I’ve been in this house for a while now and have been working on tweaks here and there. This January seemed to be the perfect time to tackle the living room. It all started a few weeks ago when I was gifted a gorgeous vintage ginger jar lamp from my grandmother. The lamp brought a lot more lighting to the room and helped it feel lighter.
With the addition of the lamp, I had to rearrange the room. In doing so, I thought it would be a perfect time to paint the interior door black. I read a bunch of articles online of why you should do this and just jumped at the chance since I was feeling motivated. I was worried the color of the door would look to heavy but really it made the door feel fancier. It also tied the black that was elsewhere in the living room around and gave it a definite edge. A simple switch from white to black just made the space feel more special.
So I had debated painting this fireplace nearly just as long as I have owned the house. I do love real brick, but this room is just so small that the heaviness of the brick seemed to weigh it down. Not only that, it really didn’t match my aesthetic at all. It was like I would have had to buy furniture and items to work with the brick and not pick the things that felt the most ME.
The red in the brick makes the room darker and often the TV just automatically became the focal point as you’d glaze over my pictures on the mantle. So, I finally decided to pull the trigger. The brick at the bottom had already been painted too, so I didn’t feel horrible for covering the rest. I cleaned the brick first with water and cotton rags making sure to leave 24 hours between cleaning and painting. While painting, I had on Netflix and had my roomate and boyfriend in the room to remind me when I had missed a spot. I got a semi-gloss paint and went to work with a bottle of cider.
I painted one layer over the brick to see if I liked the “white-washed” look that others have tried, but when I stepped back it just looked too busy or like it was trying to hard. You can see the half and half version here behind “his and hers” IPAs. I kept layering. Honestly, it wasn’t too hard at all, no different really than painting anything else.
To get the edges, I LOADED the paintbrush up and did it by hand. I made sure when I was rolling over the rest of the brick that I had bought a masonry roller which has a different texture than your average run of the mill paint roller. This made it a lot easier. Halfway through, I paused for dinner, allowed the first layer to dry and came back to coat more.
Here are some before and after pictures. It automatically brightened the room up and tied in all my other pieces. It certainly helped with the new black interior door too. I love the way my living room feels now. It is much more in line with my personal style and what I was trying to achieve and I plan on spending more hours in here now that it suits me.
When all was said and done, my boyfriend stepped back and deemed the new fireplace “blog worthy.” I took it as a pretty solid compliment. If you are considering painting brick, you can do it! Its not as scary as you would think and the results are classic.