If you’re thinking a bold, colorfully painted brick fireplace may be just the focal point your room needs but are afraid to take the painting plunge, fear not. This painting project is one that is well worth the risk!
You guys, I’m SO excited about today’s post that I’m posting it early! If you follow along with me, you’ll know I’m currently smack-dab in the middle of the $100 Room Challenge, hosted by the talented Erin of Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry! So, it’s week four and I’m knee deep in sawdust and drills, trying to get my shelving unit finished in time! So far I’ve shared my plan, made a hairpin legged coffee table for less than $40, and came up with a new-to-me end table solution, leaving me with a to-do list with fewer things checked off than I’d like. However, we’re in the home stretch. And then, I decided to make things interesting by adding something to my list rather than subtracting – how about a painted brick fireplace makeover!
I knew when I started the living room that I’d need to do something with the painted brick fireplace.
The color and texture I’d painted years before just didn’t gel with the new design, and it was bugging me. It was time for something new, and I was thinking bold, blue and beautiful! At least until I started thinking about it.
Do you ever have a tough time trusting your instincts? I do, ALL the time. When it comes to decorating, I love color and drama. I know this about myself, and I my “design self.” So, why oh why, do I sometimes go in the complete opposite direction with simple and neutral and ‘safe’ design choices? Why?
When I decided to paint the fireplace, my first thought was to go big (and bold) or to go home. Then, I decided something light, something safe and something “grown-up” would give me more flexibility; sophisticated gray tones. I painted the entire fireplace front, but when I stood back and looked at it, it didn’t give me that feeling of glee I get when I walk into a room that is my idea of perfect. The gray was just okay – it had little impact on me at all, which is the exact opposite of what I wanted it to do. I wanted the fireplace to pop and immediately draw your eye, but instead, the feature just faded into the background.
TAKING A CHANCE
For a day or so, I just thought about what to do. My first idea to go bold and bright, cementing the fireplace as the focal point of the room – I was nervous that it wouldn’t work.
Finally, after stewing about it, I just went ahead and painted a section of bricks to see how it would look. That small part saturated with color.. it was something! Something colorful and beautiful and so not like anything I’ve seen.
The next thing I knew, I’d painted my brick fireplace blue. Yes, BLUE, and I LOVE IT! It makes me smile every time I walk in the room, and I’m so glad I followed my instincts. Not only is the fireplace more updated, but it’s also the focal point I was looking for, AND it’s the anchor that brings everything else together. I get this might not be everyone’s idea of perfect, but luckily I’m the only one who has to live here – and it makes my heart pitter-pat every time I see it!
For those of you thinking of taking your brick fireplace to a bolder place, here’s how I did it!
How-to: Painted Brick Fireplace
- Scrub brush
- TSP or Heavy-duty cleaner
- Rubber Gloves
- Green Painters tape
- Zinsser Shellac Primer
- Flat Indoor latex paint – I used Behr’s “Compass Blue” – A sample size was the perfect amount!
- High-nap paint roller for textured surfaces
- Small paintbrush for filling in mortar lines and a 1″ paintbrush for the rest
- Heat resistant spray paint, Black (to 200 degrees F)
What you’ll do:
Before you start, give the brick a thorough cleaning with TSP or another non-sudsing household cleaner to ensure your paint adheres properly. Rinse and let dry. Tape off the edges for a clean look.
Use the spray paint on the inside of the fireplace. Dry.
I had already painted my fireplace so was able to skip priming. If your fireplace is unpainted, apply an oil-based primer, with a brush or paint roller. If using a roller, you’ll want one with a high nap for rough surfaces. Consider using the cheapest one you can find – brick is not kind to paintbrushes or rollers. Apply following the instructions on the paint can. Dry.
Apply your paint. It is easiest to use the small paint brush to cover the mortar lines and edges, then to go back with a 1″ brush to fill in. I needed one full coat of paint with a second touch-up coat. Behr paint is my FAVORITE for that reason – it has excellent almost one-coat coverage!
Remove your painter’s tape and enjoy the new look of your fireplace!
Whether you’re a seasoned decorator or home design is new to you, be bold with your choices. Take risks with paint – paint isn’t expensive or permanent, and it doesn’t require a tremendous amount of effort to apply – even on a fireplace! Take a chance on bringing your vision to life. Be fearless. What you will end up with is a home design that will be entirely you, with features that will make your heart pitter-pat every time you walk by!
Let’s take a quick look at our list of things to finish and our budget!
Update the coffee table Give the lamps a make-over Replace the end tables
- Replace the large painting over the sofa with something more contemporary
- “Build-in” the shelving
- Update or add new accents and artwork throughout the room
Paint the fireplace!
Still the same. Again, I had everything I needed – I LOVE it when that happens!
|Hairpin Legs for table||$30|
Remember, I’ll be back next week with another update – only two weeks to go! Need a refresher on where we started? Check here!
Not up for DIY?
Be sure to check out the other participants of this month’s $100 Room Challenge. There is some serious talent in this group!