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ral419 07-09-2008 06:14 PM

Painting a wooden fireplace
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I am a recent homeowner and teacher who is trying to keep herself busy in the summer. I have a large wooden fireplace in the middle of my family room and was wondering what you thought about painting the wood portion of it. What type of paint is good for painting wood, and any opinions on whether you would paint the brick as well. I would like to look nicer than it does, but not stick out in the living room, which is a pale yellow color. Any suggestions or ideas would be helpful!


TaskBoy 07-09-2008 11:53 PM

I like your bricks especially since they are the "used" style. They add a warmth to the room. Once painted, you can never go back and if you try, it is a hassle to strip or sand blast them. So, IMHO leave the brick as is. I'd paint the wood. Try a sage green which is a complement to the bricks' red. Or pick one red tone from the bricks and paint the wood that to carry the color upwards. Get a few color chips and compare in your room's light.

You will need to sand or scuff the finish of the wood and prime with an oil-base primer (the finish is likely oil-base and latex will have a hard time sticking directly). If it is latex clear coat, the oil-base primer is still ok. Then use a latex-based finish coat (your choice of color). Satin, low sheen, or eggshell are subtler and semi-gloss or gloss will 'pop' more.

Another thought. I think a prob is that there is no contrast in the room, everything is the same value. The wood is a mousy color. Instead of paint, maybe strip and stain it darker like your CD case to the left? It would still have a wood grain quality to it. Speaking of darker, if you go the paint route, I'd pick a value, or "shade strength", of the color to be on the darker side to stand out a bit from the surroundings. Good luck and have fun!

ral419 07-10-2008 07:02 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! The room is very dark to begin with, there is no ceiling lighting so I would be hesitant to stain the wood any darker. I also have alot of dark furniture in there.I was thinking about maybe just painting the wood the same color of the walls which is a pale yellow?

TaskBoy 07-10-2008 09:54 PM

Hi, I think painting it yellow would be a mistake. The fireplace wood needs to stand out a little bit as opposed to blending in with the wall otherwise it doesn't even need to exist.

I understand the hesitancy to stain darker, so try the paint route instead. Maybe one of the colors directions I suggested, just one shade stronger than the yellow of the walls. I will look better than being the same value as the wall's yellow. As I mentioned in my other post, rooms look boring when everything is the same value or color strength. Something should stand out if even just a little bit.

This would probably stand out more than you'd want but I see you have white base moulding. You could paint the wood a semi-gloss white to match that, too. Just another option.

Oh, about lighting...this is a great forum, you can learn how to do that here, too. I just put in 8 can lights and a pendant light also.

handyguys 07-11-2008 06:47 AM

I agree - Don't paint the brick. You, or a future home owner, can never go back. As for the wood, if you want to go lighter then paint it the same color as the trim, not the walls. This will help it stand out a bit. Yes, oil primer if you can.

I would paint it the same sheen as the trim. Likely semi-gloss.

If the surface is rough I would sand it smooth first.

Daryl in Nanoose 07-13-2008 08:11 AM

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Myself I would be a little concerned what its going to look like painted with all those vertical grooves, instead I have 2 thoughts a nice big mirror or picture.Do not paint the brick, looks nice the way it is or at least wait till you fix up the upper part then decide.
Just for fun I played with this a little and now looking at it you could go either way paint it or leave it natural. With a big picture or mirror it does not look so out of place.

FreeStuffRockz 12-06-2008 08:16 AM

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I completely agree with the guys
As some know I do not have a fireplace lol
So I love to play around w them
let me know what you think &
if you want me to change the wall color? hint hint
I think the darker mantle is really great & I love the brick
just my 2 cents worth lol
good luck & have a great day :)

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