Monthly Archives: August 2015

How to paint your fireplace brick and some marital advice

Happy Monday, dear readers, how was your weekend? I’ve been thinking about this and wondering if any of you are building a new  home? If so, the best advice I will give you is to tell your architect that you want the fireplace in the kitchen. That’s right, forget the family room or living room, you’re always in the kitchen and the family and guests will enjoy the fireplace more often if it’s in the kitchen. If your home has an ugly existing fireplace, I’m here to share how I painted our fireplace brick.

This was our fireplace 20 years ago when we moved into this 1940s farmhouse. (That’s our daughter in the photo on moving day, joyful that we have a proper entrance for Santa) The brick is shocking, isn’t it ….. and my daughter’s baggy pants? Let’s not even go there. Anyway, I thought this house was charming and knew it had potential.

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We lived with the fireplace looking like this for a short while. After the moths were making their way into the living room in the evening (turns out there was no flue up on top of the chimney and the moths were drawn to the light of the living room), I decided to try to clean the brick with muriatic acid. WARNING, do not try this. It’s a dangerous chemical. But yes, I was scrubbing away with the toxic chemical while a 5, 4 and 3 year old were running around. There was no improvement whatsoever to that ugly dirty brick.

fireplace at Christmas, beamed ceiling, white fireplace mantel, french doors in living room
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Fast forward and Dear Husband went out somewhere on the following weekend. (Still with me? Here comes the marital advice) Many projects I undertake are done or at least begun when my husband pulls out of the driveway because if I suggest something, he points out the problems with my ideas and tells me that it’s the end of the discussion! So I figure let’s not even start a discussion and instead just start the projects. Good idea – right?

Anyway, after I made damn well sure that Dear Husband was on his way away from the house, I went into the garage and found some paint. I am telling you that it was no special fireplace paint. It might have been leftover ceiling paint or wall paint. But unless you’re painting the inside of the fireplace, go ahead and use any kind of paint you have on hand to paint the brick.


Christmas fireplace mantel, looney toones stockings, NOEL sign
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Here it is, seen last Christmas, still looking good as new. Of course  immediately after I painted the brick, we needed Fischer Construction of Palos Heights to make us a mantel. He used plywood and trims and made the mantel from a drawing I created for him. Oh, and we got up-to-code tiles laid on the floor, we pulled up the carpet and had the floors refinished. If I originally discussed with Dear Husband whether or not to paint the bricks, I’m sure he would have predicted that all our updating was going to follow. ka-ching!

I realize this fireplace is beginning to show its age and looking “very 90s” and it should be updated again, but that probably won’t happen …… wait! do I hear Dear Husband’s car pulling out of the driveway?!  😉

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