Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fireplace: The Big Reveal

Well, we did it. We painted the fireplace. Perhaps that seems sudden to you, since I was just posting about my back on forth on this matter. That's how we do things in this house... once we get an idea in our heads we jump in with both feet. And don't look back.

Actually, that parts not entirely true. I look back. A lot.

It was a Saturday morning, and we were cleaning the condo. Our son had been asleep for an hour already, but I emerged from the laundry room with a paint brush and a quart of white paint in hand.

"What are you doing?" Matt asked warily.

"Gonna paint the fireplace," I replied casually. I started dabbing the paint on, and five minutes later Sebastian started mewing from his crib. I looked at the drippy, half painted bricks, and looked back at my husband in horror. "Crap! What have we done?"

A few nap times and bedtimes later, and the fireplace was complete. I was really unsure about it, but of course, once you paint brick there's no turning back. Thankfully, as soon as the last stroke was brushed, I was smitten. I love it. It's fresh, clean, and brightens up the living room considerably. I think it also helps tone down the cover overload we have going on here. Without the additional colors of brown, rust, and mustard, our pale green walls, birch wood coffee table and entertainment center, and primary furniture and artwork can really stand out.

Fireplace Before:

Fireplace After:

So here's how we did it:
1) First, we cleaned the brick. We didn't have soot problems, so we just used soap and water to clear the dirt and grit away.
2) Thought about priming it, but didn't have any primer, so we skipped it. Most people advise primer, though.
3) Start painting! We did it by hand with a brush, so we could get into the grout more easily. You can also roll on paint with a thick-napped roller. It took us two coats and a little touching up. We used Dutch Boy Cabinet and Trim paint in Stone Arrowhead. This is the same color as our trim and cabinets, which gives it a cohesive look.

Spiffing up our fireplace has really inspired me to continue making home improvements. I'm really excited to update and refresh our condo.

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