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Old 12-03-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Hello-

Just registered, and this is my first post. We've been dithering about with this problem for quite a while now and I am hoping for some helpful advice.

I'm going to try to include/post a photo of the horrifically painted brick fireplace in our house. I hope it works.

Our home is a Craftsman-style 2-story, built in approximately 1910. It has lots and lots of beautiful dark woodwork. And right in the middle of everything, we have THIS. At some point, someone decided to paint this brick fireplace burning red with white lines between each brick, with the mantelpiece painted mud brown. I think it looks like a cartoon fireplace; it is SO ugly.

I'm seeking advice and suggestions on how to best go about repainting it. I'm aware of the Brick Anew kits- would love to go that way, but we're on a very tight budget, and their $200 price tag is out of our ballpark. I don't consider myself crafty enough to replicate the Brick Anew look on my own. Plain old painting is about the extent of my skills. The room's color is as you see in the photos- a sort of pale lemony/tangeriney color.

We've considered all the options (chemical cleaners, sandblasting, just tearing out or replacing the whole thing), and while it would be nice to do something more in-depth, our financial limitations have led to our settling on the decision to simply repaint it. We're okay with that.. I'm just looking for advice on colors/techniques to make it look as good as it possibly can (for a brick painted fireplace).

I don't think that I'm very good at decorating stuff- knowing what colors and finishes work together and stuff. Given the type of home we have and the wall color in the room, what would be good colors to consider? Matte or glossy finish? Should the mantel be painted a different color than the rest of the fireplace? What kind of paint would be best? Do I need to sand or rough it up prior to painting?

I know that's a litany of questions- sorry! Pretty new to this stuff and learning as I go

Thank you!


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Old 12-03-2011, 11:07 AM   #2
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Ive faux'd back a few fireplaces- I have to go but later i will get into it. Talked about them before- use search at top for fireplaces- you might find them.

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Old 12-03-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Just painting that an off-white would be a huge improvement for little $$$
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


I've come across lots of stuff about white-painted fireplaces. Seems to be popular?

Things that give me pause about using white: we will eventually be using this as a wood-burning fireplace. Wouldn't that be a big mess with white bricks? And also, with the pale color of our walls, would that be too much light coloring in one room, in contrast with our dark woodwork?
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:06 PM   #5
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Yeah, an off white or cream color would be an improvement depending on the colors in your home.
Flat paint is too hard to clean in that environment, I don't like the look of glossy. I'd go with a eggshell or semi-gloss, but that's just me.
Look at other old threads here to find out the best prep before you paint.

Is the mantle wood?
Do you have any woodworking skills or tools? If you have a Habitat Re-store or anything like that nearby, I'd keep an eye out for some nice cheap crown molding and build something to cover and enhance that mantle, stained to match the rest of your woodwork. You can always add this part later.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:08 PM   #6
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


What is the fireplace surface material?
Is it actual brick that they painted or some other material painted to look like brick?

The reason I ask is if it is a masonry material then maybe you can install a suitable tile material just around the fire box, fauxe paint or get rid of the painted frame, then install a nice wood panel design around the rest of it.

You could do this pretty much at your leisure and will spread the cost of materials out over time.

Andy.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


To answer questions:

-The mantel is made of a masonry-type material.
-The fireplace is brick underneath all the paint. It is visible in the inner part of the hearth.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Personally, I would paint the brick a flat black and clear coat it with a flat polyurethane to protect, as flat black has a tendency to burnish. You could paint the mantel in a color to match your trim or pick an accent after the black is done, something will work with black, most anything, and the wall color.
This is good example to show when people want to paint brick!
Joe
Actually, I looked at the blown up pic after posting. It's a pretty good job for painted brick. It just looks too uniform and too clean to look natural. I don't think it looks as hideous as Sparkler made it sound though.

Last edited by jsheridan; 12-03-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:40 PM   #9
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


This used to be a white painted fireplace.
Took a bit of work and some creativity- but looks like this now..


Base coat color (which you have)- 4 or 5 colors that you want to see in it, thinned back and maybe mixed in glaze-
roughly pounced all over the place- A thinned oil wood stain to age it all, kills some gloss
And there you go!
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:49 PM   #10
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Looks awesome, now that is contrast to the uniform and clean look of OP's fireplace. Looks like real brick. I thought it was and you stripped it, fool me. Nice job Brush.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:18 PM   #11
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


I was thinking that for a careful DIY'er this might do well.

Andy.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:09 PM   #12
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Thank you everyone for all of your help!

jsheridan- your suggestion about using the black appeals to me. I wish i could somehow show you this thing IRL. It IS eye-gougingly bad, I swear, lol.

Brushjockey- I bow in awe to your skills. I have 0 confidence that I would be able to replicate anything like what you accomplished.

AndyGump- that looks fabulous- again, I just cannot imagine myself pulling something like that off. It looks wonderful.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:46 PM   #13
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Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace


Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkler22 View Post
Thank you everyone for all of your help!

jsheridan- your suggestion about using the black appeals to me. I wish i could somehow show you this thing IRL. It IS eye-gougingly bad, I swear, lol.

Brushjockey- I bow in awe to your skills. I have 0 confidence that I would be able to replicate anything like what you accomplished.

AndyGump- that looks fabulous- again, I just cannot imagine myself pulling something like that off. It looks wonderful.
But your fireplace look so Christmasy -why on earth would you ever want to not look at it anymore?

I think what you're lacking is knowledge of the components and materials necessary to do it over and give it a fresh new look - classic DIY recipe of doubt and uncertainty.

What I would do in the sake of keeping it simple: I'd skim coat that sucker with a hand-applied bed of mortar. Yep: I'd have fun - just mix up mortar and smear it all over - giving it a nice hand-smeared texture. I'd keep the bottom area - near the inside - smooth . . . but the outer area would be rough.

Tada . . . done. Why not! Bricks be gone.

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