Painting a brick fireplace....

The house Matt bought (here) was a "flip." That didn't stop us from making a loooong list of little DIY projects...installing floating shelves in the kitchen, painting the fireplace and replacing the dated floor tiles, adding additional lighting in the living room, painting the kitchen cabinets, opening up the entry, replacing the master bath tub with a walk in shower...and the list goes on!

So I had Matt prioritize...what is important to him and what would his budget allow. 

The first thing we did before he actually moved in was build floating shelves in his kitchen...I will share that a bit later!

The fireplace was second on the list for several reasons. It was a pretty big eye sore and it was a relatively easy and inexpensive fix.

I'm going to give Matt all the credit on this one...he did this ALL on his own.

The first thing he did was remove the old brass cover...he could have painted it and reused it but there really was no need. 

He scrubbed the brick with a metal brush to loosen all the gunk and then he used a shop vac to make sure it was free of any debris! He even scrubbed the inside of the fire box and sprayed it with a flat black heat resistant paint.

We don't know how well that will hold up but he has no plans to build a real wood fire. The fireplace is a masonry fireplace but it is 30 years old and the inspector said it had a few cracks in the masonry for now he will just stick with the little gas vent-free log set. Those little things don't put off a tremendous amount of heat! 

On to the painting. First he used oil based Kilz to prime all the brick....two coats. That was a booger....he used a 3/4" nap roller and a large paint brush to get into all the joint lines.

Then he painted it all with latex paint.

His original plan was to paint the rough cedar mantel but honestly, after the entire fireplace was painted, the mantel added a much-needed touch of warmth.

The dated 8x8 tile will eventually be replaced with travertine tile but for now this simple little project made a HUGE impact in this room! 

When he first moved in I had collected a bunch of "stuff" to decorate his walls and mantel...Sarah and I even put together a little gallery wall of "stuff" in his breakfast nook. He immediately nixed "random stuff!" At first I was a bit hurt that he didn't seem to appreciate our efforts to create a homey look with all the "stuff" we had spent weeks hunting and gathering. 

Then I understood...he is just like me...he doesn't want "stuff" for the sake of having it...he wants to decorate with things that have meaning...things that have purpose.

Like me, he would rather live with bare walls and an empty mantel until he finds something that has a real value...things that make him happy.

I totally get it!

Great job Matt!!!