Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How To WhiteWash Your Fireplace

white wash brick, white wash fireplace, whitewash fireplace

I've been threatening to whitewash the fireplace since before I even put an offer on our new home.  In fact, it was my first thought at the very first viewing of the house.  The main living room has decent wood floors, dingy white walls, and an outdated fireplace.  

See below? Not so pretty.  

First, I pulled the brass doors out.  Not. My. Style.  (They're now in the basement, looking all sad and dejected, waiting for garbage day. I'm ruthless like that.) 

Next, I grabbed the following:

~Tarp or drop cloth (I prefer a drop cloth because paint drips soak in rather than sit on the tarp. That way you don't get paint on your shoes and distribute it around your house.)

~White Paint (I used eggshell paint with primer-in-one)

~Water (Perrier, of course ~ joking) 

~Paint brush (any old paint brush will do, just not so cheap that the bristles fall out!) 

The first thing you have to do is prepare the brick ~ using a shop vac I cleaned the surface of the fireplace to get any debris and dust off of the brick.  

I then used painters tape to edge the work area, and used the drop cloth to protect the floor. 

Mixing equal parts white paint with water in a plastic container, I stirred the whitewash together ~ the consistency was very runny.

Paint quickly on the brick, and follow your work, blotting with a cloth.  

white wash brick, white wash fireplace, whitewash fireplace

Blotting with the cloth may seem optional, but the paint is very drippy, so have a cloth handy, regardless.  When the paint is first applied, the coverage will look fairly good, but the brick is porous (shocker!) and in about 20 minutes you will probably see that you have to do a second coat.

Regardless of whether or  not you choose to apply a second coat, the entire project took me the afternoon, only about 4 hours. 

white wash brick, white wash fireplace, whitewash fireplace

A couple of things I'd like to ask you about:
  • Should I paint the inside of the fireplace black, or a color? 
  • What color should I paint the room? I have no furniture in there yet, and the rug is not necessarily staying there. 

white wash brick, white wash fireplace, whitewash fireplace

1 comment:

Laurie said...

That turned out really nice! You didn't say if your fireplace would be used or not. I would think black would work well. Wall color? That one is harder, but my paint color of choice right now is silver. Hope you'll share what you decide!