This Page

has been moved to new address

Painting Brick Fireplace - From White to Beautiful Brownstone

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Pretty Handy Girl: Painting Brick Fireplace - From White to Beautiful Brownstone

Monday, August 16, 2010

Painting Brick Fireplace - From White to Beautiful Brownstone

This is the first in a five part series on renovating our living room:

1. Faux painting brick over a previously painted white brick fireplace (this post)
2. Lightening up a room in 5 steps
3. Painting decorative graphics on a wall
4. Preparing to Install Antique Heart Pine Floors (and living to tell about it!)
5. Installing Heart Pine Floors and the Final Reveal

I know the trend lately is to paint fireplace brick white. Especially if the brick is an ugly bright red or some other ugly color. I'm pretty sure that is why our fireplace was painted in the first place.

Before Shot

But, the fact that our fireplace, mantle and the built-in bookshelves on both sides of our fireplace are white, made for an overwhelming amount of white on that one wall. I thought about painting the mantle, but only briefly. I really wanted the warmth and contrast of bricks to set off all the white in our living room.

I stumbled across a few websites showing painted brick here and here. Then I thought, "If someone can do it, then there is a 95% chance that I can do it too!"

I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but in the end I am amazed by how real it looks. And, how easy it was to do! The true test came when I fooled the builder of our house (he has lived on our street for over 30 years) into thinking I had stripped the paint off the bricks! Sweet success.

This is a relatively easy project. It took several hours, but can be done in sections.

Materials Needed:
TSP cleaner
Scrub brush for use with TSP cleaner
Drop cloth
Newspapers
Painters Tape
Paint Roller and Tray
Stiff 2" paint brush
Car wash sponge or large 6" x 3" sized sponge
Spray bottle with water
7 paper plates
Rags for clean Up
Acrylic Paint (see below for colors)

Before you do anything, buy some TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) cleaner at the hardware store and follow the directions to clean your brick. Be forewarned that you may actually like the color of your bricks once they are clean and dry! If you still hate the color, proceed...

After working up a test board by playing with several color combinations, I chose a warm brown brick color. I also tweaked my mortar color before painting it on my fireplace.



I covered the mantle and bookcases by taping newspapers to them. Then, covered the floor with a drop cloth.

I mixed up a small container of my mortar color. I used some leftover latex satin taupe paint from our other house and added some black and a little dark brown to achieve the perfect mortar color.

My color looks like this warm gray cement color:
I painted all the mortar areas between the bricks with a 2" paint brush.

As the mortar color dried, I mixed up a bucket of my base color for the bricks. Then poured it into a paint tray.

Then, I laid out my seven paper plates and filled the first one with a deep chocolate oops paint (Valspar Latex Eggshell Chestnut).

And poured a half dollar size of the following colors onto the other plates (one color per plate).



I used a paint roller to roll the base color onto small 3' x 3' sections of my fireplace. (Don't worry if the paint doesn't soak into all the grooves. Some of the white showing through made my bricks look old and rustic.)

While the base color was still wet, I covered my sponge with the Chestnut color. Then dipped the sponge into one or two of the brick tint colors. I sponged one brick at a time using the same color tints sporadically around the wall. Keeping the brick colors varied and random make them look real!


When the sponge needed to be reloaded with paint, I began with the chestnut color first, then added one or two new color tints to the sponge. You will have to refill the paper plates as you use up the paint.

I kept working in small sections, to be able to work while the base color was still wet (use the spray bottle of water to lightly wet the bricks if it dries too quick).


The best part was that if I didn't like a color, I could go back over it and try a different tint. Notice how I randomly dispersed the darker brown bricks. This is key to having a realistic look.


On the hearth I had to press more gently with the sponge since the mortar lines on our hearth were almost level with the bricks. I kept a wet rag near by to wipe up any wandering brick paint.

Close up picture of the bricks.
Notice how the white specks showing through really make the bricks
look like they are re-claimed and rustic.

After Picture

Daylight picture after decorated for the holidays.

I can't believe what a huge difference painting the bricks made in our living room. It warmed up the space and actually made our fireplace recede into the room. Let's take one more look at the before and after:


Side note: The latex and acrylic paint has held up great (even after several fires using our gas logs.)  If you need to paint the bricks inside the firebox, you will need to use paint that is heat tolerant.

And for those wondering how long this took. Including the prep work (cleaning, taping, mixing colors) it took about 5 hours total. Not too bad since I'm a night owl and could watch DIY network while painting!

Be careful not to put anything heavy on the hearth for a few weeks while the paint hardens.

Next up in the series: 5 Ways to Lighten up a Dark Room. 
Followed by: Painting Decorative Graphics on Your Wall.
And I saved the best for last (coming soon): Installing Antique Reclaimed Heart Pine Flooring

Labels: , , , ,

56 Comments:

At August 16, 2010 at 9:53 AM , Blogger The Quilt Shoppe said...

Wow! That is amazing! It looks so warm and "homey" now. A time consuming process, yes, but the end result is definitely worth it.

