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Instead of cleaning or painting brick — stain your brick fireplace with concrete stain

Fireplace before staining

Fireplace after staining

When we recently talked about how to mask the pinkish pavers that comprise Jane’s driveway, Sarah commented on the potential to stain them, and pointed out that she had recently used masonry stain to recolor the pinkish bricks of her fireplace. She said:

I’ve used exterior masonry stain in our house to cover our pink/purple brick fireplace (I’m with you on the pink bricks!). I blogged about it here. We are super happy with it and have gotten tons of compliments on it. I think a dark grey/charcoal would be a great look with your house’s grey siding and should cover the pink well. You can get it in about 20 different colours and it’s only about $30/can at Home Depot/Rona…

I checked with the pros over at Rust-Oleum, makers of a Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain about using this solution (literally!) on fireplace bricks, and they said, yup, this use of their concrete stain is AOK:

Good morning Pam,

I have an answer to your question about using Rust-Oleum Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain on fireplace bricks. Our brand manager for Concrete Stain said the stain can be used on fireplace bricks. She suggests for the best results, apply it with a trigger spray, dry brush, sponge or stippling. Also consider applying a second accent color to provide additional visual interest. These simple techniques are covered near the end of the instructional video you posted on Retro Renovation. However, if any of your readers have fireplaces with dark-colored brick, they may not be able to achieve a noticeable difference by staining.

Hope we’ve answered your questions. – Susan

Note, Sarah says the masonry stain that she used has a bit of gloss to it. This may not be desirable to some folks. Perhaps there is a matte finish concrete stain? I will ask Rust-Oleum what they know.

Update: I heard back from Rust-Oleum in less than 24 hours. Here is what they said about the finish of their product — note, I am not sure which brand concrete stain Sarah and her husband used, there are several companies that make this. Regarding sheen, Rust-O said:

 

Hi Pam,
Here’s the answer to your question about the sheen of Rust-Oleum Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain from our brand management team:

Depending on the porosity of the surface and how much stain is applied, the sheen could range from matte to semi-gloss. A matte finish is the usual and expected result when it’s applied correctly over porous concrete. We would expect that with a light touch and light application, the sheen would be matte when applied to fireplace brick as well. However, if multiple layers or thick coats are applied, there is an increased chance of developing some gloss since the stain can no longer soak into the brick, but rather layer on top of it.

Please let us know if you or your readers have additional questions. Love the look of the stained brick fireplace in your post. Dramatic difference.

Yes: Dramatic difference — for $30 and some sweat equity. Thank you, Sarah. Thank you, Rust-Oleum.

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  1. Dee says:

    Hello I have a red brick inside chimney that previous owners had covered it with glue and wallpaper its very old and I have tried almost everything to get the glue off and its not working how can if anyway besides covering it up with something and if that’s the case what can I cover it with? Its in the kitchen the kitchen is country cottage with white cabinets and copper back splash and medium light laminate floor. any suggestions? Thank you

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Dee, perhaps talk to a mason and tile over it all? Or recover with thin brick? Note, consult with a professional considering it’s a chimney and there may be safety considerations to talk into account.

  2. Lisa says:

    This thread is exactly what I’ve been looking for! We have lots of pink brick on the exterior of our home. It’s in Minnesota. Would prefer something brown. Would this product work for this purpose? What would best hide the pink? Rustoleum?

  3. Roxanne says:

    I used spray paint to paint my burglar bars that is on my window, but some of the spray paint got on my exterior brick and the spray paint that I use is black, but will a concrete stain cover the spray paint or should I buy something else to remove the spray paint

  4. Brenda says:

    Hello all,

    The fireplace in my new home has bright red bricks with almost white mortar. The bricks are not smooth but quite textured.

    Would the stain work on them?

    This gives me great hope as the living room fireplace chimney is also seen in the kitchen and in the upstairs hallway as well. I was completely flummoxed on how to decorate with so much brick but this article gives me hope.

    Thanks – Brenda

  5. Carrie says:

    I have this horrid brown brick in little sections on my newly purchased 1980s tri-level home…we are residing the house (which is an equally as ugly brown wood siding! lol) a tan/light beige color and want to do something with the brick. Deffinately dont want to paint for the fear of it looking painted…think it is possible to stain the ugly brown to more of a true brick red color?

  6. s says:

    I have painted my red fireplace bricks an off-white/cream color. I was going to do the same with my concrete slab hearth. However, I think I would like to stain it now. Do you think it probably has some sort of seal on it that would interfere with staining it? (I need it to be as labor-less as possible, since I am disabled–but doing the work myself).

    Would Rust-Oleum stain products work?

    Thank you so much.
    s

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