Even though gold jewelry is back in style, a dated, brassy fireplace can put a major damper on the style of a room! Updating your fireplace can seem overwhelming, but let me tell you it’s not as hard as it seems and if you’re really determined (like me) you can get it done less than 24 hours!
Here’s the story behind this makeover… One of my best gal pals was moving into a new house, so I trucked on down to Maryland to help move and to try to tackle a few fun projects. The fireplace wasn’t even something they had thought of me working on, but the moment I walked in, it was SCREAMING for some DIY love from me.
Here’s the order of my steps:
1- Whitewashed the brick
2- Painted the mantle and built-ins
3- Painted the brass surround
How to Whitewash Brick:
Whitewashing brick is really simple! You’ll need an inexpensive paint brush, a plastic container, a rag, water, and paint.
I mixed the paint and water with a ratio of 1 part paint to 3 parts water. If you want more coverage, increase your paint and for less coverage increase the water.
Start in one corner and work in small sections. Your paint mix will be really thin, so you’ll want the rag in hand to catch any drips. Brush your paint mix on a 1×1 area and then immediately use your rag to rub it deeply into the brick and then remove any excess. The process goes really quickly, but I’ll warn you it’s a little messy. The grout can be a tad sandy, so you’ll definitely need to vacuum when you’re done. The whole fireplace and hearth took me less than 30 minutes.
The difference in color is awesome!
After whitewashing and painting the shelves and mantle, it was time to get rid of that brass! My exact words to my gal pal Mandy were, “Do you trust me?” and I’m so glad she did!
How to spray paint a brass fireplace surround:
There are some key items you’ll need to do this project right:
Frog tape, craft paper, disposable plastic drop cloth, and Rust-oleum High Heat Ultra Spray Paint
We started off by taping off the brick right around the surround. Make sure that you get it as close as possible. We were lucky enough that the tape could slip behind the surround, so there was no chance of bleeding through.
Once the edges are take care of, you’ll want to use the craft paper and tape to make sure all of the brick is covered. It’s sorta like wrapping a really big, awkward present!
Once the brick was covered, we cut a section from the plastic drop cloth and wrapped the mantle in it. We were really careful to make sure we’d taped it tightly, so no paint could sneak in.
For the glass doors, we used more tape and paper. I found that if I used a spatula, I could get the tape really close to the edges for a perfect, crisp look.
Now it was time for a little craziness… Making a spray paint cocoon! Since we were spraying in the house, we needed to seal off everything. Basically, I got in, and we sealed the drop cloth all around me. WARNING: the fumes will be very strong. I recommend a face mask. I didn’t have one, so we used a towel.
Thankfully, this paint is awesome and doesn’t require more than one solid coat. I, on the other hand, required about 3 showers before all the black paint was off my face and hands! It was totally worth it though!
Here’s the finished product. Doesn’t it look so much better?
I’d love to show you a perfectly styled mantle, and all the doors on, but we were on a tight time schedule, and I had to get back to PA. So this was DIY on the fly!
I was so pleased with the update and loved that the entire project took about 4 hours of work time and cost less than $30.00!
If you have a fireplace that you were wishing you could change, I totally recommend doing it yourself! The impact it can have on a space is incredible! And if you missed it, Jess transformed her fireplace with some paint and a stencil this past summer. Two updates= no excuses not to get rid of those dated fireplaces, people!
And, I just have to add, that only only is Mandy one of my very favorite people in the entire world, she’s all a rockin’ sponsor of this very blog!! She’s our Thirty-One Gift’s Consultant and hooks up our readers for all kinds of giveaways and deals! Christmas is coming people, head over to Mandy’s website HERE and check out the awesome products they have in the current catalog! I’m so loving the new Metro bags!
Tell me, do you or someone you love have an outdated fireplace that’s in need of an intervention?
**UPDATE 7/13/13: Due to the popularity of this post and lots of reader questions, I thought I’d answer a few of the common questions here.
Q: What kind of paint did you use on the brick?
A: We just used white paint we had on hand. It was eggshell and worked fine. I really think any finish would work okay because you’re watering it down anyhow.
Q: What color did you use on the mantle and shelves?
A: Ahh! I wish I knew! I am calling my friend now and will see if she still has the can. I do know it was from Lowes :)