Thanks for sharing :)

 
At August 16, 2010 at 9:57 AM , Blogger The Pennington Point said...

Wow! I am normally a big fan of painting bricks to take away the "brick" look. But since you were able to get exactly the color you wanted, this looks wonderful! I am amazed. Lisa~

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM , Blogger Ellen said...

Beautiful!

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:13 AM , Blogger Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

That is amazing! You do awesome stuff. :)

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Momma Rhyne said...

Love the "back to the original". I looks so cozy!! Great work.

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Meg said...

Wow, what a difference. This is great. You must have a lot of patience to do that on every single brick! ;) Great job!

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:34 AM , Blogger Creative Decor by Brooke said...

That really does look real. Amazing.
Brooke

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:36 AM , Blogger Sandra {sawdust and paper scraps} said...

I'm amazed that you took real brick that had been painted white and made them look real again, with more paint! So cool. It looks great!

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:40 AM , Blogger Michelle said...

What a great job!!! I can see how you fooled the builder! Good for you and thanks for sharing!!!

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:49 AM , Blogger Anita@Theycallmejammi said...

You did a fantastic job...looks great.

 
At August 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM , Blogger marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Wow, it looks fantastic. I like it so much better than the white. You did an unreal job. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

 
At August 16, 2010 at 11:53 AM , Blogger Sarah @ Hennessey House said...

are you kidding me?! DANG. i am a little speechless over your mad skills.

 
At August 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM , Blogger Maggie said...

That is awesome! Almost makes me want to paint my fireplace white so I can create my own bricks out of the exact colors I want... Almost...

 
At August 16, 2010 at 2:56 PM , Blogger Rhiannon said...

all the time that took is totaly worth it! looks great!

 
At August 16, 2010 at 4:35 PM , Blogger Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

Amazing. You are really good at painting and choosing colors. It looks so much better. You rock.

 
At August 16, 2010 at 5:37 PM , Blogger Bernadette Merikle said...

While I prefer the white fireplace, I LOVE this tutorial because it would allow me to paint a fireplace if I showed hubby that I could "paint it back". This is GENIUS!

bernadette
www.b3homedesigns.blogspot.com

 
At August 16, 2010 at 9:13 PM , Blogger stacey said...

Thank you for posting this! We moved into our home late last year and the previous owners had painted our entire living room yellow (fireplace included)! I've been looking for a cost effective way to get it more natural looking. I had thought about paint the brick like you did, but was worried that it wouldn't come out right. Now that I've seen how good your's looks, I'm so excited to get started!!

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:00 PM , Blogger Condo Blues said...

Wow! Your bricks look great. I have this love hate relationship with faux painting. Love when others do it, hate the results when I try it.

 
At August 16, 2010 at 10:46 PM , Blogger Sharon@thisthriftyhouse said...

You really are a Genius!! Another amazing project!!!

 
At August 17, 2010 at 3:30 AM , Blogger Jeralee said...

It looks great! And so realistic. What a great idea and tutorial.

 
At August 17, 2010 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Ellie said...

That's amazing! It looks SO real!!!

 
At August 17, 2010 at 10:55 AM , Blogger Michelle @ Dream Home DIY said...

I LOVE that you went FROM white and not TO white. Whe have a white painted chimney in our house too and I really dislike it!

 
At August 17, 2010 at 4:24 PM , Blogger Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

That's gorgeous! I love brick colored fireplaces! Thanks so much for the details, I'll be linking.

 
At August 17, 2010 at 8:48 PM , Blogger ★All Thingz Related★ said...

O my heck, that's awesome! You did so great!! Thanks so much for sharing your fireplace makeover with us at Anything Related!
{Rebekah}

 
At August 17, 2010 at 9:59 PM , Blogger La said...

Your fireplace looks great! You must be very patient as this must have taken quite a while to accomplish. La

 
At August 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM , Blogger Brandy said...

This is fantastic!!! I love it, so much better than the stark white!!
lifeofperks.blogspot.com

 
At August 17, 2010 at 10:06 PM , Blogger Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Wow, you did a great job. The bricks just look like natural bricks.

 
At August 17, 2010 at 10:22 PM , Blogger Julie~ My Bella Home said...

That is truly amazing, I can't believe the difference! love it! ;)

 
At August 17, 2010 at 10:29 PM , Blogger TOTEally Posh! said...

Seriously??? You painted that? That looks amazing!

Thanks for popping in over at TOTEally Posh and your sweet comment!

 
At August 17, 2010 at 10:52 PM , Blogger Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

Looks great!!! I am your newest follower!
Bonnie :)

 
At August 18, 2010 at 12:47 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

A LOT of work I see...but so well worth it....it looks awesome...so much like the real deal who would know? Just you is all!!~ Thanks for joining in the party, really great inspiration here. Debbie

 
At August 18, 2010 at 3:29 AM , Blogger q.D.paToOtieS said...

That is amazing and beautiful! I would never have know it wasn't originally a brownstone fireplace!

