I was going to wait to do this blog post until the whole family room was done, but my neighbor inspired me to post about this early. We have an awesome neighbor (who also happened to be our realtor) and she has been toying with the idea of starting some updates in her own house, BUT she is very hesitant because she can’t really envision what the changes are going to look like/if she will like them when they are done. This is how we became her guinea pigs. We do something and she comes over and sees how she likes the outcome. And one of the things she was most excited about seeing was our fireplace.
First off (before I get into the meat of the post) I want to say this about renovations: if you aren’t happy with the status quo, don’t stress about the updating results. Better yet -- you are not going to make it worse (hello, you're a DIY Diva). Now I realize that you are putting time and money into projects so you don’t want them to bomb, but trust me when I say if you make design choices that you are happy with AND you do the process correctly (don’t cut corners), you will more often than not be happy with the outcome. I know it’s stressful making changes and there are so many beautiful options that it can get overwhelming, but trust yourself and your DIY-ing ability. It’s a learning process so get your hands in there and you’ll be surprised what you can do.
Okay, off of that tangent and back to…painting the fireplace!!! To paint or not to paint that is the question. The answer was not a difficult one for me: ABSOLUTELY! I love all different design styles, but beach/cottage chic is the direction I knew I wanted to go in. Light and airy is what I am striving for. So the dark dated fireplace was just not cutting it. I also knew I wanted to do something unexpected, so instead of going with a predictable white I decided to go with a light blue for some punch (look at me getting all crazy!) The light blue against our to-be light gray walls and crisp white trim seemed to set the perfect mood for our family room.
To begin the painting process (post picking colors) you need to do a good cleaning. Vacuum and wipe down the bricks to remove all dust and grime. Tape off any obstructions – for us that would be the wood stove. Be warned that fireplaces are very rough surfaces so it is going to be more difficult to paint than dry wall. If you use a roller, they make ones specifically for rougher surfaces (oohhh they’re so fluffy!) Let the painting begin.
We didn't use primer and it was fine (even going from brick color to lighter color), but if you want to prime then do it. Warning: if you don’t have a wood stove and are painting the firebox, you are going to need to use a heat resistant paint (including primer) and finish with some sort of clear coat like a heat resistant glaze or enamel.