Happy Tuesday Friends! There are some exciting things happening around here this week, first off I am guest hosting the Link it or Lump it Sunday party, so if you haven’t checked out the party, be sure to click over and see all the amazing projects that have been linked up! The second is I am inviting you into our living room which has not been shown on the blog before! Welcome to our living room, well at least to our fireplace, the rest of the room is still a work in progress which I will share with you soon. Our house was built about 40 years ago which means it is in need of some major updates and the fireplace was definitely one of them. It’s a greyish brick fireplace, that spans the entire length of the wall with a marble slab for the mantle and hearth. The mostly grey bricks have a few different colored bricks mixed in as well, I am assuming this was popular in its day, but it drives me crazy and just doesn’t fit our style. I decided right when we bought the house that I wanted to paint the fireplace, I just had to decide on a color and technique. Shortly after, I learnt that I could use Annie Sloan Chalk paint on brick! After I discovered that my favourite paint could be used on brick, I knew exactly how I wanted to makeover my fireplace using Annie Sloan Chalk paint and doing a washed look on the fireplace rather than a solid color. I loved the idea of using this paint because it’s so easy to work with and has a matte finish.
The first step to my ambitious fireplace makeover was to clean the smoke particles and tar from the previous owners off of the fireplace. Once the fireplace was clean and dry this gave me a good base for the paint to stick to. To clean the fireplace, I followed these steps;
1. Remove everything on and around the fireplace and lay out a drop cloth in front of the fireplace to protect the floors
2. Mix 1/8 cup TSP with 1 gallon of hot water
3. Using a paint brush and wearing rubber gloves, I applied the TSP to the brick, leaving it on for a few seconds then rinsing it off completely with warm water. I really wanted to use a bristle brush to scrub the fireplace but decided that it would create spattering and ruin the paint on the walls. I think the paint brush worked well though since TSP is a strong cleaning solution which means not a lot of scrubbing was necessary, also a soft sponge could work too.
4. Let the fireplace dry overnight, then it was ready for painting the next day!
I purchased one can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, color Pure White and used almost a full can for the fireplace. To achieve the washed look I mixed a few tablespoons of water with Annie Sloan paint so the paint was thinned out and soupy.
Working in small sections, I applied the paint mixture using a stiff bristle brush. This was honestly such an easy way to paint and I didn’t have to worry about brush strokes or being overly fussy about details. I ended up doing two coats of paint because I could still see too much of the grey and colors peaking through the white paint. I think the dimension that the paint gives the brick makes it look more natural and less painted, I did blot a few areas where the paint looked too thick or where it dripped.
Make sure you cover your floors and walls well when painting, as the watery paint is a bit messy and drips often. I ended up having to touch up our walls as the paint flicked a lot when trying to paint the edges.
A tip I learnt from the staff while I was purchasing my paint, was to use Annie Sloan Laquer, clear matte finish after the paint has dried, which allows you to wipe the bricks clean without removing any of the paint. For now I haven’t applied the lacquer to our brick since we have a gas fireplace and there won’t be any sought or smoke from the fireplace settling onto the brick and it seems to hold up fine when I wipe it with a damp cloth. I will update you if I find that I need to apply the lacquer. I also painted the gold trim work and details on the gas fireplace using Trem-clad high heat paint matte finish, this really helped to update the fireplace and I love the high contrast of the black fireplace with the white brick!
What do you think of my white-washed brick fireplace makeover? Have you painted brick before? Share your comments below, I would love to hear from you!