Want to paint ugly brick fireplace

cat_kyAugust 11, 2014

Since the paneling is all gone, in ceiling and on walls, and carpeting is long gone in my dining room, it is now time to do something about the ugliest fireplace ever. I really dont like to paint brick, but, there isnt much else I can do with this one, since budget does not allow any type of refacing. I think I want to paint it shades of gray. Has anyone any pictures of their painted fireplaces, and the process they used to get it done. I have 2 projects that need to be done before spring. This fireplace has to be the first project.

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Do you have pictures of it without all the paneling?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:19PM
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I will take one and post it a bit later today

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Here's a whole pin board full of inspiration photos and ideas for DIY ...... hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinterest -- painted brick fireplaces

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:34PM
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Why paint that? It's beautiful! What is too bad is that the firebox is so small.

Why do you think it's so ugly?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:47PM
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Here is a picture of the fireplace straight on.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:03PM
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Here is a picture of the fireplace in the room. This room is the dining room by the way. It is open to the living room on one side by a 4 ft opening and completely open to the kitchen. The kitchen and dining room are the only 2 rooms that retain the original stained walnut trim work. It doesnt show much in the pictures, but, there is a lot of black in this room and also kitchen. Rest of rooms in the house have a lot of black furniture, and all have dark charcoal trim (BM Racoon fur, almost black). This dining room is a bit more country looking, since the dining room table and chairs were handed down in my hubbys family, and are somewhere around 150 yrs old. All the tables by the window with lamps and plants are black. All draperies in the house with the exception of the dining room valance and kitchen valance are shades of gray and/or solid black.

Thanks Teacats, I will check the link out. Tibbrix, I cant see anything about attractive about this monstrosity. LOL

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:10PM
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Two choices: learn to love it, it's really nice as is. Or get out the jackhammer like we did. Painting it isn't a good option in my view. Then it will just look like a big massive painted thing.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:35PM
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I donâÂÂt think itâÂÂs ugly! Maybe you could make some modifications on the mantel. I went through this in the house IâÂÂm in except I had a big Fred Flintstone fireplace in my dining room. I had to stop and ask myself if I really wanted to take out all the things in the house that gave it its soul. In the end I just did some modifications by removing the stone part way up and adding a light mantel. In your case that would be harder to do. However, removing some of the clutter on your mantel and surrounding area would make a huge difference. If you choose to change the whole thing about the time you are done original brick fireplaces will be all the rage. Every home decorating show or magazine will be making a big fuss over how wonderful that an older home STILL has the original brick fireplace.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:37PM
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Well, I really have to disagree. I think it's beautiful and goes perfectly in that room with the beams and the low ceiling. It adds to the charm of that room, and I think painting it would destroy that.

At the absolute most, I'd whitewash it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:45PM
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I agree that with the room that it's in, it fits. I'd look at getting a really pretty fireplace screen that covers up the tiny wood stove box.

Do you use the wood stove?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:49PM
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What if you popped off the crown moulding, drywalled the upper part of it above the mantle and the sides to the depth of the upper part.

That way you would have a brick fireplace below the mantel on the front and sides and "wall" above the mantel and on some of the side. It would take away some of the mass.

Then I would leave the much smaller amount of exposed brick unpainted and put the crown back up.

Black will make it look Massive.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:50PM
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I agree that it is ugly and should be painted, but I would not paint the hearth, although I would definitely recommend resurfacing at least that part of it. I'm sure you plan to resurface the rest of the fireplace when it is in your budget, and you can make the room much more cheerful when you do.

I painted the fireplace at my parents' house, and it made the room seem less heavy. Your fireplace is very pondersome and reminds me of a Medieval dungeon, but that's just my feelilng. Some people love brick fireplaces - I don't. But then I've never lived in a cold climate (except for San Francisco) and generally felt that fireplaces are a waste of space. When I was shopping for my current house, one of my requirements was that it NOT have a fireplace. Ceiling fans yes, but fireplace no.

How often do you use the fireplace?


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:51PM
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Painted brick looks half a$$ed, cheap and dated.It also makes it a major focal point since it makes it look so out of place. As a person who spent weeks removing paint from a fireplace that had been painted by the former owners (with stripper, toothbrushes and dental tools to get in the nooks and crannies,) I plead with you not to. Its an absolute nightmare to undo.

