One of my favorite things about the new house in the brick fireplace and mantel. It is SO cool. I love the masonry work.
However, I didn't love the color. But seriously, look how cool that mantel brickwork is. It is really simple but just lovely! Also, I like that there is a fireplace insert, that I could keep my home warm in case of emergencies, even though it is looking rather tired.
Two of my fabulous sisters volunteered to come help me out with a project last week.
So we chose to do the fireplace… let the fun begin!!
The night before the project, I stopped by Home Depot and grabbed two gallons of Behr Masonry, Stucco and Brick Flat paint and had it mixed into Black Suede. The color is maybe 2 shades lighter than solid black. I appreciated the subtle gray-ish feeling.
Let the Games begin!
My sister, Kristen, was really sad we weren't spraying it… but I didn't want to go through the hassle of cleaning up the sprayer… and setting up a spray guard everywhere.
Instead, we used a roller with a really thick nap at least a 1/2 inch or more. We rolled on the paint and then we worked the paint into the mortar lines… with a special tool!
That is right our special tool was a toothbrush. We could scrub the paint into the cracks, it worked really well! Just make sure you watch out for drips! The best news is when you are done these “paint” brushes, can be thrown away and you can get another for super cheap.
*I recommend buying the simple rectangle head- cheapo tooth brushes, since they get into the mortar lines easier.
So the fireplace took us about 20 man hours to paint. I am SO thankful I had such great helpers! (Including two adorable nieces and a handsome nephew that helped while their interest held… maybe an hour and half each) All told with the 3 of us it took about 4 hours to paint one solid coat of paint.
Tips for Painting a Black Brick Fireplace:
Clean It Up:
- Brush off any loose debris with a course bristle and a softer bristle brush.
- Vacuum up as much dust or debris as possible
- Blow off any remaining dust with an air compressor
Get the Right Supplies:
- Choose the proper paint, I went with Masonry, Stucco and Brick paint by Behr. The paint sheen is flat, I feel like using a flat/ or matte paint sheen really makes the brick look natural and not necessarily painted. (Where as a sheen will make it apparent that the brick was painted)
- We used one whole gallon of paint and then a tiny bit for one coat of paint (after the rest of the room is finished, I will add a second coat)
- Get a roller with a long nap 1/2 inch or more
- Toothbrushes, and other small paint brushes for mortar lines.
- Painters tape for walls (optional), drop cloths and other misc supplies for keeping the area clean!
- Keep a clean wet washcloth on hand for drips or smudges.
- Working in small sections, roll the paint onto the brick.
- Then using your paint brush or toothbrush work the excess brick paint into the mortar cracks. And be sure to nab any drips before they dry. Periodically check for drips while you are working. NO DRIPS!
- Work the paint into the cracks and cranies with that handy dandy toothbrush!
- Do not paint your fireplace insert with regular paint, you need to use special high heat paint for fireplaces (Use the right product, better be safe than sorry, you may actually want to use it someday!)
Clean up and ENJOY!
I can honestly tell you that I am IN LOVE with the new color. Every time I walk around the corner and see it, I totally want to jump for joy! I actually don't even mind the funny little white fireplace ledge or the fireplace insert now (although it does need some TLC) . It is amazing how much better the brick looks. In all reality it looks brand new.
(I will show you how I built the mantel soon!)