Monday, November 21, 2011

Painting a brick fire place

The decision to paint a fireplace can be a tough one.  Clearly if you have a fireplace that just sits there the answer is easy. If you use your fireplace regularly then you may question if you can paint it. The answer to both is GO forth and paint it if you don't find it attractive.  Ours was hideous.  It was sucking the life out of the living room and it really is the focal point of the room.   Here is the after shot:


One afternoon after sitting there staring at it, I decided to put on my gloves and goggles, get out the T.S.P. (if you haven't heard of T.S.P. it's a great cleaner, but be forewarned that it will strip things bare.)  I added some T.S.P. to a large bucket and filled it with warm water. Then I got out my scrub brush and began scrubbing away. I thought maybe by scrubbing off all the black spots it would help the fireplace look better. It still did not. So I began researching how to paint a brick fireplace.  What I learned was that first painting it with an oil based primer would really fill in the holes and let the paint adhere well.  So I got out my oil based primer and began painting. Oh, first you should open up all of your windows and run a fan in the room. Make sure the pets and kids are out of the house too. It really does stink.  Once the primer dries thoroughly (I usually wait an entire 24 hours) it was now time for 2 coats of an Interior semi-gloss white latex paint.  You can use any high quality paint. Make sure you're applying it with a high quality brush. You can also use a foam roller for the front of the brick but only a brush is going to get between the bricks.  


Once everything was cured, I placed our foam fireplace pad back on the seat part, because with three small children around you can't be too careful. There are some pretty sharp corners. I also found that folding up a quilt for underneath it has helped too.


And here is our fireplace in all it's 1989 glory, complete with gold screen. Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice? We love the way the fireplace looks now and since it's only painted on the front and not the inside, it's still fully functional. But again with three small kids, we're unlikely to use it unless our power goes out. You can also paint the inside of your fireplace using a high heat paint, if the inside needs some love as well.


This was an easy makeover and cost us nothing. Now if you're unhappy with your fireplace or brick wall for that matter, go forth and paint it.  The results are tremendous.

xo
Cathleen

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