Pls Advise on Brightening Brick Fireplace

amsunshineJanuary 14, 2008

Hello all:

I've been searching for information here, on the fireplace forum, and on the internet in general, on how to brighten up my red brick fireplace. It was built in the early 50's, and I love it, but want to brighten it up a bit. It appears to be already spattered in some areas with white paint, and I'd like to maybe sponge a little more white on to lighten it up a bit. I've seen Reno Fan's amazing transformation -- but I'm looking for something a little less dramatic. However, I can't figure out what the best product is to use -- glaze or thinned paint? Oil or latex? Stain or paint? Even my Benjamin Moore dealer is non-committal, saying pretty much any of these choices would be fine.

This is a gas fireplace that we definitely use in the winter. We would only be painting/glazing/staining the exterior and the hearth, not the firebox. Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks so much in advance, and thank you, oceanna, for your informative fireplace postings!!

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Check out HGTV's website -- and do a search on there for fireplace transformations on shows like Decorating Cents, Divine Design or Design to Sell. Might be some more ideas there! :)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Thanks so much, teacats!! I have already checked hgtv, which has given me a few ideas. However, I still have not really figured out the right product to use -- i.e., which is really the best, heat resistant, longest lasting, product to use? Paint, stain, glaze, oil, latex, etc??? Or maybe I'm over-thinking this issue?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 7:39PM
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I just did mine with craft paint from Michaels and my kitchen sponge.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 3:14AM
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Thanks for the replies! I've been researching this issue for the past month, and have just come across another method to achieve the "brightening" effect that I want. It's shown in the link below, in an hgtv episode. It involves using sanded grout, pushing it into the mortar lines, troweling it over the bricks, and then finishing with a sealer to avoid cracking. Anybody have any thoughts on this? Will a sealer really take care of potential cracking? Are there any heat issues with grout for the areas immediately surrounding the firebox?

Here is a link that might be useful: Sanded Grout to Brighten Old Brick Fireplace

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 4:51PM
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I have no idea if this stuff is any good but I contemplated using it on my 1950's red brick fireplace in my last home. We ended up moving due to an unexpected job change so I never used it.

I had friends in two extreme camps--leave it alone and paint it NOW. But I don't like the look of painted brick, and sounds like you're looking for something less dramatic too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brick-anew

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 6:10PM
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Thanks robin -- I have been considering brick-anew, but you are right, I am looking for something less dramatic. I actually like the look of my red bricks, and brick-anew is only offered in beiges or a grey tone. I don't want necessarily completely cover the bricks, as I would like some of the warm red tone to come through.

I've thought of just spattering/sponging on some white paint or glaze, but this use of sanded grout intrigues me as it might look a bit more "authentic" than using paint. It also has the added benefit of lightening the mortar color, which right now is a dark grey.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 6:20PM
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