There’s nothing warmer and cozier than a stone fireplace. It adds character to a home and makes a great relaxing house feature. A stone fireplace can be a beautiful focal point in any room, but over time it can lose its lust and appeal.

Whitewashing an outdated stone fireplace is an excellent way to freshen it up. It also helps to modernize the fireplace and give it a new, elegant, yet custom look.

So, if you’re looking for a way to refresh your old stone fireplace, whitewashing is the way to go. Follow along as I show you how to whitewash a stone fireplace with this quick and easy DIY guide.

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Stone Fireplace Before Makeover

The original fireplace of our home did not leave much to be desired – and it desperately needed a facelift. The rustic stone fireplace was the focal point of the home, but it was dark and dated.

It made the room look small. And even on the sunniest days, very little light beamed in. It was time to modernize the fireplace! Whitewashing the fireplace was the best solution to give it new life.

old stone fireplace

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Whitewash Stone Fireplace

Supplies and Materials

Step 1. Clean and Prep the Stone Fireplace

The first step in whitewashing your stone fireplace is to clean and prep it to be painted. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any loose debris, soot, or gunk buildup that may be present. Then wipe the surface with a damp cloth and soapy water to remove any remaining dust, dirt and debris.

Cover up any surface that you don’t want to get pain on by placing the drop cloth around the base of the fireplace, and use painter’s tape along the trim.

A clean and smooth surface will help the whitewash solution adhere to the stone fireplace.

Step 2. Mix the Ingredients

Mix the white paint and water to create the watered-down solution. For every 2 cups of water, use 2 cups of paint (50 percent paint / 50 percent water mix). This should result in the right consistency of watered-down paint. Stir the paint and water to create your whitewash mixture.

Step 3. Apply the Whitewash Mixture

Apply the whitewash mixture with the paintbrush and then blot it with a wet rag  – one section at a time. Since the stone is highly porous, it will quickly soak up the paint. If you find that the paint is not taking to the stone, use your paintbrush to force the paint into the stone. Make sure that the mixture reaches every nook and cranny of the stone fireplace.

upclose fireplace view

Add a second coat of the whitewash mixture if necessary. You can layer the paint color based on how white you want the fireplace to be (the more paint, the bolder the color). Apply lightly for a subtle look and more heavily for a more opaque look.

Step 4 – Let it Dry

Lastly, just let it dry. The drying process is relatively quick. Within a couple of hours, your fireplace should be ready.

front view stone fireplace

It’s amazing what a little paint and a little water can do. Whitewashing muted the stones’ natural color and brightened the space.

Whitewash stone fireplace sideview

The entire house appears much more open and light. The finish makes it seem more modern and adds a bit more flair.

before and after picture whitewash stone fireplace

What is Whitewash?

Whitewashing is a centuries-old technique that involves covering traditional brick or stone with a white color scheme. Whitewashing can be done on any porous surface. Stone, concrete, or brick makes the best porous surface. It is a feature that can be done indoors and outdoors.

Whitewashing is a painting process that involves water-based paint that is mixed with water. Basically, it is watered-down paint. This water-down paint is then applied to the porous surface as a very thin layer of paint. Whitewashing provides a permanent finish with a brighter and smoother finish that can last the test of time. The same whitewashing process can be applied to both stone and porous brick.

Common Mistakes When Whitewashing

Do not skip steps – When whitewashing your stone fireplace, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can ruin the final look. One of the biggest mistakes is not properly cleaning the stones before applying the whitewash. Any dirt, soot, or grime on the stones can prevent the whitewash from adhering correctly and lead to an uneven finish.

Using too much water – Using too much water when mixing the whitewash solution can create runny consistency that can affect the mixture’s ability to stick well to the surface of the stones.

Allow enough time to dry – Take your time and follow these tips to ensure your whitewashed stone fireplace looks flawless.



Other paint ideas you might like:


I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think of the results? Please leave a comment below to let us know what you think. Feel free to follow me on my social media pages – Pinterest and Instagram or subscribe to my mailing list for other design inspiration and home decor ideas.

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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