How I Almost Got Murdered Over Paint
Hiya guys! Clearly I am still here and I was not murdered, but let me tell you, it was a close call! Before we get into that story, let’s talk about week three of the One Room Challenge, shall we? If you missed week 1 or last week’s DIY Cable Railing, make sure you check those out first. This week was quite the adventure with paint and a close encounter with my very own true crime story. The good news is, no one was murdered, and I will not be appearing on my own episode of Unsolved Mysteries, but we still have three weeks to go, so anything is possible, haha!
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Brick Fireplace Makeover DIY
Before we dive into my true crime story, let’s talk about my behemoth of a fireplace. I would be lying if I said it was love at first sight. It was such an outdated fireplace when we bought the house. The existing brick wasn’t that beautiful red brick fireplace with so much character. No sir. The brick color was a dark and dingy orangey brown.
Initially I painted the wood paneling but left the fireplace brick as is because I was SO intimidated by it. But as I looked at it longer and longer I knew I needed to tackle a DIY fireplace makeover to give it a more modern look. This week started off with the fireplace looking like this.
This was the result of me painting the outdated brick and adding a new mantel several years back. The new life of the fireplace surround held me over but I still wasn’t entirely happy with the fireplace wall. While it definitely had a big impact, I still wasn’t in love.
Back to the drawing board, I relied on the power of paint as a stone fireplace makeover, stone veneer, or demoing the entire thing for a new fireplace with a contemporary look were not in the budget.
Back to my true crime story…..if you don’t already know, I am kind of obsessed with true crime, and binge podcasts like Crime Junkie, Serial, and Cold and definitely consider my own alibi several times a day. So when I couldn’t choose a paint color for our fireplace this week and thought there was a possibility my hubby might murder me, I made sure to let my mom know so she could send out the search party. More on this below.
After careful consideration and testing multiple paint samples, I gave the fireplace it’s first coat of paint with Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray. Using the paint sprayer for this was the best way to knock it out quickly. When I painted the dated brick fireplace the first time I did it by hand and let me tell you, it was not fun.
At first, I loved the new color. But then it dried and had a very blue hue to it and made the walls look blue. Not to mention, it didn’t offer much contrast between the adjacent wall and the brick, which didn’t work for me.
Now I know we are talking about murder this week, but I promise with all the plastic sheeting this was not the set for the first episode of the new season of Dexter, haha! BUT I could not be more excited its coming back!!! This is just to protect everything from the overspray.
Round 2 of Paint
Because I used the paint sprayer to paint the whole thing, which is a million times faster than brushing it btw, I decided to try another color. I had quite a bit of extra paint from another project where I failed to pick the right color on the first try. I gave it another go with Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige for paint color number two. I knew it would look good on the brick because we used it to paint the exterior.
Let me give you a clue, paint color number two did not make the cut. That’s right folks, I failed again.
While the color itself was good, it did not work with the wall color, Agreeable Gray. Accessible Beige was just too warm, which against my better judgement, I already knew. Back to square one, or should I say the paint store? I seriously feel like I have a mini paint store in the garage now. So much paint! Not joking.
More samples went up. More doubt and anxiety crept in. Picking paint can really be a challenge sometimes! The saving grace is paint is relatively inexpensive. It just takes time which I was quickly running out of.
How I Almost Got Murdered Over Paint
It was about this time I was talking to my mom on the phone. I mentioned my fireplace paint problems and told her if she didn’t hear from me in the next day or so, she should send out the search party because Barry probably murdered me and buried me in the backyard. (Totally joking BTW)
Her response was, “well tell him to call me if he does and I will make him some prime rib since you don’t like it”. Not exactly the response you would expect from your mother! Then as we were sampling paint for round three, Barry said, “I’m going to text your mom and tell her to get the prime rib ready.”
Needless to say, I am currently accepting applications for a new mother and husband, haha!
Round 3 of Paint
Luckily, the third time was a charm and no one got murdered! But, if I ever go missing, make sure my mom and Barry aren’t hanging out eating prime rib 😉 And please someone call Ashley Flowers over at Crime Junkie!