You have a beautiful fireplace, you have no idea how many people would love to have that.

This post was edited by VedaBeeps on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 14:55

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:52PM
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whitewash it

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:52PM
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Like this:

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Not black:

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:02PM
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I'm sure my fireplace is about the same vintage as yours and I've been looking for some inexpensive way to change it. I just posted the before and after below as a possible solution. It can be found here on Houzz:


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:07PM
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I painted a fireplace once. I lived to regret it. Your fireplace is actually very attractive. I definitely would not paint it.

What I would do if it were mine is, get rid of the pictures on the mantle and hang a large, framed rectangle mirror. It would break up the feel of such a massive amount of brick and reflect light back into the room. Put the clock and hurricane lamp on either end. A gold leaf type frame would add a touch of color and still blend with your country style.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Perhaps a new mantel? But I don't think the brick is ugly at all. The other issue is there are too many things on the fireplace creating visual clutter. Perhaps leave the 2 prints and remove the things in front of them and move the lamp elsewhere? Just a thought. Also on the hearth maybe try and simplify with just one thing on either side of the fire box?
You could always just paint the top part white. Someone did this to mine in my house and it doesn't look half bad. Although I wouldn't have done it myself.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:21PM
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This is what I would do. IâÂÂd keep the brick and add a rectangular antiqued frameless mirror. I would paint the mantel and add a fire screen.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Here is an excellent blog post with photos and instructions for whitewashing the brick -- an in-between solution -- for your fireplace ....

Here is a link that might be useful: Tutorial -- whitewashing brick and painting

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 4:07PM
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I actually like the fireplace and wonder if working to make the rest of the room less country and more eclectic would make it actually fit your taste.

Different window treatment, rug, maybe slip cover for the chairs, a different arm chair. Also, maybe built ins next to the fire place, e.g. shelves.

I know, here the fireplace is white (maybe white wash yours, although I think that it's not the main issue).

Not saying to go purple, but look how that monstrosity somehow looks quite nifty.

Here is a link that might be useful: 10 unpainted brick/stone fireplaces

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 4:18PM
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Although not what you may have chosen, you could have much worse. I believe the biggest problem is the number of small items on and around the fireplace, including the two mismatched furniture pieces on either side of the fireplace. It's like the fireplace is part of a grouping of furniture, instead of standing on it's own. I would place larger items on the mantel, in a group of 3 or 5. Large rustic candlesticks, a piece of art that would compliment the brick, large pottery pieces or a large decorative platter on a plate stand. Nothing on the hearth, or maybe just one large item off to one side, a large lantern, basket, etc... I am finding that fewer items, but larger items seem to work best. When viewing a lot of small items, our eyes are constantly moving and never resting on one or two special pieces. This comes from someone who has a very similar fireplace.

This post was edited by CarolT924 on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 16:56

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I wouldn't paint it. I'd dress it up better, beef up the mantel so it's more in proportion. I think it looks perfectly fine with the home and the surroundings. At most white wash, but please don't paint it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:43PM
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LOL, I am amazed that so many of you actually like the fireplace. It is so huge, and so ugly in my eyes. Probably because, I really do not like fireplaces in the first place. Removing it is not an option, since I just do not have the budget to do that. I sure might consider it, if I could.

Those of you that mentioned the clutter on it, I guess, I should have mentioned that most of that stuff doesnt live in that location. I am working on another area, where those things go, and have to put them up, because, I babysit 4 very small great grandkids. I did move all the toybaskets that were sitting in front of there for now, before I took the pictures, just didnt think about moving the rest. :-) Those of you that asked if I used the fireplace. No, I dont. Yes, I could, in case of power outage.

Those of you that mentioned decorative screen in front of the firebox (yes it is too small for the massive amount of brick), I do have one already, and did have it there, but, there are electric logs inside, and the front of the wood stove insert has glass doors, and the little ones love to turn it on, to see the fire burning, so I put the screen away.

Some mentioned changing many things in the room. That really doesnt work for here, since I get a lot of company from out of town ( my grown kids and grown grandkids) and the dining room is used a lot. The red chair is there because, I sit there and watch a tv that I have on the buffet, when I have the kids, because, they have the other tv set to cartoons, so the chair is basically just there for me.. The chair is also a rocker to rock babies to sleep. Someone mentioned built ins. The cabinet on the left is a built in, and is original to when the house was built. (1968) The rug, the chair, and the rest of the reddish color is also in my kitchen, and my living room, so that all three rooms blend, since they are all visible to each other. The shelves with the cookie jars (there are 2 of them, one on each side of the window), have to stay as it is the only place in the entire house to put my cookie jar collections.

