I love a good before and after! This brick fireplace in our first fixer-upper is one of my favorite makeovers we’ve done in our house! Gorgeous white paint and farmhouse decor make this brick fireplace pop!
This fireplace was one of the things I could not wait to get my hands on! I knew it was going to look fantastic once I was able to paint it and brighten it up. The living room in this house only has a couple of windows. You can kinda see them on either side of the fireplace. The windows are tall and narrow. Because of that, the living room looked very dark and dreary and I knew painting the fireplace white would help to brighten the room up tremendously.
If you haven’t had a chance to look at the post that has all our before photos, or you just want a refresher, this is what the fireplace looked like originally:
I mean, we can all agree that the original is kind gross yes? Don’t get me wrong, we could’ve just cleaned it up good and the fireplace woul’ve looked MUCH better. But the brick painted white brightens up the entire room! And I am SO happy with how it turned out.
Besides the painted brick, my husband made the mantel! There was no mantel before and I knew I wanted a block-y, stained one to complete the look I was going for with this fireplace.
My husband made this beam with 1×8 pieces of lumber. He mounted a cleat to the fireplace brick, then he built the mantel in a C or U shape and then screwed the mantel into the cleat. This way the mantel is lighter weight versus a full block of heavy wood. He added smaller pieces of 1×8 to the ends to make the mantel look like a block.
I custom mixed my stain. I used 2 parts jacobean and 1 part red mahogany. I LOVE this stain mixture on this wood. I could easily go a little crazy with the wood accents stained in this color!
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How to makeover a brick fireplace
I started priming the fireplace, and I knew I really wanted to take the screen and screen frame off if at all possible. We don’t plan to ever use this fireplace because I and 2 of my kids have pretty severe allergies and the fires make them worse. But I still wanted the fireplace to be functional for the next owners or renters. I was able to take the frame off pretty easily. I’m sure each fireplace is a bit different.
I primed the brick fireplace with 321 bonding primer. I needed something that would work well on bricks to help to fill them in a bit. Priming took a while. It took me several hours to prime the bricks by hand using a brush. The following day I painted the bricks, Pure White, by Sherman Williams. The painting didn’t take as long as the priming.
After painting the bricks white, I also painted the inside of the fireplace with high heat black oil based paint. You can see in the above photo the inside of the fireplace had rusted parts and ashy walls. Painting it black made it look so much better!
This is how the mantel is currently styled but I know that I will have fun changing things around. Especially for seasons or holidays. My husband also painted the grate with high heat paint and then I used cut logs that I had baked in the oven to kill and mold and fungus and bugs. Then I took some battery operated twinkle lights and wound them around the logs. These lights are on a timer so they come on automatically in the evening and stay on for about 6-8 hours.
Do you have a fireplace? Is it painted or original brick? Would you ever consider painting your brick fireplace?
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