Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fireplace Makeover: Phase 2

Well, hello there!  I'm currently enjoying a 5-day weekend.  I'm liking this much better than working a 5- day work week!  Most of my long weekend is already jammed-packed, but I'm hoping that I have at least one day to get a few projects done.

I've been sporadic with my posting because I was working on a semi-big project.  About a year ago, I started thinking about painting my brick fireplace.  It was a big decision because once you paint brick, you can't go back if you change your mind.  I had found a lot of pictures and blogs that had beautiful white painted brick fireplaces, so I finally decided to take the plunge, but knew this would happen in phases. 

Phase 1 involved getting rid of the brassy accents as documented here.  Great start!  It already started to look better.

Phase 2 involved painting all of the brick and mortar white and has now been completed.  I thought it was going to be a quick, "done in a weekend" project, but it took me a bit longer.  Here is what I started with.

The brick was crumbly and very dirty (you can see on the hearth in front of the glass doors how dirty it is).  It's also very hard to dust it and keep it clean.

As a temporary solution to keeping all the cords and cables at bay, I re-used a cable hider that came with the house.  It runs down the side of the fireplace.  Even though you can see it, it tends to blend in well with the wall.  Plus, there is an Ikea Expedit shelf unit that sits next to it, so it helps to hide it.

I took the cable hider off (it was screwed into the wall, not the brick itself).  Then I used the brush that came with my dust pan and brushed off all the brick and in between all the crevices.  Wow!  There was a lot of dirt that came out - pretty gross!  After that, I vacuumed all the dirt and then gave the entire a thing a once over with the vacuum brush.  I then took a damp rag and wiped it all down.   I taped up everything and was good to get started.

I bought Zinsser Cover Stain primer so I could prime the brick first.  I made sure that it would be good to use on brick/mansonry.  I ended up using a 1" cheapo brush and also a mini-roller.  The small brush helped to get into all the crevices where the mortar is at.  This is why it took me a long time to get the fireplace painted - I had to hand paint a lot of instead of being able to use the mini-roller.  I spent a lot of time laying on my belly trying to make sure I got in all the little crevices.  I also had to make sure to paint on the underside of the brick also.  What a pain (literally)!

I figured that if I primed it really well, then once I got to painting, it would make it go faster.  My theory was right (thank goodness!).  I gave it 2 coats of primer to be on the safe side.
Here is a picture with just the 2 coats of primer on it.  It's already looking much, much better.

After the 2 coats of primer, I painted it with Behr's Ultra Pure White (satin) off-the-shelf paint.  I was able to use the mini-roller on the majority of the brick, but still had to hand paint over the mortar.  But, since I gave a good coating of primer, this whole process went by quickly.

**Side note**  I also bought this really neat paint can lid at Walmart.  It has a pour spout that you can push down so you can stack your paint cans when storing them.  I figured since I wouldn't be using the whole can of paint on the fireplace and would be using it again soon (another project from my big "to do" list), this was perfect.
In the pictures below, you can see where I started painting the white over the primer and what a difference that alone made.

The fireplace got 2 coats of white paint and then Phase 2 was all done.

Until I can figure out a better way of corralling those cables & cords, I will be putting the cable hider back in it's same place.  Now that that fireplace is a bright white color, the cable hider looks dingy in it's off-white color.  I'll be giving it the same paint job so it blends in easier.

Phase 3 involves building a simple wood mantel, but for now I'm really, really happy with how it came out.  It has really brightened up the room so much more.  Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

***Update:  I usually set a basket of firewood/logs and other decorative items on the hearth and wanted my new paint job to be protected.  I asked the wonderful duo at Young House Love for some advice about this because I've heard that some polys will turn white paint yellow-ish.  Sherry was so great to respond - she suggested a light coat of Polycrylic, which I just so happened to already have on hand!  I went ahead and brushed on a light coat of Minwax's Polycrylic to give it that extra bit of protection.  Cross your fingers that it works!

Linked up to:
Ask Anna's Weekend Warrior link party

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How to Nest for Less' Just a Party with my Peeps link party

House of Hepworth's Hookin Up With HOH link party

The 36th Avenue's Party Time link party

Live Laugh Rowe's Live Laugh Linky link party

Delightful Order's Delightfully Inspiring Thursday link party

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Thanks for stopping by!
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  1. Stopping by from the UBP. You did an awesome job on your fireplace. It looks beautiful!

  2. Wow! What a transformation! Love how it turned out :)

  3. I'm always amazed at how much you get done in a week! Can't wait to see your mantle!

  4. Hello There!
    I am visiting for UBP12 and I love what you did with the fireplace! There are so many things you can do with a white fireplace! Can't wait to see whats next! I am a new follower! I blog over at Check us out when you get some time!


  5. Awesome job! It looks so good. I think you'll love it white! I'm just about to finish up my looks similar to yours (your original one).

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow! Lovely when done. Who'd think it wasn't done by a professional? Nice meeting you from UBP.

  7. I am thinking about doing this myself to my fireplace...I just need the guts! I'm your newest follower from live.laugh.rowe!


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