Friday, January 2, 2015

Freshened up Fireplace using White Paint

Spiffy is such a fun word.  I think in 2015, I'm going to bring it back en vogue.

It is the beginning of a fresh and shiny new year, but I am woefully behind with several updates we finished to our home this summer.

One of the fun things we were endowed with when moving in to this house was a fireplace.  I mean, who doesn't want a fireplace?  I'm not even sure that I cared if it WORKED, but having a mantle to decorate… sign me up please!

Here it was the week we started working on the house, right after the carpet installers left.  Notice the smoke stains on the top bricks and the brass.  Not so pretty.

Photo Credit
I started this project where I always begin any project, on Pinterest.  My original idea was to actually create a wooden facade for it.  But, by the time I got to the project, mid-Julyish, that wasn't in my budget.  So I went back to the drawing board Pinterest.

This was my inspiration piece.
The brick isn't exactly PAINTED, but whitewashed so you can still see peeks of the different brick textures and colors through there.  And that mantle with the crown moulding…swoon.

So I hit the store.  The total cost for this purchase was about $25, but that includes the crown moulding that we messed up and didn't end up using.  Had we not bothered with that idea, the total cost was about $4, or the cost of a can of Rustoleum High Heat black matte spray paint.

I started by covering up the fireplace with newspaper.  Here's my excellent cover job.  Then I spent some time with a little wire brush on the brass.  I roughed up the surface a bit in the process, but my main objective was to get some of the rust off.

I covered the glass panes with painter's tape as well.  Then I covered the hearth with plastic sheeting, and I sprayed the brass black.  Surprisingly, I did a good job of not getting it everywhere!  When I took the tape off, I did have a little peeling.  I solved that by using a long piece of cardboard.  I angled it at 45 degrees and then sprayed small sections again.

When that was done to my satisfaction, I removed the paper (which was already falling due to the heat and humidity) and mixed up the paint.  I used about 1 part paint to 1/2 part water, but 1:1 would be fine as well.  Then, with a brush, I just got to work.  The weird vent things are due to the original wood insert and serve no practical purpose, but I haven't figured out how to get rid of them.  It was the main reason I had originally come up with the idea of a wood facade.  I painted the vents with white spray paint firsthand then went back with silver to mottle the look a little bit.  Here it is finished.

Now, we aspired to add pretty crown moulding to beef up the mantle, but it was a nightmare.  We just couldn't get the ends right to save our lives.  So we ditched that plan.  I did add a 1x2 underneath just to give it a little added finish.  It doesn't look as smooth as the inspiration picture, but it looks a little dressier.

You may also notice that the mantle went from blonde to brunette.  I used my favorite General Finishes Gel Stain for that.  I love that stuff.

Here's our new and improved fireplace all dressed up for fall this year.

The pumpkins came from Walmart.
The banner and owl came from
The mirror has been around for a long while, but I believe it came from Target.

And this was the fireplace for Christmas.  It looked so nice.   I smiled each time I looked at it.  Our whole living room looked so great and festive this year.  Maybe next year I'll get around to doing a holiday tour…before the holiday has ended and everyone has packed everything away.  Ehem.

Now that the season has come to an end, I'm looking for new ways to dress the fireplace up.  The winter here in Michigan is L-O-N-G and any cheer that can be added is appreciated.

I hope your holiday was merry and bright … and may all your fireplaces be washed in white . . .

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