Must paint fireplace NOW. What color?

JamieJanuary 6, 2011

The walls are old SW color raffia basket, which similar to and a little darker than the new color croissant. The small sample board you see has a base/grout color of milk white, with BM middlebury brown and raffia basket sort of glazed/dabbed/run on.

I could work on the sample a bit more with your advice,but I can't develop a lot of talent quickly so unless you think a bit of tweaking would make my technique passable the brick will be painted a solid. At this point it seems too frosty; the whites in the sofa and the drapes are more aged.

The walls turned out to have a slightly yellow cast, and I was trying for an absolutely neutral tan. For that reason I thought using the next chip darker on the FP might be a mistake.

Please recommend a color for the brick, the mantle, and the paneling above. I will slavishly obey.

The middlebury brown, laid on straight and alone, seems too dark to me. The taupes tend to go green in the room, and that's how I ended up with Middlebury brown. It's not yellow and it's not green but it's just too dark.

This room is open to the kitchen, which has milk colored cabinets, darkish stone colored countertop and BM Nantucket Fog walls. The trim is white. The trim around the window in the family room is also white.

I need to paint the fireplace immediately.

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I am thinking white for the fireplace (same color as the current mantle). Leave the mantle as is.

Then all walls in a pale blue.

I know the read in this picture isn't quite the same red as your furniture and rug, but just to give an idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: pale blue + red

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 11:23PM
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If you intend to leave the other walls as they are, how about an off-white for the FP wall. SW's Dover White or Creamy might work with the Raffia Basket as both have a slightly yellow undertone. Pittsburgh Paints Atrium White is a lovely, soft neutral white. The brick and mantle can be the same color as the sheen and different textures will provide enough interest. The paneling above could go either Raffia or off-white.

Ummm's suggestion of pale blue and white would be a fresh look, but make sure the white isn't a bright white so your curtains will blend.

A third option if you want to go through with your idea of patterned brick from the sample board would be to glaze the bricks, raffia on the paneling and either a dark walnut look or the milk paint for the mantle.

So much for being willing to obey... LOL! Any of these ideas will look quite nice, so which one will make you feel best?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:05AM
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I like the painted brick fireplace of a current active thread.

Feedback Requested: Finishing Touches on Family Room:

Her fireplace is similar to yours.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 10:09AM
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If you want to paint the bricks white but age them a bit without having to do a lot of artistic dabbing (like on your sample board), you can paint them white, then brush over with a glaze or water-based wood stain, and wipe it off--leaving as much or as little on the bricks as you like, depending on what look you're going for. I did this on a fireplace in my old house and it's pretty simple. Sorry--no photo.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Here's the sample board in typical winter morning light conditions. From top to bottom:
Pittsburgh Atrium
SW Creamy
BM Linen
I think the Linen provides the most contrast with the pure white trim.

My eyes are tired.

1)So if I paint linen white bricks (I'm going to experiment with brown glaze on the sample board) and pure white mantle then above the mantle should be the same as the bricks?

2)Do I need to try something less white for the bricks, like Vellum, which is the lightest color on the strip that contains the wall color? Vellum starts to read more yellow, which could be bad with the drapes, but it could be ok too, given the lighting conditions in the room. If the linen white doesn't look too stark then I won't bother trying any more colors. What do you say?

BTW, I a mis-named the colors in my original question. I had left my deck at the store and was using my memory - not reliable. The walls are SW Raffia Basket from an old deck. I referred to SW Croissant, but that is an old color too. It's just below Raffia Basket on the strip. If you refer to a new SW deck, the color Bagel is similar to Croissant, I believe.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 8:57AM
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I have seen many, many painted fireplace transformations.

Yours came out so pretty!

I have been resistant to painting mine even though it doesn't look that good. Not because I am afraid of painting it or *ruining* the brick.. just that I liked the natural rustic stones.
BUT I might have just changed my mind! I am inspired to paint mine now

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:22AM
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This reminds me of this blog:

I love that the fireplace matches the wall.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:07PM
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Here's the painted bricks.

