Something Different – Painted Fireplace Update or “Long Time No Post”

So as you can see by the title and the header, this site has been about guitars & gaming. However, it’s bee quite a long time since I’ve updated the blog.

Today I’m going to post some info about a project I recently completed. My wife and I have never really liked the way the brick fireplace in our house looked. It (was) a typical red brick fireplace.

fireplace1

While there was nothing really wrong with the fireplace, ever since we bought the house 2 years ago, I’ve wanted to update the look of the fireplace. I spent quite a bit of time looking at various options from whitewashing, to lime washing, to painting and glazing. I finally settled on a project I found on the Lowe’s website. It involved first painting over the brick with a lighter color, then applying a darker color with a sponge. I used flat paint for both colors. I’ve always wanted to make the fireplace look more like stone. I was kind of nervous about getting started, but once I completed the project, I regret that I didn’t do it sooner. It turned out better than I had hoped it would.

First of all, I started by washing the brick with Trisodium Phosphate. Once it dried, I also vacuumed the exterior of the fireplace to make sure there weren’t any loose pieces of brick that would get stuck to the roller while painting. Then I applied the base layer, which is called Desert Fortress.

fireplace2

When that was completed, we actually already liked it better than the original plain brick.

fireplace3

My wife really liked this look, but it was still a little too plain for me. For the next step, I cut a sponge to the size and shape of the bricks, dampened it (but not enough to drip water), and then set it in a tray that had a thin layer of the darker color. Lowe’s recommends Smoked Oyster, but we went with a slightly lighter grey for the top layer.

To apply this layer, I set the sponge on a piece of cardboard after setting it in the paint to take off excess paint. Then I pressed the sponge to the bricks with varying pressure to give the brick color a random look.

fireplace4

As you can see in the above picture, the sponge gives the brick a texture that makes the bricks look more natural than painting with a roller.

fireplace5

The lighter base color works to allow variation to the color, and to color the grout between bricks. We are both extremely happy with how it turned out.

fireplace6

The final product appears natural, with the bricks looking like they are made from stone. I’ve since painted the brown edge trim white, which has made it look even better.

I’m glad I finally completed this. I was worried for a long time that I’d just mess the fireplace up, so I put it off longer than I should have. All in all, it was actually pretty easy, and only took a couple of hours. And I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

If you’ve been considering updating your fireplace, I’d recommend giving it a try. With this method, if you do make mistakes, you can always paint over it to try again.

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