Painting the fireplace and brick wall was high on my list of priorities for the family room remodel. While I love brick, and am not generally a fan of painted brick. The way the house is setup you see that brick wall from the kitchen looking into the family room, and the size of both rooms aren’t very big. It’s also a step down, so it adds to the overall cave-like feeling of that room.
While I love color, I’m finally learning that color needs to be in my furniture and accessories, not always on the walls. I don’t mean it needs to be all white, but our house is small, so we need a light color palate to keep things open and warm.
I did some googling, and asking at Lowe’s for advice. If you can paint walls, you can definitely paint brick or your fireplace.
- spackle (to fill in cracks prior to painting)
- paint in your choice of color: I chose Valspar Low VOC flat paint in Golden Mushroom (white with some brown and yellow in it)
- a cheap paint brush: it will get ruined so don’t spend a lot
- paint rollers for brick (they are super nappy)
- sheets or a cloth to catch drips if you have carpet or floors you want to protect (I skipped this since our floors are bare)
- lots of patience!
The first step is to wipe down the brick with a lightly damp cloth. This will cause a lot of ‘brick dust’ if you have bricks like mine, so once you wipe down be prepared to vacuum up the dust.
Next you want to spackle any cracks in the brick especially if you have nail holes. Don’t worry about being too careful, brick is bumpy anyway. It’s one time it’s ok to be super messy.
While that’s drying head to the store and get your paint. Make sure to get WAY more than you think you’ll need. While the paint guy told me a gallon would cover 400 square feet (that’s more than double the sq. footage of the wall), I still needed to go back and get another gallon. Our wall is about 15 by 8 and we used about 1.5 gallons so far.
Stir the paint and add some holes for easier drainage back into the can with a nail and hammer.
Roll on the paint with your roller, knowing that you will need LOTS of paint on the roller and several coats. In this case it’s fine to kind of slop it on since brick absorbs so much paint. Make sure you flip it over (sometimes you have to flip it over with your hand since it’s so heavy with paint)
Once you are done your first coat, use your cheap brush to cut in and get spots that the roller is having trouble reaching. Here’s a quick video of how I did it. Use LOTS of paint-don’t be afraid to slop it on-the roller will move it around if need be.
You’ll need to repeat the process a few times to get a totally painted look. If you prefer a more ‘washed’ look you don’t need to be so through, but you will still need to do two coats. When I was midway through painting I called in the hubby for his opinion. We opted to fully paint it for a more clean look, but I think the ‘washed’ look could work well in a lot of homes.
I’m still not completely done-painting showed some tiny holes and nail holes that I missed. I also have a problem area with the hearth pad that’s made of concrete. It has a seam that needs to be hidden so I’m using a concrete patch product that’s made of latex and paintable. It will likely take a few tries to get it right.
Part of our makeover was to get rid of the newish (but hideous) fireplace doors. I have yet to find a screen and grate though since apparently that’s a ‘seasonal’ item according to my local stores.
We also sprung for a fireplace inspection and cleaning, since we have yet to use the fireplace since moving in 3 years ago.
But without further ado here’s the before:
And the after the paint (see the not so lovely seam?)
So what do you think?
Do you have any ideas for what kind of mantel we should install?
Did you do any DIY projects this week?