Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Here's the current view of the fireplace. It doesn't look too bad from this vantage point, but I have hated it since I moved in 17 years ago. I want a fireplace that looks classic and classy. I want the bricks to be antique and a soft clay color. You know what I mean, right??
Bad picture, I know. I should have run it through PhotoShop to lighten and brighten, but I am being lazy! The hearth is raised with a brick border around slate.

Here is the ugly brick. It's pre-formed from some kind of colored concrete. Nasty texture, not bricklike.

Maybe a first cousin to Lava Rock!! I have no money for a new mantel or new surround of any sort. No one seems to be buying houses these days? Why not?? So, do I paint the bricks white? What about the slate? I've wondered about watering down some terra cotta paint( from my Dining Room) and some of the gold paint( from the Living Room) and maybe trying some sponge glazing/ dabbing/ daubing technique to soften the colors.

Opinions know you have them, lol.




  1. I love the look of white (or cream) painted brick, so that'd be my vote. But if you want to brighten without committing to a painted look, I saw an episode of Designed to Sell where Lisa LaPorta carefully daubed on white and black to mimic that "used brick" look in a house (just like the brick you can get that has the white and black on it already?) -- she just emphasized the white parts. When she was done, it still looked like brick, but it was much lighter. I tried to find it on their website but couldn't -- but hopefully you know what I mean?
    ~Angela :-)

  2. I almost painted my brick fireplace last year but held off until the rest of the room was done and I'm glad I did because I ended up going with a much darker palette than I'd planned and the dark brick worked with it. My fireplace is real brick and it's darker than yours. However your colors look lighter and your brick isn't very pretty (sorry, but, I don't think that's a surprise, yes?) and I say go for it - paint it white, or cream. If you want it to look elegant, and you have accents in the room to tie it in, you could paint a black accent in some way, maybe the mantel or a trim?

  3. I have a similar yucky fireplace, which you can see on my autumn decorating post. The bricks were painted to look "aged" and it just looks cheap. My plan is to have a wooden surround mantel built, covering most of the brick, and tile over the small amount that is still exposed. I already have a guy working on 2 designs, 1 with shelves on either side. The hearth is flat to the floor with the standard blue, gray, red flagstone you see in a lot of our New England homes. I'll tile over that, also.
    I think painting is a good way to go first. If you really don't like it then you can do something that might cost more to cover it up.

  4. White... yes yes yes. I LOVE white brick fireplaces. I agree with Angela.

  5. I have seen it done and it is bautiful. I have a similar brick to yours, and I'm really starin' at these days! I bet you can find instructions on how to do it. I'll be watching for the results.

    I love your blog!!!!!!

  6. Oh I'd definately paint it! The mantel needs some beefing up, but paint will go a long way. I think it'll look really pretty!


    p.s. can people get mortgages? They're making it seem like no one can get a loan of any kind these days.

  7. First...I LOVE that window! And, is that fresh bittersweet in that vase?? I am so jealous. :)

    Next...I read on a beautiful blog (don't know which one, of course) about glazing the brick. I think you have to use an oil based paint and just thin it out. It makes the brick appear lighter, but not completely covered. That sounds cool to me...

    And thanks for checking in on that whole stalker noise since Sept.3rd and that's a good thing!

  8. hi! i would paint all the brick, too. then the slate part would "pop". don't you think so? i would use the same white as the current white. the room would lighten and the f/p would be less 'busy' and offer a really nice backdrop for your mantle decor. that's what i think. and the fake brick wouldn't absorb a gallon of paint, so THAT'S cool!(would it?) jkj

  9. The answer to all ills is paint. Clarice

  10. I can so relate to your feelings as I cannot stand my fireplace surround either. It is old pinky Travertine marble - gack!

    Painting your bricks a creamy white or a subtle white would really be pretty, especially against the pretty yellow walls.



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