A Painted Fireplace
Hi & welcome back! If you have been reading along you have probably seen the pictures of our MASSIVE fireplace. From day one, I have never been fond of this monstrosity. You know those really awesome brick walls you see in industrial loft conversions? Yea, this wasn’t that kind of brick. It just looked tired, dated and old which didn’t work with the rest of our decor. Since we had just completed our kitchen face-lift with modern updates, the fireplace was now standing out like a sore thumb and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Something had to be done. I thought about the giant fireplace for what seemed like an eternity. Remember, I am NOT a patient person. I spent countless hours looking at photos of what other people had done with their dated fireplaces, but none of them were as ginormous as ours. I LOVED the idea of stacked stone (and still do…..hint, hint), but with a fireplace the size of ours, it could get pretty pricey. We had just spent a good chunk of change on our kitchen and a good amount of time tiling so unless I wanted Barry to file for divorce, this had to be a quick and easy project that wouldn’t break the bank. I was leaning towards painting it since paint is usually the most affordable option and a quick solution but I was struggling with the color. Since there is really no going back when you paint brick, I wanted to be sure! The last thing I needed was for my massive fireplace to be more massively ugly than it already was. In case you missed it in my previous posts, this is what the fireplace originally looked like.
Many people do white which totally brightens up a space, but with the size of our fireplace and the painted paneling above part of it, I was afraid it would look like a BAD attempt at ship lap (the paneling) and a country farm house. So white was out. Then I toyed with painting it a gray or a darker color that would be rich looking. But I had never actually seen it done on such a huge wall, so I was apprehensive. I had seen several examples where people painted the brick one color and then painted the mortar a lighter color, which I really liked! Then I woke up from my dream…….we have 650 bricks on our fireplace (yes! I counted/rounded) this would take me MONTHS to complete! All the examples I had seen were with fireplaces a fourth of the size of ours. Scratch that one off the list. So I started looking at pictures of dark fireplaces that others had done. This was the closest in size to ours and I was head over heals in love with it! Isn’t it gorgeous!? Sadly, after reading through the many comments on this amazing fireplace, I found this was not painted but rather iron spot brick. Since demo-ing the fireplace and starting over wasn’t an option, it was back to the drawing board. I was still interested in doing a dark fireplace so I started to research mimicking the iron spot look with paint. Ultimately, I just wasn’t convinced it could be done. So I thought about it some more and daydreamed about it some more and pinned some fireplaces and talked Barry’s ear off about it some more……Then one day I was just done thinking about it. It was getting painted a dark brown. So I went to Lowes and bought 3 samples of my top choices. Barry was scared. Not to worry, I had a great plan! I was going to move the bookcase to the left of the fireplace and test my samples on the brick behind it. If we hated them, I would move the bookcase back and no one would ever know 🙂 True story. That was my plan. And it worked! We picked Bittersweet by Valspar in a satin finish.
We used extra thick rollers for extremely textured walls which I would definitely recommend if you are taking on a project like this. But fair warning, they make a mess so be sure to use adequate drop cloths! I’ll be honest, this baby took us a while to paint, but we did finish it in one weekend. We did one coat on Saturday and went back and did another coat on Sunday. The whole project took about a gallon and a half of paint. In between coats of paint, we also painted the fireplace screen doors black. Previously, it was a very dated brass, that screamed 1970s. We removed it from the fireplace and took it out to the garage where we sprayed it with Rustoleum’s High Heat black spray paint, even though we have never, to this day used our fireplace! It just always seems like too much work to make a fire and wait for it to burn out. I know you are probably laughing at me right now…….too much work, we just spent a whole weekend painting the fireplace. I know! Anyway, here are the pictures of the finished product.
And this is what it looks like today. Check out the additional projects we completed to get us to this point, here & here.