Controversy in the Making

Painting Brick

Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

Love it, hate it, or indifferent? People sure have opinions!

Our "new" home was built in the 1950s, and though the previous owners did an extensive renovation, they left a few original items:
(MLS photo with previous owners furnishings)
  1. parquet floors
  2. plain hollow doors
  3. one HUGE brick fireplace with brass accessories

First thing we did was change the flooring:
See??? We replaced the parquet floors with wide plank distressed hickory in a dark stain.

Then we moved in and unloaded all our "carp"
See??? See all that "carp"?

And now. About the fireplace.

The brick was pretty. The brick was in good condition. It was just too much brick for me. I wanted the fireplace to disappear, and thankfully, The Daddy agreed with me.

This weekend, we painted that HUGE fireplace. We found the primer and an almost-full gallon of paint that the previous owners kindly left us in our shed.
Here she is with a coat of primer.

The paint color is Sherwin Williams "Urban Putty," the same color as the walls in the room.
Here's The Daddy getting started with the second coat.

The Crazy Dog hung out right outside the door. No dog hair in the paint, please!

It really was a lot of work.

But the end result makes me happy.

We live here and we love it!

We plan on painting the firebox black with some heat-resistant paint. We also plan on painting the back of the bookcases with a pretty color. I'm thinking an orangey-rusty-red. Maybe a Terra cotta-like color.

I'd like to place a pretty fern in the firebox since we will rarely use it here in Florida.

I'm also thinking some piece of artwork or some salvaged architectural piece would be nice directly above the firebox.

This is the one that immediately came to mind:

But aren't these fun?

A clock would be practical and this one is pretty:

Maybe a mirror?

Ga-ga over this one!

Love the added detail around the edge of this one:

This shape is so appealing:

Classic sunburst, anyone?

Maybe circles, but something different like:

I love the colors in this one:
*I found all these options at Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.

So, what do you think? Don't hold back...

I'm joining Kimba today over at:


Lindy said...

I love the painted brick! I live in late 1950's ranch and I really want to paint the exterior. It's my grandparent's former home, so everyone has an opinion on what I can and can't do.

Go for a mirror over the fireplace. I love the way it looks! I've done it in all three of the houses I've owned and it works every time. It's timeless!

Tara G. said...

A decorator in Atlanta told my friend to use wallpaper in the backs of her built in- easier to put in and change if she didn't like it. I think she put it on some very thin stiff board (the name of which escapes me). I like the idea of a mirror to reflect light and it goes with about any season. :)

Vastola Family said...

Love the floors! Those alone made the brick around the fireplace look so much better, but I love it painted!! My dining room is a terra cotta color and I love it! It is a Benjamin Moore color Lenape Trail....just to give you a starting point if needed. I would go with a mirror over the fireplace and I like picture #1,2, and 4. Love reading your blog, especially when I get to see all you're doing with the house!

Audra said...

Looks great!!!

Lori said...

LOVE IT, the brick looks beautiful and definitely brings the room together! Love the mirror idea (like the first oval one and the next one) another idea, find an old wood framed mirror, I painted one I had gold and then silver foiled it... turned out awesome... you're so crafy, I know you could do that. Or if you found a piece of original artwork you loved, something that popped some of the color you are putting in the room, I think would look nice too.

Ann said...

Love, love, love the floors!!

Worth The Price said...

I am lovin' your floors...I (am the weird one) actually like the idea of a painting (the bottom picture) and if you decided you didn't want the fern in the fire box, you could do a mass of candles in various sizes, a bunch of creams or whites...makes for pretty lighting for a dinner party or whatever...just a thought, your paint looks AWESOME!

Jillian, Inc said...

Love it! I am not a fan of natural brick inside homes but usually love it when it's painted. But, it's the one thing I am always leery about myself since it's not so easy to "undo" if you don't like it! I'm nuts for clocks, circles and numbers so I love that first option.

Kari Beth said...

LOVE the painted brick. I wonder if painted TILE would be as chic! We have black MARBLE tile surrounding our fireplace...ugh! I hate looking at it.

What about putting wallpaper in the back of the bookshelves, I've seen that done on several design blogs and it also looks really nice and seems pretty simple. And, instead of a fern what about lots of candelabras and candles in the fireplace. Might give it more of a romantic feel...however, the kiddos will probably not leave those alone!

I like the mirrored-frame mirror (the 2nd mirror listed)!

I'm sure you really appreciate my two cents! Ha!!! Hope you have a good day. We are supposed to be getting another ice storm on I'm trying to prepare :(

Kirsty said...

I LOVE IT! I think it looks amazing! I wish I had a brick fireplace to paint. Instead I'll have to settle for painting my outdoor brick.

The round wood mirror that you are ga-ga for would be my choice! I am ga-ga for it too!

Kimba said...

I love it too! I know that people get all worked up over painting brick, but I think it's a great way to freshen something that's look a little outdated. I want to see pictures once you get the mantle done! said...

It looks great! I am in the process of changing up my fireplace too

Amanda said...

Wow! Your fireplace makeover looks great! :-D

Roo and Wren's Mama said...

Just found your blog from the Other Mama's Friday links... so fun! And I just had comment on this post - because the reference to "carp" made me laugh. We say the same thing, now that we have little ears listening to our every word. Actually, sometimes we spell it. C-A-R-P. :)