So we’ve been busy at the Davison household. Painting, painting, and yep, more painting. Why does it always take one more coat (or two) than you thought it would? So we started out with this fireplace in the mancave:
|With the previous owner’s decor
Right away, we knew wanted to paint the brick. It was not a flattering color. Sorry I didn’t really take any good in between shots, but I did find this pic from our new year’s party last year. I apologize in advance to anyone who didn’t wish to make an appearance on my blog, but it’s the only shot I could find after we painted the brick (and the trim above the mantle).
For those of you who have never painted brick, it is a beast, so you should avoid it at all costs. The surface is just so uneven, so it involves a lot of poking, cramming, and shoving your paint brush. And a lot of cussing. 🙂 In fact, we hated it so much, we never even made it to the paint. Yep, we simply primed the brick, felt like it looked close enough to white paint, and cut our losses. We tell ourselves it’s not that noticeable. Also, you can still see most of the brass, but the wide brass band at the top, we had covered with black duct tape. Yep, we are all about short cuts.
We went back and forth on what we wanted to do with the mantel. It was a little ornate for our tastes, but replacing it with something more modern would have involved crowbars, getting glue off of brick, and worst of all, more brick painting! So we left the mantel and changed the color. At first I was leaning toward black, because it’s supposed to be a man-cave and I thought the masculine colors and contrast would be nice. But after looking at several black mantels vs. white mantels on Pinterest, white won me over.
We did attempt to tackle that brass. Brass is my nemesis. We taped newspaper up to cover the glass and we taped newspaper on the brick. Then we spray painted it with a flat black paint. Note: I do not recommend spray painting indoors unless you aren’t particularly attached to your brain cells, but I did not want to buy more paint for such a small area. We took extra high-tech precautions to keep from breathing in the fumes. In other words, the fireplace is right next to a door, so we opened it up, aimed a fan to the outside, and held our breath while we sprayed. Again, do not try this at home. Unfortunately, we didn’t do such a hot job taping the newspaper on the brick (laziness again) and the air pressure from the spray can was blowing the newspaper so I didn’t cover the top of the brass as well as I would have liked for fear I’d get the brick. Another issue I didn’t think about since I always paint outdoors on a big piece of cardboard is gravity. Despite the fact that I was aiming at a wall, some of the paint particles were falling to the ground. It seemed to be negligible, until we moved the painters tape, scotch tape, and other items off of the bottom bricks and there were bright white outlines of their silhouettes. Doh! You live and learn.
Next we tackled the mantel. One coat Kilz Clean Start no VOC primer. (We took the roller and ran over our lower bricks to cover up our boo boo earlier with the outlines of the tape holders. Then we used some Behr Interior Satin Enamel Ultra Pure White we got a while back. We have since started switching over to low/no VOC paints, but we already had this on hand. So we used the open the door turn on the fan method. It took 3 coats of paint and probably could have used another! Kill me now. This mantel was almost as much of a pain as the brick. Too much detail. Too many curves. Hubs was ready to kill me. But we finished. and we love it. I wondered if the bright white of the mantel makes it obvious that we only primed the bricks. Hubs says he thinks it makes the mantel “pop” more. I think he is a smart man and knows any other answer would involve more painting. So without further ado….here is the final result:
We loooove it! And man, we have been building some fires. We even did S’mores. Yep we are kids.
So here’s a side by side (if blogger cooperates) before and after:
Woohooooooooooooo! Happy lady!