How to Plaster a Brick Fireplace

Sharing all the details on how to plaster over a brick fireplace!

Plastered brick fireplace with wood mnatel.

My parents are selling their house and I’ve been helping them with designing it for sale. Recently I shared how designed their kitchen using Ikea cabinets and how much they cost.

The other project I wanted to tackle in their home was the fireplace.

Now my goal for the fireplace wasn’t a plaster treatment that was a smooth, solid finish. I wanted to still be able to see the shape of the bricks not for the bricks to be completely covered (so not like a German Schmear).

It was hard to find what I was looking for on the internet but I finally achieved what I wanted. Here is how I did it!

fireplace Before

First this is what we started with. The brick was actually painted a couple of years ago in a grey color.

But a TV hung on this fireplace and huge holes put through the masonry so it would be very hard to just paint the brick again and be done with it.

Before photo of brick fireplace with pink painted walls.

My first attempt at filling in the grout lines was to use some sort of brick filler that was more for sealing cracks in a chimney and was painful to try to squeeze into each grout line. I knew I needed a better solution.

Brick fireplace with some patchwork done.

The Plaster Begins

After Googling about the best type of filler, I found Modern Masters Texturing Medium. I used this to fill the gaps AND to plaster over the brick. It worked perfectly!

Modern Masters Texturing Medium.

Here is what the first coat looked like on.

First coast of plaster on brick fireplace.

This is how much 1 bucket got me. I used a total of 3 buckets. Using a trowel, I pushed it on the brick making sure to push it into each groove.

Then you smooth the excess over the brick. It’s pretty straightforward even for someone like me who hasn’t done this before. The texturing medium is very soft and pliable and makes the work go by fast.

The trowel I used had rounded edges and could easily bend which made it super easy to get into each grout line. I highly recommend!

Plastering over a brick fireplace.
First full coat of plaster over a brick fireplace.

Here was the first coat done. You can see that you definitely need a second coat. The trowel makes grey scrape lines everywhere but it did a great job in filling in all the cracks while still being able to see the bricks.

Close-up of first coat of plaster over brick fireplace.

Bad Before It’s Better

The best part about this Modern Masters Texturing Medium is that you can paint over it. You can even sand it! So if I wanted a really smooth finish I could sand it to make it really smooth.

At first I tried to paint a diluted wash over the plaster to give it a lime wash feel. That didn’t work. It was too dark too. So I ended up painting over it with Behr Swiss Coffee.

Lime wash and plastering over a brick fireplace.

Here is the finished fireplace after it’s just been painted.

Painted plaster brick fireplace with Behr Swiss Coffee.

Final Result

And here it is after the final second coat!

I got Jordi from WASalvage to create this gorgeous fireplace mantel.

Beautiful plastered brick fireplace in large living room.
Salvaged barn wood mantel on fireplace.

Now I will say, it’s not how I perfectly wanted it but I know the reasons why.

Once you put the plaster on, you are to wait for a bit (like 30-1 hour maybe more) and get a damp sponge and smooth over what you just plastered. This will give it a smoother finish.

I couldn’t do this as I was traveling back and forth from my home to my parents home to do this project (travel time is 1.5 hours one way) and for me to get a coat done and then wait would have taken too long. So, in hindsight, I should have planned it a bit better to ensure a smoother finish. But, like I mentioned above, it could always be sanded for a smoother finish.

Fireplace with barnwood mantel.
Close-up of barnwood mantel on plastered brick fireplace.
Beautiful smooth barn wood mantel on white fireplace.
Salvaged barn wood mantel on fireplace.
White plastered fireplaced with barnwood mantel.

All in all, I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Some Other Real Life Examples

Angela Rose Home did an amazing job installing a brick wall veneer then plastering it. Be sure to check out her tutorial.

Angela Home Rose plastered brick wall.
via Angela Home Rose

Jen from Noting Grace filled in the grout lines and the worm lines in her brick. She has a detailed tutorial on her blog.

Noting Grace plastered fireplace step one.
via Noting Grace

Jen from Noting Grace also shares a full tutorial on the Romabio website about how she plastered with Romabio products.

Noting Grace plastered brick fireplace.
via Romabio

I hope this was helpful in creating your own plastered brick fireplace. Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments below!

Shop The Plaster

Make sure to pin it for later!

How to Plaster Over a Brick Fireplace.

Click in case you missed:

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3 Comments

  1. The fireplace looks so much better, and I’m sure you’re adding a lot of value to your parents’ home! Great tutorial!

  2. The vents. My fireplace has the vents and I do not know what they are for. They have metal vents on the bottom left and right, a light switch that turns on what I believe is some form of heatilator. My house was built in the 70s and apparently those were all the rage. BUT! The kicker is, it also has a craft stove insert that the cord comes out and plugs into an outlet next to the fireplace. What on Earth is this! Wish I knew. I hate the vents. They are directly where a mantel would go (no I don’t have one, just the top of the craft stove) this house is a mess. Your parents fireplace (or old fireplace now) is the only one I have found that has those. I have zero idea what they are for.

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