Sunday, April 15, 2012

Updating a Fireplace - A Work in Progress

This is the lovely fireplace in our Den. Don't you love it? An awkward mantel and a brass insert...I don't think I need to go into the reasons why I hate it. One good thing is that it's not actually crooked in real life, that's just my bad photography.

Within a few weeks of moving in we removed the mantel and ripped out the brass insert, which left us with this. Marginally better than what it was before.

And then we proceeded to leave it sitting like this for months. Needless to say we haven't made the Den a priority at all. But, the fireplace is the first thing that we see every time we walk into the back door so it was high time to start fixing it up.

This room is always a little dark, even with five windows. So I'm planning on painting the walls Benjamin Moore White Dove, and the fireplace the same color in order to lighten everything up.

I started by giving the brick a good cleaning with a damp rag. There were years worth of old soot in the nooks and crannies.

Once it was as clean as I could get it I applied a coat of Kilz Original oil-based primer to seal in all of the dark stains on the brick so that it wouldn't bleed through my light paint. I got as much coverage as I could with a masonry roller, and then finished getting in the crevices with a brush.

Then I followed that up with two coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove satin latex paint, using a masonry roller and finishing with a brush.
Such a difference! I'm really happy with the change.

Now I just need to:
1) Prime and prep the strip along the top of the brick where the mantel used to be to get it ready for paint.
2) Get this old gas log insert removed and the gas line capped by a licensed professional. I don't want to take the rist of blowing up my house.

3) Scrub out the firebox as best I can.

4) Accessorize! I have a few things in mind that I can't wait to get together!

Oh, and paint the wood paneling in the rest of the room, which is going to be a huge job. Have any of you started any new projects around the house? How about any outdoor projects now that the weather is so pretty?


  1. Great job, Kendall. It looks a thousand times better already!
    How are you? Thanks for you comment tonight -- I miss hearing from you!!

  2. Looks AWESOME!!! I know it was alot of work because as you know, I have done it before. Brick is not the easiest thing to paint, but so worth it. Great Job, Rhonda

  3. Wow! I love how you've re-done it! What a great job. :)

  4. Hi Kendall! We both have painted brick on the brain - just posted some exterior paint options for my own place and I'd love to know what you think. Your fireplace is completely tranformed - for the better! Hope you are well!

  5. Wow, what a big job but you did it beautifully! I love the look of painted brick (I have a lot of it in my living room!) and you chose the perfect color! PS- I gave you a little award on my blog. Check it out if you get a moment! :)

  6. it look great, have a nice week, don't work too hard