Pal, I had thought about sheetrock on the top half, but, I am all alone here, to do all the work, and I am 75 yrs old. Worst part is that my shoulder went out, sanding the sheetrock on the ceiling, and after 6 months, it is still not healed, so at this time sheetrock is out, but, not ruled out for the future.

Several of you mentioned a new mantle. The material for that is out in my shop, so that is part of the plan. I am also hoping to put something different on the hearth in the near future. Some type of stone, maybe, just not sure yet.

More of you are saying leave it, than those that are saying paint it, so now, I just dont know what to do. LOL

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:52PM
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You have some nice stuff! Take some out. I donâÂÂt think the fireplace is the problem.

Do another (one) focal point on the wall (painting). It balances things out. Get rid of the valance thingy. Do a curtain rod close to the ceiling. Change the wall paint to a greyed down green or dirty green. Hopefully you can now see how the fireplace goes perfectly with your wood floors, beams and the rest.


This post was edited by jterrilynn on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 18:51

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:00PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I don't think the problem is the fireplace. It's that big red chair! You will adore the fireplace this winter. You may need to move furniture around?

Cool fireplace!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:04PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

You need to decide on your style before making any decisions as everything is related.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:04PM
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I love the second of nosoccermom's photos....and I like painted brick very much. It doesn't peel--at least for a long time--and is washable. I may be the lone voice here for painting it--I have a large brick fireplace in an otherwise light kitchen, but my dream is to use Delft or Gzhel tiles on the whole thing, a la St. Petersburg palaces! When I get rich...(not..)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:14PM
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I understand loving all of our things/collections, believe me, I have a 8x10 closet in my basement filled with my things! Since the cabinet to the left is original and built-in, it would of course stay, but I would remove the one on the right, as the style is totally different from the other one and the style of your room. Your home seems to have a warm country/rustic feel and I would build on that, I do love your pottery pieces on the hearth, and would maybe move the jug on the bottom right to the mantel along with your oil lamp. Do you have cookie jars that would work with those items? You do not have to display all your cookie jars at the same time. I have a large pottery collection and rotate it throughout the year. I think you should start with a clean slate and decorate with things that are special to you and you truly love. I think once you do that you may see your fireplace in a new light! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:33PM
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How about the picture above your cabinet on the right, could that be moved to your mantel, looks like a nice farm/country scene, may look nice on a plate stand/easel.

This post was edited by CarolT924 on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 18:43

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:39PM
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If you must change the FP, Consider whitewash, not painting it. I would first try minimize the items on & around & see if you like it better.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:46PM
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My idea will work wonders on your existing brick and it doesn't involve paint.

Mix a 50/50 mixture of boiled linseed oil and turpentine. Both can be purchased as HD or Lowe's. Rag rub the mix on the brick, generously. No, you don't have to boil linseed oil - that's the name of the product.

This will cause the true colors of the brick to pop!

I stripped the paint off a floor to ceiling brick fireplace and after all paint was gone, this final step made the brick absolutely gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:00PM
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That sounds fantastic jmc01!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:03PM
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My daughter tried to whitewash her fireplace and weird things appeared - it didn't take the whitewash well. She ended up having to paint it. You have received several interesting ideas about changing the fireplace here, (like framing out parts of it). I am in the camp that it is beautiful and homey and will be a great backdrop for your Christmas pictures!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:07PM
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jterrilynn I have been thinking of the curtain rod closer to the ceiling, and will probably do that. Green paint however, is out, because, I really dont like green anything. :-))

desertdance wish I could move things around, but, this room has no wall (goes into kitchen) on one side, has 2 doors on the opposite end wall from the fireplace, and the fireplace takes the whole entire space. on that end wall. There isnt enough space between the table and the window for chairs, etc.

Bumblebeez, believe it or not, my style is actually a bit on the Asian side. However, the dining room, and kitchen are not, because of all the family pieces in there, from both my side of the family and my deceased hubbys side of the family and unfortunately, there is no where else for them to go. Probably another reason, this darn fireplace bugs me so much.

