Thursday, March 7, 2013

1970's Fireplace Makeover

For those of you that know me personally, you know how much I love a good house project! It makes me sad that I started this blog AFTER doing so many projects around our house! The pictures will definitely be lacking, but I will do my best to show you some of the changes we have made over the past 3.5 years. Our house is not big and grand, but I love it. It's perfect for us right now.

On a random Saturday Sam came up with the idea to try our hand at painting our fireplace. I was shocked by this proposition because there is usually much begging and pleading that goes into any of my projects because it typically means a fair amount of work for Sam too. That being said, I immediately jumped on board with this project with only a little hesitation! Sam and I can be very hardheaded and we both work very differently. This is one of the reasons we get along so well, but also one of the reasons we fight from time to time...often during house projects. I am pleased shocked  that no crosswords were exchanged during the completion of this project.

Here's our very dark, dated fireplace before (Sorry for the crooked pic. The only pics I have of this are on my phone!):

We started by finding some easy to follow instructions. We used this Modern Fireplace Makeover from the  Lowes website. We simply followed the instructions below and used the same colors that were used the in instructions.

Step 1: Before applying paint, make sure the brick is clean and free of dust, soot or dirt. We used our shop vac to make sure we got all the dirty and cobwebs taken care of.

Sam gettin' his clean on (don't kill me for this pic babe! Xo):

Step 2: Apply a base coat (we used Valspar Desert Fortress) using both a paint roller and brush. The paint takes to the bricks very easily with a roller, but the morter requries the use of a brush. Buying high quaility paint for this step can save you a lot of time. We only did one coat of the base color. Let dry thoroughly.

First coat of Desert Fortress:

Progress (Ignore my painting outfit and Lady's photo bomb....#Ilooklikebigbird):

Desert Fortress coat complete:

Step 3: Cut a sponge so it is the same size as your bricks. Dampen the sponge in water, then wring it out so it is full and flexible but not drippy. I will re-emphasize DAMPEN....

Step 4: Pour a small amount of accent paint (we used Valspar Smoked Oyster) into a paint tray. It's important to use a small, even amount of paint on the sponge. To do this, brush paint up onto the ribbed surface of the paint tray. Set the sponge on to the paint to absorb a small amount. Blot the sponge on the cardboard to make sure you have the right amount of paint. Lightly press the sponge against the brick. You'll soon get a feel for the right amount of paint to use.
Sponging done on top half:

Finished Product:

How it looks today:

I actually really like how the fireplace looked painted with the Desert Fortress and no sponging, but it looked so harsh in the room. Ultimately I think the sponging made the look a little softer and added some depth. I can always change my mind down the road......this happens....frequently...I would love to change the styling of the mantle. I am currently in search of a new picture to jazz things up. Any mantle decorating tips or ideas? Please share!!!!!!



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