Here's what it looked like before. This photo was taken during one of our walk throughs. All the stuff is the previous owner's.
Not a bad place to start by any means. The paint I used was the same white paint we used for the trim and doors. It's latex based Ultra White Gloss Valspar from Lowes.
I mixed it up in a plastic measuring bowl. 1 part paint to 2 parts water. Got an old 2" paint brush. Nothing fancy there. I started at the top and worked my way down.
Optional step: contract a kitty to supervise and make sure you're doing it right.
My arms started getting very tired very quickly. Lol. Thankfully it does go pretty fast once you get into a rhythm. Paint a few bricks thickly, let it sit for a minute, then dab with a towel.
That last photo really shows the difference between paint that is freshly dabbed and paint that has soaked in a bit.
I did end up going back over everything one more time, but it was more of a dry brushing effect to highlight the texture of the brick. I didn't get the paint on the mortar a second time unless it looked too dark.
And now, here's what we've got!
Loads better! The room looks twice as big, and the fireplace is more of a statement piece in the room's decor instead of ... The Fireplace. After a week, the paint has soaked into the brick a bit, giving it a more weathered and softer look. I... Think I like it? I'm not sure... I may hit it with one more coat eventually, but right now I'm waiting to see if this works for me.
I do plan to paint the mantle white as well. If not because it doesn't look right unpainted... Because while painting the brick, we weren't able to get the mantle off and it got paint splattered on it because I was too lazy to tape it off.
But I do think it would look better white.
Hopefully this will help someone decide whether or not they want to paint their fireplace. I know when I was researching, I couldn't get enough of whitewashed fireplace photos. So here's one more.
Also, notice the fire-extinguisher. Safety first, people! Only you can prevent forest fires!
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