Cleaning a brick hearth
We have a raised brick hearth composed of rather rustic looking brick. It's about 20 years old. I have 2 questions. First, how do I clean it of accumulated grime and one or 2 spots of paint dropped by a careless painter? Second,what, if anything, can I do to "dress up" the brick some, so it does not look quite so rustic and outdoorsy. We don't want to give it a highly polished or formal look. We just want to tone down the rustic feel a little bit. Any ideas?