Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fireplace Update - Part 1

After weeks (months?) of talking about it, we finally took naptime by the horns and started our fireplace makeover.  This might have been one of the few projects we went out for the supplies in the morning and somewhat completed in the same day.

We love our (gas) fireplace, but there has always been something off to me.  I think its the proportion of where the mantle falls and the actual thickness of the mantle itself, so that makeover will be Part 2... I just can't promise when it'll happen. 

So we decided to paint the fireplace.  We didn't want to full out paint it white, or another color, so we took the halfway ease into approach and whitewashed it.  This way we still retained a bit of the brick character without the out of place brick color.  


We followed YoungHouseLove's whitewash tutorial and used 50% water and 50% paint.  We also used Valspar Exterior Paint in a flat finish in Bistro White.


First, we removed the fireplace insert.  Which we have to thank my Father in Law for asking how it was attached, because we probably would have just painted around it, not even realizing how simple it was to remove.  The previous owner's must not have realized how easy it is to remove because it was FILTHY behind it.  We made a mental note to clean behind it every few years.  (The house is 21 years old).



So after we gave all the bricks a nice wipe down with a wet rag and vacuumed up the remaining dust, we got to work.


We painted the brick and followed with a dry rag catching drips (the paint mixture is runny since it's 50% water) and rubbing the paint in.  Turns out our brick isn's as porous as old school traditional red brick.  Ours is (was) a more muted red and seemed to be a bit more similar to paver stones in texture.  So it was slightly more opaque than we expected.



We have since put the insert back on and are looking into our mantle options.  I would like to have a reclaimed wood mantle with at least 6" width to help balance the space between the insert and the mantle.  Also to give it more character and jive with the whitewash look.  I've also suggested to the husband that now we need to repaint the room to make the fireplace "pop" a bit more.  I received a nice eye roll to that request. 

And because who doesn't love a good before and after, here is the family room shot from the house's listing and what it looked like a year ago, without the teal paint.  Slowly this room is coming together.... slowly.




Hopefully I'll be writing Part 2 soon!


17 comments:

  1. It looks great! Can't wait to see it all finished. We're working on lots of projects in our house too and it's almost been a year since we moved in. It all takes so much time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, that looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i would have never thought to whitewash it. it just fits better now FOR SURE.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the whitewash! And I love the idea of reclaimed wood for the mantle! Can't wait to see it!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a difference! I've always wondered what can be done with red brick, besides just living with it. We don't own, so we can't do anything about our big red brick fireplace, but I always fantasize (yep, that's what I fantasize about!) remodeling the house we're in. What color would you go with for the walls if you repaint?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't know! I really like the color we have, Revere Pewter and we have the same color just at 50% strength in the kitchen. I thought maybe making it an accent wall, even though I kind of hate accent walls, but I feel like it'd be the only way to make it work. I would sort of love something dark and moody, but not sure I could commit. might wait until we update the mantel and get some art/decor up and see how it looks then.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I feel like it just blends in now... which is good and bad. Doesn't stick out like an awkward ugly thumb, but doesn't really look that good at current status either. Highlight is that at least banners and decor will standout more against the white than the brick (the things I worry about)

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's such a slow process, we were in our last house for almost 5 years and never finished all we wanted and had been here a year in January. Slow going, but we had some other necessary fixes come up with buying a 20yo house.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the white washed look! So pretty!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pretty!! Agree that a thicker mantle will make another big difference, but I love the whiter brick. I still have 'staining' our brick in the back of my mind for a someday project. Our 90 year old brick makes me nervous, though. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My husband didn't want to put the insert back on either, I said no way with the kids, I get nervous enough when she's over by the bricks, let alone the little pebbles and stuff under the faux logs. Maybe when they are older...

    ReplyDelete
  12. i loooove befores and afters...it looks so good! im obsessed with our mantle now that the oak is gone. but for some reason i actually like our red brick?! reminds me of a mountain cabin. :) well done friend!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love it!!! It is amazing what something so simple can do for a whole room!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like red brick too, but I think because ours wasn't like real red brick it just looked dated in a bad way, not a old red brick good way - if that even makes sense! Right now, i feel like it's a bit mehh, hopefully it'll really come together with the updates!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love before and afters and I think it looks GREAT!!! Can't wait to see the finished product :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love this!! You guys did a great job and I am so proud of you using your nap time productively - I usually get lost on a tv show or something!

    Our fireplace is wood burning and it had a brass insert on the front. We removed it and I am so much happier with it now. The brick is a bit distressed so I have toyed with the idea of whitewashing it too but am still debating on that. What I do know is that we NEED a new mantle that is deeper so I can actually display things on it!!

    atparsons.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers! Be sure to check back as I try to respond to all comments and questions here in the comment form :)