Transform Your Home with a Whitewashed Stone Fireplace

before and after picture whitewash stone fireplace

There’s nothing cozier than a stone fireplace in a home. It adds so much character to a house and makes a great relaxing home feature. A stone fireplace can be a beautiful focal point in any room, but over time it may start to look dull and outdated. Whitewashing an outdated stone fireplace is a great way to freshen up your stone fireplace.

It also helps to modernize the fireplace and give it a brand new, elegant, custom look. If you’re looking for a way to refresh the look of your old stone fireplace, whitewashing is a great option. Follow along as we go through everything you need to know about how to whitewash your stone fireplace yourself. Learning how to whitewash your fireplace is a quick and easy DIY project.

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How to Whitewash a Stone Fireplace

before and after picture whitewash stone fireplace

Original Layout of the Stone Fireplace

The original look of our fireplace was nothing to brag about. The unpainted stone was the focal point of the home. The fireplace needed a facelift. The rustic stone fireplace was dark and dated and it made the room look small. Very little light penetrated into it, even on the sunniest day.

It was time to modernize the space while maintaining some of its original character. The only way to do this was by whitewashing the fireplace to bring new life back into it. The good news is that it is a very simple process that is quick and easy to do. The process required toning down the stone to give it a more modern look.

original stone fireplace

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

Ingredients and supplies used:

  • white paint – white water-based paint
  • mixing bucket – 5-gallon bucket for mixing ingredients
  • large sponge brush – for distressing
  • small brush
  • microfiber cloths and rags
  • paint stirring stick or anything that can stir the paint mixture
  • soap or white cleaning vinegar
  • painters tape – protection for floors and walls
  • drop cloth
  • water

Step 1. Preparing our Stone Fireplace

The first step in whitewashing your stone fireplace is to thoroughly clean and prepare the surface. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any loose debris, soot, or creosote buildup that may be present.

Wear gloves and a dust mask during this process to protect yourself.s. Then, wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust or debris. Finally, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step. Ensuring a clean and smooth surface will help the whitewash adhere properly and achieve the desired result.

Since the painting process is messy, it’s important to cover any surfaces that you do not want to get paint on. You can use plastic sheets, drop cloth, and painter’s tape and place them along the fireplace’s trim and base.

Step 2. Mix the ingredients

We then mixed the white paint from Benjamin Moore and water to create the watered-down paint. For every 2 cups of water, we use 2 cups of paint color (2-2 ratio or 50 percent paint / 50 percent water mix) to get the best results and the right consistency of watered-down paint. We then blended it together and created the whitewash mixture. Before applying the whitewash mixture, I would recommend wearing a dust mask and long sleeves for your own personal protection.

Step 3. Apply the whitewash mixture

First, we painted the grout lines with a paintbrush (no primer needed). We used the smaller paint brush to fill in hard-to-reach areas and edges. We then applied the whitewash mixture to small areas with a large paint brush and then blotted it with a wet rag to the stone surface – one section at a time. The stone was highly porous and quickly soaked up the paint every time.

upclose stone fireplace

We blotted and dabbed the surface and wiped off the dripping paint as we went along until we were happy with the results. We even added a second coat of the whitewash mixture and made sure that mixture reached every nook and cranny of the stone fireplace. Throughout the process, we found that it was best to do small areas at a time. However, you can always use the rag to dab at your stonework for a little more character, and if you find that the stone is highly porous, you can use the paint brush and force it into the stone. 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, it was completely dry. This was also a great time for us to go back and access how we really felt about the look.

white wash stone fireplace

Enjoy Your Newly Transformed Fireplace

And there you have it, a complete transformation of the stone fireplace. It’s amazing what a little paint and a little water can do. Whitewashing muted the stones’ natural color. The idea of whitewashing was so scary at first, but we are so glad we did it. We are so happy with the finished product because now the entire house appears much more open and light and not to mention stylish. 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.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

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 properly and lead to an uneven finish. Another mistake is using too much water when mixing the whitewash solution, as a runny consistency can affect its ability to stick well to the surface of the stones. Finally, rushing through each coat and not allowing enough drying time in between coats can also lead to a less than desirable outcome. Take your time and follow these tips to ensure your whitewashed stone fireplace looks flawless.


Now that you’ve followed all the steps to whitewash your old stone fireplace, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your newly transformed space! The fresh and bright look adds a touch of modernity while still maintaining the rustic charm of the stones. Don’t forget to add some decorative logs or candles in front of the fireplace for an extra cozy touch. This DIY project is not only cost-effective but also a fun way to give new life to an outdated feature in your home.

If you want to see how I styled my bookshelf or get ideas on how to style your built-in bookshelves, check out my previous posts on Simple Ways to Style your Bookshelves or 6 Home Decor Items to purchase used.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think of the results? Please drop a comment below to let us know what you think. Feel free also 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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Hi! I'm Tamara White