The color I landed on for the brick wall is Sherwin Williams Nuance. It is very light and almost a white paint but a little warmer. It made a huge difference in how bright the room feels. I also used this color on the backsplash and in our bedroom.
But now I needed to decide on a color for above the fireplace. This is a big part of the family room and I wanted a more updated look. So I took a que from the exterior and decided to go with a dark almost black paint. As I rolled the first coat, I was nervous it was too bold, but as I stepped back, I realized it was exactly what the rest of the room needed!
The old brick fireplace has a whole new look and creates a beautiful focal point! The color I chose for above the fireplace is Sherwin Williams Iron Ore. AKA, my favorite color! I used this on the exterior, above the bar, in the wine cellar, our bedroom, and the upstairs hallway.
Since picking the fireplace paint was such a challenge, we ended up painting the entire room already too. We had to call in all the ladders to finish this one! I wasn’t planning to tackle that this week, but I guess I am ahead of the game for next week.
Remember when I said we have never used the fireplace in eight years? Well, I addressed that this week too. The old dirty firebox got an upgrade with this sleek electric fireplace insert. When I first updated the old fireplace I just spray painted the screen with a heat-resistant paint. But we still never used it because it was too much work to build a wood fire. Now we can just press a button!
We received bids to add a gas fireplace insert, but with quotes at around $5k, that was out of the question. This simple unit not only upgrades the look of the fireplace, but also generates heat! Just in time for the snow we are anticipating this week.
Lastly, the fireplace mantel we added a few years ago got an extension. Because this side of the fireplace goes all the way to the ceiling, I wanted to play on the asymmetry and make it more of a design focal point. Not only was the mantel a design decision, it hides all the cords to our TV!
Now I know most designers will cringe at the thought of making a TV the focal point of a room, but we are real people with shows to binge on Netflix 🙂
Brick Fireplace Makeover DIY Frequently Asked Questions
Why didn’t you do a German schmear on the fireplace?
The bricks already have a ton of texture so I didn’t feel it was necessary.
Do you have a tutorial for the mantle?
I do not have a blog post about it, but I did save a highlight bubble on Instagram. It is relatively simple construction though.
Did you use chalk paint on the brick?
No, but I suppose you could if you wanted a very matte finish. I just used normal latex paint in a satin finish. If you chose to paint your brick by hand though I recommend using a thick roller meant for very textured walls.
Why didn’t you do built-in shelving where the bookcase used to be?
I was after a different look. Instead of fighting the awkward shape and large size, I decided to work with it. Adding shelving to the side of the fireplace chopped it up and made it even more awkward. By extending the mantle down the side and playing off the asymmetry it gives it a more mid century look, especially with the dark top.
What type of wood is the mantle?
The mantle is made out of beetle kill pine. It is also often called blue stain pine. This is a native wood in Colorado and somewhat easy to find at local lumbar yards.
Join me again next week to see how the rest of our makeover is coming along and to make sure no one gets murdered over paint! I have some furniture DIYs in the works and a few changes for our wet bar 😉
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This post, How I Almost Got Murdered Over Paint, appeared first on Garrison Street Design Studio.
Love how it turned out and your true crime story too! Happy Week 3!
Aww, thank you so much Jessica! We are in the home stretch now, or should I say panic mode?! 🤣
Love it Lisa! Know you guys will enjoy the fireplace too!
Thank you so much Heidi! I appreciate it 🙂 You should have seen Marvin checking it out, haha!
a world of a difference with a fresh coat of paint!!!
I know! The room feels even taller now! Good luck this week Tim 😉
Such a funny post! It can be SO hard to choose a paint color, and you just don’t know if it works til it’s on. I feel ya! Good luck with the rest of your projects!
Thank you so much Sam! I used to be better at it when I didn’t try the samples which is kinda nuts! Speaking of paint, love your choices this week 😉
The paint makes such a difference! I bet having an electric insert will make it so much easier. I hate sweeping up ash all of the time. lol
Thank you so much Kathy! Believe it or not, we have never used our wood burning fireplace once!
Love the paint color! What was the name of the last color you wound up with?
Thank you so much! The brick is Nuance and the wall above the fireplace is Iron Ore. Both are Sherwin Williams colors in a satin finish 😉