Home Improvement

How to Paint a Dated Rock Fireplace

July 31, 2019
Painting a 1970s rock fireplace

We painted our rock fireplace! I am so glad that I overcame my fear of such a permanent change because it was super simple and brightened up the room so much. This dated fireplace is now an awesome feature wall in our kids playroom.


Fireplace Before

The large rocks made the room feel dated and dark. There was even moss growing on them which caused a mess when you rubbed up against it.


How to Paint a Rock Fireplace

Here is how we updated this fireplace in just 1 day.

Materials Needed

  • Wire brush
  • Bucket
  • TSP
  • Kilz
  • Interior paint
  • Thick paint roller cover
  • Thick, old paint brushes

Step 1: Clean the rocks with a wire brush

Make sure you wear protective glasses and a mask while brushing off the loose dirt and moss.

Step 2: Clean the rocks with TSP

I wore gloves and used a sponge to wipe down the wall with TSP and then put a few fans on it to dry. My son, Thomas, is always a big helper with home projects and asked to join in on the fun!

My son, Thomas, cleaning the rock wall with TSP to prepare for the paint.

Step 3: Paint the wall with Kilz

Next we painted the wall with KILZ to seal the rocks and provide a base for our wall color. We used a thick roller cover and fat, old paintbrushes to get in the cracks of the rocks.

Thomas and Chris painting the rock wall with Kilz.
Thomas is always right by our side with home projects!

I am so lucky to have such a hard working family. We spent our entire Sunday working on this wall and we all had so much fun transforming this 1970’s eyesore into a bright fun wall feature.

How to paint a rock fireplace

Step 4: Paint the wall

Choose the paint color you desire and paint the wall like you would do for any other type of wall! We used standard interior wall paint. We carried the same color on the walls (Sherwin Williams Eider White) of the room onto the fireplace. I wanted the lower half of the fireplace to pop so I chose a dark gray paint color.

Painting the rock fireplace with my mom.

Fireplace After

That was all it took to completely transform this space! It modernized the room and also brightened it up immensely.

The painted rock fireplace.
How to paint a rock fireplace

My advice to you is to take that leap of faith! If you have always wanted to paint a fireplace (brick or rock) that you felt was dark and dated, just got for it! I bet you won’t regret it. And for me, this was one of the best birthday presents I could get!

Check out the full playroom makeover here.

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