The room was way too dark for my taste and we needed to brighten it up. We spend a lot of time here as a family and we also use this room as our kids' play area (at least for now). We wanted the room to be light, airy yet cozy.
I painted the paneling Simply White in eggshell and the trim and molding Waynesboro Taupe in semi-gloss, both from Benjamin Moore. I loved the way it turned out, but there was one problem. The brick fireplace looked redder and more dated than ever against the freshly painted white walls!
I needed to do something to the fireplace quick and without breaking the bank. Painting or whitewashing the brick were the only options with our teeny tiny shoestring budget.
But I wasn't quite ready to paint the whole brick white (what if I didn't like it??), and whitewashing seemed tricky when it comes to controlling the amount of wash. So I came up with my own way of treating brick: Painting the mortar joints using my trusty Annie Sloan Calk Paint (ASCP).
What? Did I say Calk Paint? Yes, I used exactly the same cans of ASCP I used for my Trumeau Mirror Makeover. ASCP is a bit pricy (about $37 a quart), but you can paint on almost any surfaces and it creates such a beautiful chalky texture. Since I used the paint and rags I already had at hand, this project didn't cost me a penny.
You will need
- ASCP in Paris Grey
- ASCP in Old White
- A plastic container
- A paint stick for mixing paint
- Paper rags
- Drop cloths
I used Old White as a base (it is a creamy white), and adjusted the color by adding Paris Grey until I got exact the shade of white I wanted. As you can see, my "white" ended up more like a light gray in the plastic container.
This is what I did. I wrapped my index finger with a double layered rag, and dipped it in the paint and traced the mortar joints. I made sure to cover the entire concrete part, but I didn't care if the paint went over the brick.
I smeared the extra paint that got on the brick to have sort of a whitewashing effect. I used a clean rag to do this task.
I worked a small section at a time so the paint won't dry before spreading. It required some time and finger-strength to complete this project, but it was all worth it in the end.
Did I tell you we took that ugly mantel down, hoping there would be brick underneath, and ended up with a huge hole? Oy!
It's okay. We temporarily covered the hole with my $75 Craig's List nautical painting. Nobody would notice the hole unless I tell them, right? Some day we'll fix this problem but covering it up will do the job for now.
It's been six month since I treated the brick fireplace, and it's held up well.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful.
Wishing you all a cozy weekend filled with hot cocoa and good naps!