Reader question: What colour shall I paint my fireplace?

Q: Hi Pippa, I’m looking for some advise.

I have recently painted my wooden floor white in my spare room. I need to paint my brick fire place (as its pretty nasty looking) but I’m unsure what colour to go for since the floor is white? The walls are a neutral colour.

The property is a Georgian tenement and is about 190 years old. I would say the room will be a cross between modern and classical. The bed we have bought is a modern & stainless steel with upholstered panels at the head and foot of the bed. The window is a sash window and I have attached a swatch of the fabric for the curtains which are silk. I have attached some photos of the room. Also just to let you know the fire place wont be a working fireplace, its just for decorative reasons that we want ideas.

The colour on the walls are Dusted Damson.  I had originally thought about painting the fireplace white but now the floors are white I think it will just blend in….Thanks so much, Kirsten

A: Hi Kirsten,
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you and thanks for sending through the information, the room looks lovely and I really like your choice of paints.

After having a look at your pictures and reading about the style that you are looking to achieve I would suggest the following options. I have attached some pictures to illustrate my examples. Please ignore the interior style of the pics as they are a fireplace reference only.

1) Paint the fireplace white
I know that you considered this but were concerned about it blending into the white floor but there are ways of making sure this doesn’t happen. Once the brick work was painted white, I would look into placing a border around the outside of the hearth. I can see from the picture that you already have one that looks like metal? This way you will break up the continuation of white and create a frame around the fire. There are several border options you could opt for. I would suggest either grey or black frosted glass or tiles. These can also be laid inside the brick hearth as well as a border on the outside of the brick. Mosaic glass tiles would also look great.

2) Another option is to place mosaic tiles over the brick (copper or grey would look lovely- see attached pic) rather than painting it white. This would also go nicely with your curtain choice. It would be fairly easy and inexpensive but you would need to get a professional in to do it. I would think he would cut out the shape of the fireplace with MDF, place this over the brick and then tile over the top. As you are not using the fire, you can be fairly creative with the design.

I wouldn’t advise painting the brick any other colour as you will end up with too much going on in the room. I hope the option of white paint or tiles is something that you would consider as I think it will help to achieve your modern/classic look. If you need any more advice or help sourcing any itmes then just send an email and I should be able to help.

Hi Pippa,

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. I think I might look into the mosaic idea!

Try looking at New England Lifestyle for some inspiration on fireplaces


Meet Pippa

Pippa Jameson is an author, tv designer and interiors expert. The previous interior editor on several leading UK titles, Pippa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her 25-year career, Pippa’s unique and creative approach has won her commissions for large retail brands and celebrities to deliver exciting and engaging projects. 

She’s written the curriculum for the British College of Interior Design, produced and styled shoots for well-known brands including John Lewis, H&M & Team GB/DFS, worked as an International Stylist for leading paint brands in Asia, consulted on the launch and creative direction of major retail names including George Home and Wren, and most recently, published her first book, The Sensory Home. Pippa possesses expertise unmatched in the interior industry.