 
At August 18, 2010 at 9:32 AM , Blogger Sailing Simply said...

Wow! You really did a great job on that. I can only imagine the amount of patience it takes to do that. I would be going back over my work so many times! LOL! I can see painting over ugly brick, but I always cringe when I see people painting over perfectly nice looking bricks. Wonderful restoration!

 
At August 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM , Blogger Emily said...

Dang, Brittany! I worked for several years as a decorative painter and I gotta' give you props- you did a great job:) I agree, as much as I'm loving the white trend lately, the real brick look sets off the rest of the room much better. You are awesomesauce.

 
At August 18, 2010 at 10:40 AM , Blogger Robin said...

I can't believe you even attempted this. So cool it looks so much better. Love this! You have to link this to my Upcycled Awesome Linky party at http://tinyurl.com/Upcycled10

 
At August 18, 2010 at 11:25 AM , Anonymous Kim said...

You have made my week! We have a brick fireplace with the brick hearth, too, and Fred was feeling like we needed to do something with it - paint it, replace it with stone (!!! $$$$ !!!)... but now that YOU have turned your white one BACK to the brick we already have, he's listening to my "leave it alone!"s.

So thank you. So. Very. Much.

 
At August 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM , Blogger Erin@likegrandmas said...

Wow, that is skill! It looks like brand new bricks!

 
At August 18, 2010 at 4:55 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

wow! That is amazing! I can't believe how nice it looks! Just goes to show you that not everyone has the same tastes. Just because it's trendy doesn't mean everyone wants their house to look the same.

 
At August 18, 2010 at 7:48 PM , Blogger Rene said...

Your fireplace looks great! Your were smart to paint it. Ours was red brick and we did the same thing.

-Rene

 
At August 18, 2010 at 9:57 PM , Blogger {jami @ i m a g i n e} said...

Oh wow! Lookin' good! Gonna do that in home I'm staging!

xo - jami
i m a g i n e

 
At August 18, 2010 at 10:35 PM , Blogger The Polka Dot Closet said...

OMG you are a true artist, that is amazing!! Man that took guts to even try, what a great job!! I am visiting from Debbiedoos.

Carol

 
At August 19, 2010 at 12:21 AM , Blogger Ms. A said...

Wow! This looks GREAT!! You did a fab job! Thank you for sharing how you did it - this might be a "bookmark it" page, should we ever have a similar problem for a future home! Great instructions!!

 
At August 19, 2010 at 12:35 AM , Blogger KasiaJ said...

Wonderful! I have an unpainted brick fireplace and whenever I see someone paint one white, it makes me shake my head a little. I love the natural look and I love that yours totally looks like it was never painted. Awesome!

 
At August 19, 2010 at 1:17 PM , Blogger Victoria said...

Amazing! Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine you can paint bricks like that! They look wonderful and I agree, it looks much warmer now:)

 
At August 19, 2010 at 10:28 PM , Blogger Amy Meyer said...

That is fabulous! I can not believe that you painted that! You truly have a talent! Fantastic Job!!!

 
At August 19, 2010 at 10:43 PM , Blogger Kim said...

That looks so beautiful and natural. Your work paid off.

 
At August 20, 2010 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Coffee Queen said...

WOW!!!! What a totally amazing transformation. It looks beautiful.

 
At August 20, 2010 at 6:25 PM , Blogger Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

Wow! Fantastic job on those bricks! I never would have attempted such a project...but yours is stunning! Thank you for visiting me on my blog!

 
At August 21, 2010 at 9:05 AM , Blogger Maureen said...

Awesome - that warmed up your fireplace so much
http://moemade.blogspot.com/

 
At August 21, 2010 at 5:48 PM , Blogger Autumn said...

SUPER! Don't you hate it when people paint brick or stone fireplaces?! I always wondered what I would do if stuck with that situation... Great job!

 
At August 21, 2010 at 10:34 PM , Blogger Linda@Coastal Charm said...

I have never seen this done and I can say...it looks outstanding!!! Hop over and enter my GIVEAWAY…I think you will like it!

Blessings,
Linda

 
At August 23, 2010 at 12:20 PM , Blogger The Frosted Gardner said...

This is seriously amazing! Wow! Stunning!

 
At September 8, 2010 at 4:12 PM , Blogger decor4poor@blogspot.com said...

That turned out awesome. Great job. Love your blog.

 
At September 8, 2010 at 11:37 PM , Blogger Centsible Savings said...

Love this! You make me want a brick fireplace! :)

 
At November 15, 2010 at 3:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a very talented faux painter, although I much prefer the white. Red/brown fireplaces from floor to ceiling seems so 1970's to me, just needs dark wood paneling and shag carpet. I'm glad to see you do this, though, nice to know you can go the opposite way from a solid color fireplace if you don't like what you've got.

 
At December 4, 2010 at 11:02 AM , Blogger Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I just came across your blog when I saw this featured somewhere! I am so impressed with how this turned out! You definitely have a new follower!

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home