Like most of you, probably, I just love a good before and after. And if I get to be part of making it happen, all the better!
Today’s transformation is a fireplace in the living room of a very dated, neglected 1970s fixer upper that I had the opportunity to help design/remodel this past year.
Here are the details:
Brick Fireplace Makeover.
There wasn’t a very large budget for this remodel, so our first thought for transforming the sad-looking, stained fireplace brick was to paint it.
Once we realized just how coarse and textured the brick was, though, we were wondering if it could really work. Or would it end up looking like a DIY paint project gone really wrong?
We also seriously considered completely covering the fireplace in barn wood, which would have looked great once the dark paneling and stained carpet were out of the way.
We were pretty excited about it, but, after getting conflicting opinions on how close the wood could be to the firebox (and realizing it would cost substantially more) we decided that this brick fireplace makeover would be done with paint.
Worst case scenario, the whole thing might look horrible, in which case we could just cover it with barn wood anyway.
Painting the brick.
The paint we chose for this makeover had a lot more to do with finding a color we loved than with the brand or paint itself. But, in retrospect, I will say that I’m very happy that we ended up with the paint that we did. We chose Sherwin Williams Super Paint in 7019 Gauntlet Gray and it worked amazingly well!
A really nice, thick paint and primer in one and, the best part? IT COVERED IN ONE COAT. Unbelievable, but true.
After a little trial and error, we figured out a technique that seemed to work best.
We generously “painted” a small section of brick with a regular paint brush first. (In this case, generously painting could best be described as globbing and wiping the paint on as thick as we could with a regular paint brush without it dripping back off.)
The picture below was taken when I was just starting to figure out what we needed to do. The thicker glob of paint you see on the lower portion of the picture was about how thick it needed to be applied everywhere prior to pouncing. (Don’t you love all of these technical painting terms? :-) )
Once we finished “painting a section”, we went back with a larger thick bristled brush (shown below) and pounced the paint into the brick until it was completely covered.
As you can see, it was very hard on the brush, (and it was time consuming) but it worked. We went through at least 2, maybe 3?, of the thick bristle brushes for one coat.
Since we assumed we would have to paint a minimum of 2 coats to completely cover the brick, we were very pleasantly surprised at how well this paint covered using our technique.
Firebox, Mantel and Vents.
The fireplace was originally wood burning, but there were some issues in the flue/chimney that needed to be fixed to allow it to remain that way. We decided the money would be better spent on a gas fireplace insert instead, and it really helped with the overall look as well.
The mantel was small and had seen better days, and we were excited to stumble upon a bargain reclaimed wooden beam to use instead. Love the character it adds!
And, since the vents would have been pretty much impossible to remove, we just painted them knowing that we could strategically place accessories to cover them.
Fun might be a stretch to describe the process of our brick fireplace makeover, but it was definitely gratifying to see it transforming before our eyes as we painted. Especially once we realized it was going to cover in one coat!
And we were very happy with the end result.
Proof that sometimes it pays to try that DIY project you’re considering.
If it doesn’t work out, you can always go to Plan B. And if it does work out? Nice!
Brick Fireplace Makeover
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