Now what about above the mantle? Pics of blue-walled kitchen, taupey countertop, dark red booth/banquette. Would that small area look good painted blue even I leave the rest of the walls as they are? I don't think red would look right, would it? Should I try darkening some of the wall paint? Use straight wall color?

I've decided not to glaze. I don't think it helps in this room.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:49PM
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The fireplace looks great! I recently painted the bricks of mine a creamy white and can't believe how much it brightened up the space.

As for the wall above the mantle... If that sofa, rug, and chairs pictured at the beginning of the thread will be staying there I would not go with the red of your banquette. Too much I think. That blue from the kitchen is nice and soothing and would look lovely above the white. The screen of my computer isn't fantastic with colors but the current one above your mantle is reading a little too orangy/yellow? That may be completly off however... Maybe more of a neutral khaki?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 6:21AM
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Okay, I need to be un-confused!

Is the wall color on the left the same as the color over the fireplace? (They read very differently in the photos.) I think using the wall color over the mantel is the way to go, if you don't have that already. Or paint the wall above the mantel the same color as the bricks if that wall is already the main color and you still don't like it.

I think the overall problem with that wall is the proportion....the sliver above the mantel is just too small. Bringing attention to it with a "new" color is not a great idea, IMO. I want it to blend in with something.

Would love to see larger photos. But, even as tiny pics, the fireplace looks much improved to me. How are you feeling about it?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 9:23AM
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Thanks II. The furn is staying. The wall over the mantle is currently a gold color, yes. The whole room used to be that color. Above the mantle is the last section that needs to change. I have that kitchen blue paint I could use. I also have the khaki-ish sidewall color. I could try to darken it a little for the area above the mantle.

Thanks, AMy,
1.Side walls are raffia basket, the new color which will remain.

2. Above the mantle is some variation on the old color - boardwalk. It needs to change. The area above the mantle, and possible the mantle itself, is all I want to paint at this time.

OPtion 1: sliver basically white or whitish.
That sliver looked good painted slightly lighter than the bricks in the before. But now the bricks appear much lighter and more prominent than they did before, and I don't see how I can paint the sliver any lighter than the bricks? Can I? Should I? The bricks are color matched to my kitchen cabs, which are very close to BM Navaho white. The sliver is in a bit of a hole, so maybe whatever I paint in there will look darker? I need the mantle to stand in for some kind of architecture or richness in the room. Am I seeing it wrongly? Influence me.

With this option, I could paint the mantle another color but I wouldn't know what. Brown is too much like the wood tone the mantle should really be, and would look like stage makeup. Taupes are too tricky. Blue?

Option 2: Sliver painted Sidewall color.
I'm thinking of taking the side wall color and trying to
darken it just a little and paint the sliver. This might provide a little interest and make that wall recede a tiny bit. Or, maybe the sidewall color will appear a bit darker when it is painted on the sliver because the sliver is in a hole.

Option 3: Sliver painted blue.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 10:22AM
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Aaah, thanks for the bigger pics.

I feel like you're over-thinking this, my friend. I don't see how using a darker version of the Raffia Basket will provide any functional or aesthetic benefit for the sliver. I think you can just paint the sliver with the RB (which I like a lot) right out of the can and call it done.

From what I can see, the mantel and the bricks are already different enough to provide some interest. Unless you hate the mantel now, I'd leave it. Tough love alert...the mantel is kind of too big and not all that exciting. I don't think I'd want to draw attention to it. You have so many other pretty things in the room, and you have tamed the bricks with the white paint. Let the fireplace wall recede so the focus is on everything else in the room.

I suggest you just paint and live with it for a while. Try the very simple solution I am proposing. If, in a few months, you still feel you need something different, we can have another look.

You have to revisit the problem of what to put on the mantel or the hearth. I know you have worked on that here before and there are lots of people far more talented than I am in that department. I just think stuff is going to give you more/better impact than fiddling around with clever color schemes.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 11:28AM
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