::About That Fireplace::

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at


It's been more than 2 years since we redid our fireplace, and I still get emails asking how I did it.  I'm totally not kidding you, I lay awake at night sometimes kicking myself for never doing a tutorial.
Bad blogger.

Today I intend to remedy that by giving you the deets.  THIS POST will give you a brief history and some before and afters and all that. It's still in the top five most viewed posts I've done.

So before I get into my actual process, I need to show you all the ways I decorated it over the last few years.  I'm doing this mostly because we just moved out of that house 7 weeks ago, and the fireplace is about the only thing I was sentimental about leaving.  *sniff*

So this is my tribute to that blessed wall of brick in chronological order. Linked dates will take you to the posts for more pictures. (cue Barbara's Memories track)

Christmas 2009, just a month or so after starting ye olde blogge

Halloween 2010 #2....had to change it up 'cause the wee punkins in the above shot done molded.  Ew.

Thanksgiving #2 (hadn't done the beefy trim under the mantel yet)

Along with painting the brick, I painted the mirror, we added beaded board wallpaper to the ceiling and molding around the top of the room, and I painted the gold around the door black.

Boy did I go nutso that first Christmas....I glitterfied every ding dang thing I could.  I was darn proud of that fireplace makeover.
Christmas 2010 (trim added)

Blurry Spring 2011

Winter 2013

So there ya have it....a parade of seasons on my beloved hearth.

Now I shall tell you how I got that painted effect.  Ready?

First things first.  Paint Colors.
White: Valspar's Woodlawn Lace at Lowes.  Which happened to be the color used on the paneling in that room as well as my kitchen cabinets and all the trim throughout the house.
Beige: Ralph Lauren's Canvas Natural at Home Depot.  Which happened to be the color used in several other rooms in my house including the foyer/hall that led to this room. Unfortunately they no longer have the formula for this discontinued color in their computers.  :(  

1. Paint all the brick and grout with 2 coats of satin latex.  Make sure the brick is completely covered.  No, I didn't prime it. 
Use a thick-ish roller for rough surfaces and an old brush (which will get pitched after this project is finished  'cause painting in between the bricks destroys it. Be prepared.)

2 Used a foam roller for smooth surfaces with the second color of satin latex.
Here's the tricky part:  Load the roller, then roll OFF as much paint as you can. Then begin GENTLY and LIGHTLY rolling the bricks. Barely touch the surface of the brick.  My brick was highly textured, so the paint come off heavy in some places, lighter in others, not at all in some areas.  I rarely went over a spot twice.  For corners or areas the roller couldn't reach, I just used a brush to try to match the uneven, random way the paint was laid on with the roller.  Here's a close up:

If your brick is more flat and even, you can try pulling sections of foam off your roller so only the raised parts will paint the brick.  Or try looking for the rollers for faux finishing.  The key is use a LIGHT hand and don't go over any areas more than once unless you absolutely have to.  

Here's another shot of last Christmas' mantel where I fiddled with the picture so you can get a better look at the random paint pattern:

It really wasn't hard, and when I goofed and laid on too much in one spot, I just waited for it to dry, repainted with the first white color, let that dry and gave it another shot with the second color.  And I only needed to do that in 2 areas.

Hope this clears the mystery up....if not, leave a comment or email me.  And thanks for reminiscing with me :)


Cassie Bustamante said...

writing tutorials is boring- who wants to do that! ;) not us!!!
and i just noticed that the mirror you have is very similar to the one that i put in my kids bathroom here- i hoarded it because i loved it so! glad i found a spot for it. :)

andi filante said...

You did a beautiful job! I don't have a brick (anything) to paint, but if I did, I would love to copy this technique!


Maureen said...

Thanks for the how to. Perfect timing! I'll be painting my living room soon and I plan to paint the brick on the fireplace.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh wow, the transformation is totally amazing. I love the after, so much more elegant and refined. Stunning. Great tutorial and pictues too. I would love for you to link to my Inspire Me Tuesday party that is ongoing. - -http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/04/160th-inspire-me-tuesday.html

I think this is definitely inspiring. Hugs, Marty

Gwen said...

Beautiful! I love all the looks of your fireplace with the differing decor! Way to change it up!

Pamela said...

Cindy it is oh so beautiful! Such a show stopper.Thanx for sharing at THT!

Unknown said...

Question - step one you said to paint two coats of latex...that is the lace color? And then one coat of the beige? Thanks. Barb

Unknown said...

Question - step one you said to paint two coats of latex...that is the lace color? And then one coat of the beige? Thanks. Barb

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

Great tutorial... I dread writing them too :) I'm featuring it in the PoPP Spotlight this week. Thanks for linking up.

Jackie Lee said...

This is the tutorial i have been dying for!!!!

To be clear, you used the "white" paint first and then ever so lightly went over it with the "beige"? I am a bit of a painting dork, so need all the clarification I can get!!!!

Oh, BTW, my husband had his arm twisted to move our Heatalator fireplace into the corner so I could recreate this fireplace to a T!

Thanks so much!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I like your painted brick technique. It gave it depth. I especially like the 2012 Christmas photo too.

Unknown said...

Your fireplace is absolutely lovely after you painted it! And thank you for the tutorial. I'm sure a lot of your readers have been dying to know how you transformed a common-looking fireplace into an elegant one! Great job!
Leeanne @ Pro Master

Lisa said...

I found this while searching for chalk paint ideas on my mantel. I love your fireplace, i just followed your instructions and painted mine last monday! I absolutely love it! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Is that wood paneling you painted as well? If so what color did you use? The same Valspar Woodlawn Lace you used on the bricks? Thank you so very much for sharing this beautiful project!!!!

Natalia said...

Wow! Amazing, how one fireplace can look different when its owner is a cottage fairy! :)

Unknown said...

You have inspired me to paint mine! I painted a couple of practice bricks, however, my bricks are textured differently than yours. I would somehow love to show you mine for your opinion.

thebaker said...

This fireplace is nearly identical to the one in a house we are considering to buy. It gives me hope that it really could be updated from its drab, 1970s dark paneling look! Thanks for the inspiration, and the how-to plus paint colors.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Your blogs and its stuff are so notable and worthwhile it can make me return. stanningleyfiresides.co.uk

Unknown said...

what happens when you use your fireplace? Do you have soot stains?


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