CarolT924, wish some could go into storage, but unfortunately basements are very rare where I live, so I dont have one. There would be no place to store anything, without renting a storage building. Thank you for liking the picture above the cabinet to the right. When I was a little girl, I watched one of my aunts and uncles work on that picture for months. When my aunt passed away about 6 yrs ago, that was the one thing I asked for. The cabinet (secretary) on the right, is there, because, it was a birthday gift many many years ago, and it is the only place in the house where it will fit. Ideally, it should be by a front entry, but, this house has the front entry, directly into the living room. I just am not ready to part with that secretary yet, although, I do have a son, who is waiting patiently for it, until I am ready. LOL

Jmc01, would that be better than the color restorer they make for brick? I have already used that, which is why the pictures, I took today, are brighter than the first one I posted, that was taken when we first looked at the house. It just didnt do enough, to make me happy.

Thank you everyone for all the feedback. Lots to think about.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:26PM
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I LIKE the brick! Here s what we did with ours.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:29PM
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Cat, just to clarify IâÂÂm talking a gray but a gray with green undertones. Most all grays have an undertone, some are purple some are blue ectâ¦it looks gray but will change with the lighting.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:04PM
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I hope this does not sounds condescending, but I hope I am worrying about decor at 75! You go.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 9:03PM
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I've never used the color restorer so can't speak to that. I received the suggestion for what I used from another old home restorer and it worked really well...and was inexpensive as well!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:13PM
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Cat_ky-Your post says "want to paint fireplace" but I don't think just painting (and I wouldn't anyway) is going to make you happy, as I don't believe the fireplace is the problem, it is arranging the room around it, including decorative objects. If nothing else I would move your Aunt and Uncle's painting to the mantle as you already have pieces that would work very well with it in a arrangement. I would think about gifting the secretary to your son sooner than later. Doing so will allow you to make some larger changes to your room which I think you will like, and also get see his family enjoy the secretary in their home as much as you did in yours. I must say it pleases me to see pieces of mine displayed and enjoyed in my daughters home. I also agree with KitschyKitch, You go girl and keep on decorating!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:07AM
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Elraes Miller

You mentioned already having a mantel in the garage. I think a larger mantel in the same stain as the side pieces would make a big difference. Know you don't need any more add-ons, but perhaps a cushion going across the hearth for your little ones. Which can always be removed. Am in my 70s too and still into decorating....old gals rule too. Although you have more oomph than I do babysitting little ones.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:31AM
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Definitely do not ruin it by painting it an opaque color, that would look terrible!

WHITE WASH as the photos posted by nosoccermom >especially the center one

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:48AM
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jmc, if you see this, I might try that on my FP and hearth. Is that all you do? Presumably you can't "rinse" it, so to speak. Do you just leave the mixture to dry? Presumably the turpentine evaporates so it doesn't explode when you have a fire the first time after cleaning it?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 8:20AM
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Holly- Kay

I think your room is warm, comforting and cozy looking, it also has heart.

I wouldn't give up my secretary desk until I was good and ready to do so and a comfortable chair is worth more than any uncomfortable chair no matter how elegant or stylish.

I love your fireplace as is, but the fact that you don't, means go ahead and change it. I love Pal's idea of covering the upper portion in sheet rock when it becomes a viable solution. In the meantime whitewashing it would lighten the look of it.

I hope you post some follow up pics!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:27AM
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I like the brick, I just think there is too much of it.

I love Palimpsest's idea of boxing in the top portion. This would give the remaining brick a less ponderous presence in the room.

The remaining brick would then be more in proportion to the firebox opening.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:17AM
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If you really want to paint go ahead! I think it kinda sucks the light out of the room. I did mine because I wanted it a little more up dated and I like the light.
But if you paint it take a tip from Lynette Jennings and add spackling powder to your paint, covers in one coat!
DH did not believe me til he saw it with his own, he was amazed.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:29AM
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maid, your fireplace looks very nice but it's much less brick than cat's fireplace.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Keep in mind that whatever you choose to do can affect the desirability and resale value of your house. You may not have plans to sell now but in the event of a health crisis, death, whatever we may all find ourselves in a situation one day where we need to sell (and possibly need to sell fast.)

I certainly wouldn't want to saddle my family with the task of stripping a fireplace to restore the look of the house when I'm gone.

