Thursday, September 6, 2012

Painting the Fireplace

After living with the cream fireplace for over a month, Seth and I were more than excited to paint it.  You might remember how dingy it looked the day we moved in.

It's somewhat difficult to tell just how cream/tan it is in pics since the trim and walls are the exact same color.  Isn't that a huge design mistake - trying to make your fireplace blend in with the walls?  I'm pretty sure it is supposed to stand out and be the focal point of the room.  I am certainly excited to have a fireplace again after a few years without one and definitely want it to be the focal point.  Seth is a great fire-maker (is that a word?) and I am great at lounging in front of it.  ;)

White was the obvious color choice, but I had also been chewing on the idea of a dark gray fireplace like this, this, or this with white walls.  In the end, Seth and I decided to stick with white for the fireplace.  Although I gravitate to pictures of rooms with white walls on Pinterest and Houzz, I am just not sure I am ready for them in our living room.  Other people make them look homey, but I fear that ours would just look stark.  I'm sure it's all in choosing the white paint (make sure it has warm undertones) but I am not up for it just yet.  I think you're supposed to be an artist or art collector also to ensure you have plenty of thought-provoking, colorful art to hang on those white walls.  Maybe in our next home.  

So, we stopped by Lowe's and picked up a roller with extra long nap to get into all the crevices in the bricks.  (We already had some white paint.)  We went with 6" long rollers with 3/4" nap.  The rollers that you normally use to paint smooth walls usually have a 3/8" nap.

We started by wiping down the entire facade with warm water with a tiny bit of dish soap in it.  It didn't look dirty but the water in the bucket when we were finished certainly proved otherwise.  Then we started painting.  No need to prime it since we weren't painting over the original brick but merely painting on top of brick that had previously been painted.  Yay for eliminating a step!  We got pretty good coverage with the rollers but did have to use brushes to get in between the bricks and to get into deep crevices on the bricks themselves.  We applied two coats of Olympic No-VOC off the shelf white paint in semi-gloss while Amos supervised (he looks like he was fighting off sleep or maybe he was just bored with our painting).

Then we stepped back to admire our work.

Ahhh...much better!  Maybe one day we will clean the inside of it.  I fear that will involve a wire brush and repainting with heat resistant paint.  Yuck!  I'm all about the easy, instant gratification projects right now.  :)  When our house starts looking a bit more like a home, I will work up the energy to tackle those kinds of labor intensive things.  Now, to choose a wall color.  Any suggestions?  Should the whole room be the same color?  Or maybe the fireplace wall should be a bold color and the rest of the walls neutral?

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