After painting the kitchen, we moved on to the living room. I kept the same color for the living room as I did for the hall and stairway – Windham Cream (Benjamin Moore). Just like it did for the hall, this color makes the living room is so much brighter and happier. It has just enough contrast from the white trim to give the place a warm creaminess.
Once the walls were painted, I decided to tackle the fireplace. It really needed an update. The brick was stained black from years of burning fires and there was a shiny brass grate on the front that just had a dated look that didn’t go in my new bright living room.
I started with the grate. After taping off the glass windows, I sprayed the grate with a couple coats of a high heat black paint (Rust-oleum High Heat Paint). Easy fix! Now on to the brick…
Rather than simply painting the brick, I decided to whitewash it. That way, some of the brick texture would still show through, but yet cover up the soot.
I read several blog tutorials to show me how to properly whitewash the brick. I really wanted to be sure I knew what I was doing. Even though we aren’t applying straight paint to the fireplace, once we started we wouldn’t be able to go back. Before starting, my mom and I prepped the area. Our fireplace has a raised hearthstone with brick underneath. We taped off the carpet below the brick and wrapped a plastic sheet over the hearthstone. Then we were ready to start!
I used a simple recipe of 1 part paint to 2 parts water. I used an old can of white paint I had (Decorator’s White, Benjamin Moore) and mixed it up in a bucket. I applied the paint/water mixture with a large paint brush and allowed it to soak in for a few minutes. Then I dabbed off the excess paint. This recipe will give you a very light coverage. I saw some recipes that were a 1:1 ratio of paint to water, but our brick was light in color and I didn’t want to cover it up too much, so I used the 1:2 ratio. If you have a darker brick fireplace, I would suggest using the 1:1 ratio. I dabbed a little more whitewash on some spots to vary the texture a little bit.
The next day I painted the mantle white to match the trim in the room (White Dove, Benjamin Moore). Once all of it was dry, I put the new black grate on the fireplace and it was done! I added a few birch logs and christmas lights for decoration and the project was finished! Another cheap and easy update that has a big impact 🙂