Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

We Answer Wednesday - Painting a Brick Fireplace

"I have a brick fireplace in my living room. It's a bit dated and I really want it to look more modern and I'm on a tight budget. What can I do?"

A fireplace is a wonderful focal point in a living room and it is such a great feature to have on those crisp fall evenings and cold winter days.  Some brick fireplaces can look dated but they can also look dark and heavy (depending on the brick style and colour) and that can have a negative effect on your room.  Plus the brick fireplace may not totally jive with your personal style but there is an easy and very affordable solution that you could finish is just one weekend.

Try paint.

OK, don't get nervous.  Paint can do amazing things for a room - you have likely experienced this first hand on your walls but it can make the same magic on your brick fireplace.  We've done it!

warm gray with bright white details look good with the floor, which is like yours!:

You have a few options in terms of technique and look.

White washing your brick - so this is actually what Kristi did in her home.  She had about 2/3 of her living room wall covered in heavy deep red brick - it made the room look so dark and heavy. The white wash technique doesn't mean you have to use white paint.

What you do is you water down the paint a bit so that you have less surface coverage.  Why would you want less surface covered? If you like a more rustic look and you like the texture of the brick and want some of the brick tones to pop through - this is the technique you want.

Great tutorial on white washing a brick fireplace. Great option if you want to change or update existing brick without painting it the traditional white, gray, or black:

Make it pop! - So maybe you want to stand out from the crowd and make a splash.  If that sounds more like your style, painting your brick in a tone that makes it stand out .  We are liking neutral tones like charcoal grey, deep blues and even black.  This might sound boring but it isn't - it's basically turning your fireplace into an accent wall.  Plus if you stick pretty neutral you can switch up your decor as often as you like without the obstacle of a crazy colour fireplace.

The painted brick fireplace is the focal point of the living room.:

Keep it clean -  make your room look even bigger by blending that fireplace in.  So paint the fireplace brick the same colour as the walls.  We love this look with a reclaimed wood mantle (like the image below).  This look so clean and fresh. You fireplace is still a focal point - the mantle and the heath still draw the eye in but the room looks so light and large. 

5 Places To Add Natural Accents At Home:


Match your trim - matching your trim is another great option - this will give you a cohesive look, lighten up the appearance of the fireplace and freshen up the whole room. If you prefer a deeper tone on the wall this is also a great option as you get the great colour on the wall and you get the clean look of the painted fireplace.

A 1937 Craftsman Home Gets a Makeover, Fixer-Upper Style | HGTV's Fixer Upper With Chip and Joanna Gaines | HGTV:


Before you paint - things to consider:
- Be sure you want to paint the brick as removing paint isn't easy
- Take a look at the condition of your brick - if it is chipping, crumbling, or other damage, painting isn't a good idea (get an expert to take a look at the fireplace - there could be other issues)
- Clean your brick with basic water and soap and let it dry before painting
- Use a good quality paint with a primer (ask an expert)

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