A Fresh Look With a Brick Fireplace Makeover

Like everything else in your home, a brick fireplace needs to be maintained. Since it is generally the focal point of your room, when it gets grimi or dirty it is likely to be very noticeable. So it is important to keep your fireplace looking crisp and clean so your room will always look its best. You can clean your fireplace, and if you have an old brick bike on your fireplace, you may want to update its look as well.

Assess the Firebox
If your fireplace has been properly maintained, and the bricks are just a little grimi, then you can give it a good cleaning before you decide what else you may want to do with it. To clean your fireplace, begin by giving it a good sweeping. Remove all of the ashes, and you then give the firebox a good scrubbing. Even after all of your elbow grease you may not be able to get all of the black soot marks off of the firebox walls. If this is the case, you may wish to simply paint the firebox a uniform black with heat resistant black paint that is designed just for this purpose. By making the entire area the same color, even though it is black, it looks planned, not grimi.

Assess the Face
After cleaning the inside of the fireplace, you can turn your attention to the outside of the fireplace. Get your vacuum clean out and start by giving the whole area a good vacuuming. Use a soft sweeper brush to clean out all of the little nooks and crannies in the brick façade, and then take a critical look at it. If it still looks a little grimi then you will want to give all of the brick and grout a good scrubbing with a solution made of one cup of plain apple cider vinegar and a one half gallon of warm water. Use a stiff scrub brush to scrub the area. You want to work in a single, small area at a time. Give the solution a few minutes to work on the area after scrubbing, and then use a towel to sop up any remaining moisture. If your brick looks clean, then move on to the next area, however if it is still a little grimi, then you will want to retreat the area with your vinegar mixture. If the surface is specifically grimi, you may have to repeat the process several times. As your vinegar water becomes discolored, make a fresh batch and continue cleaning. After scrubbing the entire surface of your fireplace, you can go over it with clean water for a final rinsing.

Sometimes Paint Helps
If you have scrubbed and scrubbed, and still your bricks are looking a little dingy, you may want to consider painting your brick to give the whole area a fresh look. If you are thinking of painting a good time to do it right after you have cleaned the area and after it has had a chance to completely dry. Mask of any area that you do not want to paint, and begin with a thin layer of high quality masonry primer. Use a plush roller to make sure that you get full coverage, and after you primer layer is completely dry, you can paint on you latex color. Since bricks are a rough and porous surface, you may need to apply several coats of paint to get good, even coverage.