Mantle And Brick Fireplace Makeover
|May 23, 2011||Posted by Helen under Home Decor & Travel|
ALL PHOTOS ARE CLICKABLE! Please see other views of the mantle and fireplace on this blog.
Several years ago, I teased about making over my ugly brick fireplace, that really was causing me grief! Well, that and the ugly dark, dark paneling in our family room. Anytime, it came up in discussions with my husband, he insisted that we could not do that to brick!!! So, along I went hating the look of our family room until one day, I happened to be on the HGTV message board surfing to see what it was about. Mercy! What can I tell you, except it was meant to be for me to read the posts of 2 like-minded ladies! Their minds were in tune with mine for sure. They had done the unthinkable and painted their FIREPLACE BRICK. Oh, not only had they painted them, but they showed the “before and after photos” of their previously ugly rooms, too. I immediately felt they were my newest friends for sharing their successes, and on the Internet at that!
Guess who got a call at the office! Yes! You guessed correctly that Bob got the call, that changed our family room! I could not wait until he got home that evening. In truth, I probably emailed him their before and after photos! We studied their detailed instructions on how they achieved a marvelous new look for their homes. All the time that I was thinking just let me at this—I was also afraid he would agree. You know then the longer we talked about it, the more it had to be done, for both of us. We both loved the changes, it had made in their family rooms…their homes!!!
Bob is an engineer, and they are deep thinkers. First he found a painting contractor to color our family room walls. And then he was ready to help me by cutting in at the top of the fireplace. Yes, he was with me on this one! (My friends and family, who are reading this will be laughing—they know him! Ha!) We made a trip or two to Home Depot’s paint department with the paint info the ladies had provided from their painting experience on their fireplaces. Here’s the info you might enjoy having if you consider your fireplace and mantle to be the “ugliest” of any you have ever seen in your entire life.
1. Protect your flooring, unless you are getting rid of it. Clean the brick really well using a stiff brush to loosen any set on dust. A “county agent” gave Bob a formula that he used to clean our brick, after brushing it down well. If you doubt this one is right for you, do not copy it, but locate one for cleaning your brick prior to painting.
Mildew Remover Formula
1 cup TSP to 2 gallons of warm water
add 1/2 cup of household bleach (Do not use commercial bleach …it is TOO strong!)
1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent, i.e. JOY, etc. NOT DISHWASHER DETERGENT
Clean it really well with the mixture, and make sure you wait until the next day…about 24 hours, before you begin painting the first coat.
2. We used Behr’s Brick and Mortar paint color named Navajo White. This is most important, that you select a paint that will withstand the heat from the fireplace. The cutting in at the top and along the narrow sides were all we used a paint brush on. Then we rolled the Navajo White over the entire surfaces, and it included the brick and the mortar! We allowed it to dry really well…again willing to wait. You should wait, too. YOU don’t want to mess up now….do you?
3. While at HD, we asked the friendly paint department staff to mix the top color in the same Behr Brick and Mortar paint to the beautiful formula for Sherwin-Williams’ Restrained Gold. That was to be our final coat. We purchased a sponged roller, which made the faux finish much easier than using a separate sea sponge, by hand on each brick. NOTICE: Know you brick. Our grout is quite deep and it was easy to roll over the brick without making specks of gold on the grout area. Watching carefully, I was able to wipe off the specks. It still looks like grout, thankfully, just not the dark black, that had been there. I did have 2 different sizes of sea sponges to reach difficult areas. The smallest one worked well on the sides and near the floor. Our carpet was going, and so the old carpet was pulled away from the hearth. It made working with the sponges much easier; therefore, faster, too.
We chose to have our mantle in the same “Restrained Gold” and again using the brick and mortar paint for protection from the heat of the gas logs. It’s now been 3 years since we painted ,and we are still thrilled with it. It has held up well, looking the same as the day we finished it.
My once doubtful husband would enjoy telling you, that we had professional painters in soon after the project was finished. I asked one of them to paint the top board above the brick, as I just could not stand on the ladder that high up. Bob said, “she painted it.” He loves that the painter thought the brick was made that way!
If even one person uses this info, and loves their space more tomorrow, telling this has been worth every second of time, that it took to type it. Please remember to click the Christmas 2010 photo once and then a second click to view the larger photo.