Painting our fireplace!

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Painting our fireplace!

I love our house. It isn’t perfect, and there have been a few surprises since we have moved in, but I think we have changed a lot so that it works for us. But, I have hated this fireplace since the first day I saw it. It is dark, ugly and outdated. I have been wanting to take a sledge hammer to it for years, just to see what it underneath it, but John has been holding me back… he said he didn’t want a huge hole in the wall until we know how to rebuild it…. can you believe him??? Anyways, last week we had someone come to take a look at it and they said it might be structural, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that he held me back…just don’t tell him that!
So, since we can’t tear it down, we have the option of building over, or around it, or painting it. Since neither of us has any idea how to build over it, we decided paint would be our temporary (but most likely permanent) solution.
Here is what the fireplace and our family room looked like last week:

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What I should tell you is that the proper way to paint your fireplace is to use a masonry paint with primer and paint in one, but I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I just used the paint I had left over from painting the furniture. It might not have been the best decision….I’ll let you know in a couple months…. but I had 3/4 of the can left after painting all of the furniture, so I thought I would give it a shot.
It took a few hours, but luckily, I had some great helpers!

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The kids had fun and tried out several brushes, and even used a toothbrush! We discovered that the brushes with the stiffer bristles worked better. The trick is to somehow get the paint into all the little cracks and holes of the brick.
I should tell you that when I first started painting, I thought I would try to make the paint transparent. So, I added a little water. Here is what it looked like:

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I wasn’t crazy about the way it looked. It was hard to paint the bricks so they all looked even and in the end I decided the it looked better if the paint was opaque. So we ended up using the paint straight from the can.

What I should also tell you is that before you start, the proper way to fill any holes you might have in the bricks or mortar, is to mix up a small amount of cement, fill the holes then wait 24 hours for it to cure. But here is what I did….
Here are what the holes looked like before:

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And here is my temporary (but probably permanent) solution:

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Yup, that’s right, I used a tissue! I know, a little disgusting, and a little brilliant, right? I ripped off a little piece at a time, stuffed the holes…

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Then painted over them. Laugh if you must, but check out the results:

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Now, there was still the matter of the ugly brass doors on the fireplace. It took unscrewing four little screws and a bottle of heat proof spray paint to solve that problem!
I taped the glass with masking tape…

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Then took it out to the backyard, and laid it out on a tarp. I found a heatproof spray paint and primer, and sprayed two light coats…

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Here is the finished fireplace…

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My only regret is why did we wait five years to do this?? You might also notice that we moved the TV and changed the wall colour too. We also spent the day yesterday painting the walls, but, that’s a story for another day 🙂

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