Dec 27, 2011

Painting the brick fireplace surround

A few weeks ago, with the Christmas decorations making the fireplace more of a focal point than it usually is, the dirty red brick and black mortar were bothering me more than usual.

You might recall that around this time two years ago, I painted the brass insert black. It used to look like this:

And I painted it to look like this:

If you look closely at hearth and surrounding area, you can see that the mortar looked really dirty, and the brick itself had somehow become two-toned. It's not like we ever sat anything there that caused the discoloration ... it had been like that since we bought the house 11 years ago.

Well, two weeks ago I got a wild hair and decided to paint the brick gray (Zinc by Martha Stewart, from Home Depot).

Now, I know this doesn't look so great with my tan walls.

BUT. The design plan that Emily A. Clark did for my den includes light grey walls. So I decided to go with something that would coordinate with my 2012 plan rather than what goes with my 2011 walls.

And I think I'm going to be very happy with it. The grey grout looks much better with the grey paint, in my opinion. (I didn't paint the grout on the vertical brick because it was impossible to get the brush in there without getting paint on the black surround and the white trim. I did paint the grout on the level part of the hearth.)

It took less than 90 minutes, less than a quart of paint, and only one coat. I used interior semi-gloss, and I'm really pleased with the results!

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