Sunday, March 1, 2015

DIY White Wash Fireplace

If you remember in this post, I showed you what a transformation white paint can make on a fireplace. In our current home I decided to do something a bit different. I was so excited about this project that it only took me 2 weeks of living here to do it!

I have seen white wash fireplaces on quite a few blogs recently and decided to try it on my fireplace. I'm not a big fan of orange/red brick so it was time for it to go. White washed brick gives it a weathered appearance and is not as stark as a completely painted fireplace.

The general idea is that you take paint and water then mix them together. An equal ratio is a great place to start, but depending on how dramatic you want it to look, you may want to add more or less water. The mixture will be a bit runny so have some extra rags or towels around and cover up your floor.

You'll need a few supplies:
Paint - I used Valspar Ultra White paint in Eggshell
Rags - I cut up one of my husband's old white t-shirts and used the whole thing
Stir Stick
Painter's Tape
Drop Cloth
Optional: Gloves

I started by taping off my fireplace as my lovely model will show you.

I should have covered the black part with a drop cloth because I did get a few paint splatters on it but they did come off with some scrubbing. I did not tape off my walls because we are going to build a mantel so anything around the edges wasn't going to be seen.

A little trick is to put packing tape on your carpet around the edges of the fireplace (or trim if you're painting that). I shoved the tape right down in between the brick and the carpet and it acts as a seal so that no paint gets on your carpet. I had to use duct tape for this project because I have yet to find my packing tape!

Once you have all the boring stuff out the way, it's time to have some fun! I mixed up an equal ratio of paint and water because I wanted to be safe. In the end I had to do 2 coats and probably could have saved myself that second coat if I just added more paint to the mixture. It will also depend on how porous your brick is. Your brick may eat this up but mine did not. But again, if you want to be safe, start with an equal ratio.

I kept a stir stick in there at all times and constantly swished around my paint/water.

Apply the mixture with a regular paint brush. I did a small section at a time and let a little bit of the mixture sit on there before I wiped it off with a rag.

The left side is where I wiped off my paint already. As you can see, my brick isn't soaking up much of the paint but it is making a difference and that makes me so giddy!

This project was really easy and 2 coats only took me 90 minutes. The great thing about white washing is it's meant to look distressed and weathered so it doesn't have to be perfect. It's really hard to make a mistake but if you do, it will just add more character to the fireplace.

After one coat, this is what it looked it. You can still see a lot of the red brick showing through so I knew I had to do another coat.

I also had to address the oak trim

I used a primer because I don't want that oak color to bleed through. Just one coat of primer and then 2 coats of the same white paint I used on the brick.

After that she was all done! Let's take a look at the before picture:


The next project will be to build a mantel! My husband and I are excited and nervous as this will be our first major project to do from scratch. Oh and that trim along the wall will also get painted. My project list is long but I'm really enjoying sharing everything with you!

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