Not trying to be morbid, just realistic.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:10PM
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Just saw on Property Brothers past couple of days where they painted a brick fireplace white, but then hand sanded off a lot a lot of the paint, so it looked aged.

Looked absolutely great. Normally I do not like painted brick, however it much better than the original.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:45PM
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Martinca, I do like your fireplace. It is similar style to the fireplace in my last house.

jterrilynn, I do have gray in my living room. I went through a ton of samples, to find one that didnt look greenish in my very sunny room, because, I dislike green so much. I have thought about using that same gray in the dining room, but, not sure I want it in my kitchen, and the walls in the kitchen join into the dining room, in two areas.

kitschyKitch, thanks. :-))I am actually hoping I live long enough to sell this house and buy another, that is more suitable to my likes. However, this one wont be ready to sell for approximately another year.

Several of you mention white wash, and that may be an option, since white wash can be tinted, so it wouldnt be actually white.

holly-kay, yep, the secretary will stay. It is very special to me, and I do use it all the time. I do wish there was somewhere else to put it, since it really isnt in the ideal location.

mclarke boxing in the top, will most likely be done at some point, even if my shoulder isnt up to doing it right now, it can be done at a later date.

maid_o_cliff , I love your fireplace, and you are right, this big thing does seem to me to suck the light out of the room. When we first moved in, the room was like a dungeon, with all the dark paneling, and there were 3 enormous maple trees, so close to the house, that they not only blocked all the light, but they were damaging the gutters and even poked holes in the screen. They are now gone, and there is a lot of light coming in the room.

VedaBeeps, yep, I do know that everything that is done affects resale. On the plus side though, is that this house has improved considerably in the 5 yrs since we bought it, and has other factors in its favor to sell easily and quickly. I am hoping to live a while yet, and I am in excellent health, take no medications, and can do anything I did at 30, but, at my age, that can change very quickly, I know. One never knows what tomorrow will bring.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:09PM
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I am another person who likes your brick fireplace (unpainted).

I think Pal's suggestion to lessen the size (boxing in the top) may be all that's needed. Afterwards, if you're still not pleased, you will have that much less brick to paint or treat.

I also agree with jterrilynn's suggestions. The "after" photo looks much better.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:48PM
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this is it

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Just drove through a nice, older development with colonial types of houses (two story Garrisons, salt boxes) almost all with brick veneer on the front exteriors and the chimney. Easily 50% of them have painted brick, now 40 years later. I think they look great. It is a way to imbue a little personality into these houses--looks a little more sleek, and much less uniform than the brick that was applied to, literally, every house on the block.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 3:25PM
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mdln, that looks nice!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:52PM
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I love Pal's idea. With most of it looking like part of the walls, it will seem much less in-your-face.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:55PM
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It sounds like you want the fireplace to disappear and in that case, you should paint it. I would suggest painting the fireplace and the walls the same color. Also, put a white or light colored throw on that chair just to tone down the color and it won't pop so much next to the white fireplace.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:36PM
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Tibbix, just rag wipe on generously and let air dry. Yes, the turpentine evaporates very quickly but the oil stays tacky for a few days or so. I stripped the paint from the brick in late winter/early spring and fire season was over. We had no problems the following winter with sparks or anything. The brick looked clean and the colors were very rich.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:27PM
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I would not paint that fireplace. Think of resale, yes, there are some that like painted bricks, but I think more would not like it. I prefer the natural look of brick, it has a warm, natural look that to me is very nice.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:39PM
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I "whitewashed" mine just last month. I used a very light grey matte paint from Benjamin Moore (that I had leftover from painting a nearby room). My brick was VERY similar orange to yours. I also HATE painted brick. I thinned it out using very little paint and lots of water. I kind of splashed the paint on and then used a dry brush to spread the splashes. Very messy. After, I rubbed a lot off and even used sandpaper to expose brick again. Sanding it brought out a more pink color in the brick vs the orange. I don't mind the pink. Now it looks like old brick. Here's an after. I also added the mirror which helps I think.

The black-ish area at the bottom is my shadow.
Before. But it's more orange than pic shows.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:53PM
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I love jterrilyn's advice about removing some of the decorative items in the room, and also the advice to clean the brick. I would start there and see if you still want a more drastic change.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:02AM
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@ green haven - great job, looks wonderful!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:05AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

You might also check into brick stain rather than paint. It allows you to change color but leave the texture of the brick still looking like brick. It's applied to the brick face only, not the grout....though you can do the grout separately if you have the patience.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dye brick customer gallery

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:44AM
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    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:36AM
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mdln Your fireplace looks great.

