Do you have a project in your house that you have been mulling over in your mind for ages? You know, the one that haunts your dreams and that you are absolutely sure is the perfect choice for your home, but you just can’t seem to get yourself to take the first step in getting it accomplished.
Whew! I’m so glad I’m not the only one!
Updating our fireplace has been the project swimming around in my head for almost two years now. Specifically, painting it.
I know, I know . . . there are those who think that painting perfectly good brick is sacrilege. I am definitely not one of those people! However, I let those people get into my head and it kept me stuck in indecision over getting started on the painted fireplace that I longed for.
But, I digress. Let’s start where all good tales of magic and wonder begin . . . .
Once upon a time, there was a lovely brick fireplace that added warmth and architectural beauty to the living room of a sweet cottage by a creek. While the bricks were very pleasing shades of maroon and purplish tones, over time the people who dwelled in the cottage by the creek came to feel that the dark brick structure created a heaviness in the atmosphere of the room. Since this was not at all the atmosphere that was desired, it was clear that steps must be taken to dispell the darkness.
In other words, I got tired of the dark color and wanted to liven the place up a bit!
As you can see, there is nothing wrong with the original color. However, it was a challenge to decorate the hearth with pieces that would show up against the dark brick. Because the fireplace has such a large presence in the room, it looked dull and barren if I left the hearth unadorned.
When we painted the walls in my favorite tone of blue (Indigo by Sherwin Williams), the fireplace seemed to totally disappear against the wall until one’s eye traveled up to the mantle. The texture of the brick and the arched face totally faded away. It was desperately in need of a facelift!
We all know that paint is one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to spruce up any element in your home and I love the look of a painted fireplace! After researching the best method for undertaking the job, I chatted it over with the Wildman who totally approved of the plan.
That’s when it happened! I totally got stuck! Voices from my past started playing in my head telling me that painting perfectly good brick was an abomination that nobody in their right mind would even dare to contemplate. These voices from my early adulthood who didn’t understand my creative bent did quite an effective job of clipping my imaginative decorating tendencies. While on one hand, I understood that these voices would never be able to grasp my creative vision, I also respected their take on the fact that my home was a huge investment and I had to think of things like resale value when making decisions that could not easily be changed.
Guess what! I have now lived in the cottage by the creek for 30 years and came to the conclusion many years ago that it should be a reflection of my family and what makes us comfortable. Ironically, even though I operate in that truth 99.9% of the time, painting the fireplace brought back all of the old voices and kept me stuck in indecision.
I am happy to report that after a long, gray winter and a spring season dominated by cloudy, rainy days, I couldn’t stand the darkness on that side of the room any longer! So I headed to the hardware store, picked up my supplies and set about the business of giving the cottage by the creek a painted fireplace to rival all others!
How To DIY Your Very Own Painted Fireplace
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Paint Roller With 3/4″ Cover
Step 1) Clean the brick. I brushed mine down with a whisk broom and then vacuumed afterward.
Step 2) Tape off where necessary to keep paint from getting on walls or woodwork.
Step 3) Protect surrounding floor. Since the living room floor is carpeted I chose to use Carpet Sheild self-adhesive film. This stuff is super handy to have around! It is what realtors use for open houses to protect the carpeting. It can actually be tucked down between your carpet and the fireplace. Warning: rolling it out by oneself is really hard so nab someone to help you get it in place. If you have hard flooring a painter’s drop cloth should suffice.
Step 4) Prime the brick using a brush to cut in around the edges. I also used the plastic paint trim guide to press along the floor to get as far down as possible on the fireplace without getting tons of paint on the plastic that was protecting the carpet. Once the edges were finished I went back with a 3/4 inch paint roller to fill in the flat surfaces. I used a full quart of KILZ Premium primer which I chose because it is water-based and low VOC. The 3/4 inch roller cover will give good coverage including mortar lines, but if you have bricks that are heavily textured like mine or have very deep mortar lines, keep the brush handy to fill in where the roller can’t reach.
This is where I feel I should introduce my new favorite character that I am sure will have a role in all of my painting stories in the future! If you have small hands like I do that makes getting roller covers on and off really difficult, you must meet my new favorite paint roller!
This is the Shur-Line Easy Release Frame and that little orange lever on the frame locks in place to secure the roller cover for painting, then lifts to release the cover. It literally slides right of quick as a wink! No using a random tool to push the roller cover off from the back. No pulling and tugging or using a rubber glove to try to get the cover off only to have paint fly everywhere! AMAZING!
Step 5) After letting the primer dry it is time to paint! Yay! I followed the same procedure as above using Magnolia Home Trim and Cabinetry semi-gloss paint in True White. My local hardware store carries a small collection of Magnolia Home paints. You can use the store locator to find a store in your area or, if there is not one, you can order directly from the Magnolia website. The paint applied like silk and was super easy to work with.
And that, my friends, is how the dark and dreary fireplace above transformed into the bright and cheery painted fireplace that dreams are made of!!!
I am wild about how the new color makes wormhole detail pop!
The fireplace doors and heatilator grills also got a spruce with a fresh coat of black high heat spray paint.
The architectural elements actually stand out now!
And I can’t even begin to tell you how much brighter the room feels!
Best of all . . . it makes the Wildman and I smile! Isn’t that what a house should do?
So, sweet friends, the moral of this happy tale of the painted fireplace is to put the nagging voices that don’t see your vision out of your head! Step boldly into making your home into a comfy, cozy, happy place for you and your family to live in together happily ever after!
What are you waiting for? Just pick up the paint brush already!!!
Hugs ’til next time!