Pics of our FR black painted brick fireplace (long post)
We recently (finally!) renovated the bottom floor of our bi-level (Hi-Ranch, raised ranch....) home. Some background; we've been living in the house for 13+ years, and renovating it bit by bit. We've been using the FR for storage as well as a "staging ground" during the renovations of other rooms. When we moved in, the downstairs had musty yucky paneling throughout. There was no sheetrock, and no insulation behind it. A full brick wall fp (red brick with black, yes, black mortar), a "dry bar", textured ceilings and cracked and broken vinyl floor tile completed the picture.
Early on, DH and I tore the walls and ceilings down to the studs and beams--the floor and brick wall we left intact. DH wiped everything down with bleach, and then we painted it all with BIN sealer/primer. He insulated the exterior walls and hung sheetrock. When we ripped out the dry bar (when we took everything down to the studs), DH framed out the space so he could hang a door, and we had some one design/make pantry shelves and voila--we had a pantry closet.
Taping, spackling, and a few coats of white paint was pretty much all we did down there until this past fall (except for the guest bathroom which was done a few months after completing the kitchen). The guest bedroom was furnished with our old king sized mattress (took up 3/4 of the room), an old cast-off dresser from my sister's kids. As I mentioned above, we never used the FR as a FR (never used the wood burning fp)--it was pretty much used as a basement this whole time.
We painted as part of the renovation--did all the painting ourselves; FR/entryway is BM Mascarpone, Aura paint, matte finish, with the same color in the satin finish on the base molding, Guest Bedroom (No pics yet) is BM Muslin, Aura paint, matte and satin as in the FR. Fireplace wall is BM Black, Aura paint, matte finish. Baseboard heat covers along the brick are currently Krylon BBQ Grill (?) spray paint, but we plan to re-spray them using fp paint (the black might blend with the wall color better). We left the remaining baseboard heat covers alone (original white finish). Ceilings throughout are BM Super White, Aura paint, matte finish.
When we bought the house, we originally thought we'd just decorate "around" the red brick (pretend it wasn't there, treat it like a neutral), but when we finally got to the point of decorating and using the FR, we knew that wouldn't work for us. DH didn't want to go through the hassle/work of sheetrocking over the brick, and having it covered up (coated) cost more than we wanted to spend right now. I briefly considered painting the brick the same color as the walls, but wasn't really in love with that idea. Painting the bricks black came to me out of the blue (before I even saw threads here on home dec about doing so). As indecisive as I am, I just knew it was the right thing to do. It might not be everyone's cup-of-tea, but we are really happy with the way it turned out--better than we had ever envisioned!
We had a gas fp insert and Ocean Beige travertine floor tile (Artistic Tile) installed (we left the fp insert install and the tiling to the very talented pros!). The granite "inlay" in the fp hearth we had installed about 4 years ago, replacing the ugly mismatched slate pieces--it's the same granite that we have in the kitchen. Who knew back then how well it would match the crystals in the gas insert? :-) The mantel cover was fabricated in the fp installer's shop, and then sprayed by them to match the finish on the insert's frame.
We still have some odds and ends to get, things to hang some walls, have to install the new switches/outlets, but the bulk of the renovation/decorating is done. Yay! I still have to take more pics of the downstairs to share (opposite wall in the FR, guest bedroom....), but here are some I can share now.
Here are some befores. I have to see if DH can scan some pre-digital camera pics of the downstairs (showing the paneling and the dry bar) onto my laptop. These pics were taken just prior to painting (after all the boxes and crap that lived there for 13 years was carted out!). These are just pics of the fp wall--other room shot before pics are on the link to my pb acct below:
Here are some afters:
Here is a link that might be useful: cat_mom's family room pictures album