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sparkler22 12-01-2011 04:05 PM

Seeking help and advice with hideous painted brick fireplace

Just registered, and this is my first post. We've been dithering about with this problem for quite a while now and I am hoping for some helpful advice.

I'm going to try to include/post a photo of the horrifically painted brick fireplace in our house. I hope it works.

Our home is a Craftsman-style 2-story, built in approximately 1910. It has lots and lots of beautiful dark woodwork. And right in the middle of everything, we have THIS. At some point, someone decided to paint this brick fireplace burning red with white lines between each brick, with the mantelpiece painted mud brown. I think it looks like a cartoon fireplace; it is SO ugly.

I'm seeking advice and suggestions on how to best go about repainting it. I'm aware of the Brick Anew kits- would love to go that way, but we're on a very tight budget, and their $200 price tag is out of our ballpark. I don't consider myself crafty enough to replicate the Brick Anew look on my own. Plain old painting is about the extent of my skills. The room's color is as you see in the photos- a sort of pale lemony/tangeriney color.

Thank you!

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So, thoughts? Help? :(

BridgeMan 12-01-2011 09:15 PM

Appears to me you have a number of options, ranging from cheap and easy to somewhat expensive and time-consuming:

Don't look at it--free!

Get some heavy-duty paint remover, scrapers and rubber gloves, and go to it. Be prepared to not be happy with the finished product, as there must have been a reason the previous owner painted it in the first place. And removing paint from mortar is never easy.

Consider roughing up the surface, and installing some thin face brick or man-made stone on top of the existing bricks. You can fill the joints of either with any color mortar/grout you choose.

Tear the whole thing out and start over. Don't laugh--I did it many years ago, removing an ugly slump-block fireplace and building a custom, arched surround for a wood stove using brick and stucco. It turned out beautifully. Just be ready to work hard.

sparkler22 12-02-2011 06:50 AM

Thank you for your reply!

Boy, do I ever WISH we could just not look at it! The dang thing is smack ahead of our front door, so there is no way for anyone entering the house to not get an eyeful. It's a beaut, isn't it?

I appreciate the options you posted, but I apologize, I probably should have been clearer in my initial post- we've considered all the options, and while it would be nice to do something more in-depth, our financial limitations have led to our settling on the decision to simply repaint it. We're okay with that.. I'm just looking for advice on colors/techniques to make it look as good as it possibly can (for a brick painted fireplace).

I'm not very good at natural decorating stuff- knowing what colors and finishes work together and stuff. Given the type of home we have and the wall color in the room, what would be good colors to consider? Matte or glossy finish? Should the mantel be painted a different color than the rest of the fireplace? What kind of paint would be best? Do I need to sand or rough it up prior to painting?

I know it's a litany of questions- sorry! Pretty new to this stuff and learning as I go :)

m2244 01-04-2012 11:46 AM

I'm no expert but I wonder if some sort of snd blasting would be an option. That is something you could do yourself if it's even possible.

Good luck.

Jdmrenovations 01-04-2012 12:37 PM

Well...first of all...hideous is an understatement. wow, what some people will do to their homes.

Anyway, the only cheap and easy solution I see is to give painting over it a might find something that looks good.

If it doesnt, you will still be standing there with solvents, scrapers, plastic...finding out why they painted over it in the first place.

Like Bridgeman said...paint out of mortar is never often end up grinding it out and pointing it back in.

Good luck.

OmaJohn 01-05-2012 03:46 PM

I agree with Jdm. It's tough to tell from the photo, but if you keep a clean home, painting the whole thing ivory or something might work swimmingly. When I saw the photo, that was the first thing I thought: "I would paint over that IMMEDIATELY, and if I didn't like it, I'd consider trying another color or tearing it out."

Aside from the coloring, it's actually a very nice-looking, good-condition fireplace, near as I can tell.

Jdmrenovations 01-05-2012 07:10 PM

It does look pretty tight...might actually be tough to get out if you wanted to demo it!

mtngirl 02-18-2012 08:50 AM

I also have a pretty ugly painted brick fireplace although I think yours is worse. I am looking at stone veneer as an inexpensive but upgraded option. So far I have found several good options and I will do it myself to keep the cost down.

I agree with one of your previous posts to just paint it anything but what you have at least as an interim until you figure something else out.

Let us know what you do! I could use other ideas for my own! :-)

oldognewtrick 02-18-2012 10:20 AM

Try looking at this site. Look at their thin brick and stone options. They have some pretty nice materials.

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