Faux German Smear/White Wash Fireplace Tutorial

If you want to give your fireplace an update without too much work, I have the perfect titular for you!

Head to my YouTube channel to watch the video or head to my Instagram page to see the before and after pictures and let me know your thoughts.

Everything you’ll need

White or Cream Latex Paint – I always buy Sherwin Williams and went with the color Bohemian Lace so I could paint above the fireplace as well.

2 inch paint brush

Mixing cup

Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze from Lowe’s

Small, Dense Sponges – These are cheap and work well.

This easy, mess-free tutorial shows you how to whitewash a brick fireplace to get the same look of a German smear or mortar wash for a beautiful bright and warm fireplace.

STEP 1:  FAUX GERMAN SMEAR WITH PAINT – FIND THE LOOK YOU WANT…

Before you get started, it’s really important that decide if you want your fireplace to be very white or just a smear.  Head to my Pinterest page for some inspiration.

STEP 2: TAKE A PHOTO AND CLEAN

Take a before picture and then dust off the old fireplace. You don’t want any particles that will stick to the paint brush.

STEP 3: MIX

For this paint mixture, combine 1 cup of glaze, and 1 cup of latex paint.  If you want a less-translucent.

Take your brush and the space between the bricks to recolor the mortar.  Paint it on without being too worried about getting the paint on the brick. 


STEP 4: PAINT

For the finish on the actual bricks, moisten one of the small sponges and dab it into the paint/glaze mixture. A SMALL DAB GOES A LONG WAY!! I suggest practicing on the side of the fireplace first then work your way to the front. If you don’t like the way one looks, you can take a wet wipe and just wipe it off.

I started with the brick I did not like and then took a step back to see which ones I wanted to do next. Let it dry and if you want to go even lighter, go for it!

Step 5: Do A Happy Dance


I love the way it brightens up the whole room and I think painting the top of the fireplace white helped too.  I didn’t want to go totally white as I like the charm of the red bricks but couldn’t stand how dark it made the room feel.


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