I do realize that someone out there might really dig this fireplace, but it’s not for me. We’ve been in our house for 4 months and I finally had time to turn to this dark, gloomy brick creature that sits awkwardly in the middle of a long wall in a long room and say “You and me, bub – let’s do this.”
This photo is not doing it justice – it was much darker in person. The gas insert is also really dated looking, but my budget doesn’t include a new one, so it’s staying. If I were a client, I would advise them to paint the fireplace white and paint the hearth gray or white (if they needed to keep it for budget reasons). I blithely ignored my own advice and whitewashed the brick to lighten it up, but still keep that brick texture.
It was easy and messy: equal parts water to paint. I was inspired by Beneath My Heart’s blog post about it – here’s her photo – very lovely!
I like that the paint doesn’t obscure the texture of the brick.
I got carried away and white washed the bricks on the hearth as well – they didn’t absorb the paint in the same way as the rough brick on the surround and it looks like a failed attempt at French Country.
In irritation, about a week later, after many unsolicited opinions from neighbor children, I painted the hearth black (mainly because I already had the black paint). Turns out, this may surprise you, but black is a magnet for the massive amounts of white fur Honey is shedding this summer.
So now, I am most likely going to take my own advice and just paint the surround white and the hearth gray. Sometimes you know what you should do, but have to get to it the long, scenic way.
Here are some lovely brick fireplaces that are mostly painted white with a few white washed fireplaces for inspiration if you, too, have a Hopeful Fireplace.