MagdalenaLee Great photoshop. Thanks so much. It is exactly what I want it to look like, except for the color. I am wanting a light gray. Hoping to put black marble on top of the hearth someday. Almost found what I needed at Habitat restore the other day, except it was 1 inch to short. Depth was perfect. I already have a black throw to put on the chair. Most the time it is off, because, the little ones love to sit in there, and it usually ends up on the floor.

GreenHavenGarden Your fireplace looks really nice. Hope you enjoy it a lot.

Annie, I have looked at the Dye brick site, and it is in consideration to find a stain rather than a paint. I didnt see any gray on the site, but, a friend told me that concrete stain would work the same way and it can be bought at Home Depot, so next time, I am in the city, will check that out too.

nosoccermom, I did look over that link. Not seeing much with walnut stained trim. I do not want to paint this trim. I have painted every square inch of trim, in this house except the kitchen, and dining room, since they were the only ones that were still original. When we bought the house the rest of the trim was all painted white. I dislike white trim a lot, so it had to go almost immediately.

I find it all a bit sad, that when we moved here, there was a 24 inch doorway to the 12x20 ft living room (small compared to all other rooms in this house), off the kitchen, but, the original owners had the stone mason put in a 7 ft long stone FAKE fireplace in the living room that matched the stone on the house. It had a very pretty well done mantle too. Attached to it, was an 8 ft long cabinet, that was also well done. There is another door on the opposite side of the living room to the back hallway, and double doors for a closet, and the front door, plus a large picture window with side windows, so there was absolutely no place for furniture, so for almost 5 yrs, all my living room furniture was just piled in there gathering dust, and the door was shut, and no way to use it. Last year, grandson in law, tore out both the fake fireplace and the cabinet, and closed up the 24 inch doorway, and put a new doorway on the dining room side that is 4 ft wide. I now have room for my couch and chairs, and my big oriental cabinets, and tv. The sad part is that they put so much thought into the fake stone fireplace, and no thought at all to the ugly brick one in the dining room.

Oh and for those of you still reading this, I did spend most of the morning today out in the shop (nice cool morning) and I have the new top for the built in on the left all cut, except for 2 notches, and I do have a new mantle top all cut, and ready for sanding. I havent decided yet, just how much I want to add to the mantle, and of course, cant put it on until I decide what to do with the fireplace.

Thanks all for your time, and your ideas. :-))

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:15PM
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clarification -- not my fireplace, this was one painted by the Property Brothers that turned out nice.

Please post your final make over.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:32PM
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I had a red brick fireplace and simply did not like the orange tone of it. I took some very off white paint and really watered it down and then took my brush and just got in the grooves and went over it, brick by brick. I did not want a painted look, but for it to look like the bricks were naturally that color. I will look to see if I can find a photo.

So, I would start off with your paint very watered down to begin with. You can always go over it with more paint, but it is not as easy to take the paint off.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:40AM
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I happen to love the look of painted brick.

However, that said, I don't think you need to go that route. The only thing I don't care for about your fireplace is the mantle. How about making it real stone? Either a piece of raw granite (not the kitchen counter type) or a few long, flat rocks? Sorry that I don't have an example, but I think that would add interest and class to the fireplace.

Your house is nice.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:13AM
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cat ky I just read through this thread and see that you want to sell your home in approximately one year. Please do not paint that fireplace just because you hate it. I believe most people would prefer to see the original fireplace with a mantle, something like the first one nosoccermom posted from the Houzz article.
If you are currently building a mantle then add some wraparound "legs" to it, paint it up and get it on the fireplace. IMO that would appeal to the most buyers. After that you can judge if you need more involvement in that fireplace.
One year will go by fast and if you really want maximum sell price for your house you would be better off editing your belongings to clear out the home for selling. Your fireplace wont be the issue as much as your collections will be.
Not meaning to be harsh at all, as I collect things just like you; but also know buyers will have a difficult time seeing past the stuff.
I know what I speak of; my last house sold in one day to the first lookers for my asking price. It also had a red brick fireplace. ALL my collections and STUFF was gone.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:21AM
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