before painting the fireplace since there are a lot of stains and discoloration that would show through if you only applied paint. Make sure you apply a thick coat of primer and get in between all of the holes and cracks. The more you do now, the easier your paint job will be. *check for any stains that come through after the primer has dried…you will want to go over these again with primer to make sure they’re fully covered before applying paint.


Apply paint.¬†Even though this is probably the biggest step you think of for this project, it’s actually the easiest part of the whole task. Just apply a good coat of paint to the entire fireplace, and you’re done! *Make sure to clean up your paint drips as soon as you see them

Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your cozy fire…

Thanks for sharing Pursuit of Craftsmanship!
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