Friday, January 8, 2010

Should We Paint the Brick?



It wasn't very long ago that I announced I was fairly certain we were not going to paint our brick fireplace wall in the family room. Note to self - don't make public announcements like that.

I had a few examples of rooms where the brick was left untouched, and it sure seemed the safer route to me.



But, the brick in those photos was generally more aesthetically pleasing than ours, and besides, safer isn't always better...



... and painted brick can really be lovely...



... especially, white painted brick...



... there's a good chance I would really love the look of our brick painted white...



... but, then again I might not. But then again, again, I don't think I'd like it any less than I do right now. So, what do I have to lose? It's not like I'm messing around with something that I already love.



What do you think? Picture the paneling and walls painted white and the fireplace surround black. Kind of like wrought iron-ish black. Picture our long, white IKEA curtains. Would you paint the brick? White? What finish?





please click on the photos to see source credits in the address bar - thanks!


32 comments:

Rebecca said...

I'd choose painting the brick white. My grandmother painted her brick fireplace white and I believe it has a semi-glass finish. I think I'd go with a satin finish maybe, like in the pictures you posted.

Lindsay said...

I would vote for painting it. But I debated writting that for a few minutes, as I can understand your predicament. The look of brick, to me, fits in certain areas of a home, and to me you'll immediately know if it works, or if it does'nt.

I've lived in two places that have brick. Our apartment had a beautiful brick wall that was grey (Seen here in one of our "moving photos") If it was a red brick, I don't know if I would have loved it as much, the grey just "worked". I would be devestated it someone were to paint it out.
Picture: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4060/4237408071_92ddbea0e6_o.jpg

But our basement has a brick wall (previously painted yellow by prev. owners) that I painted white, and I adore it (Picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40097833@N05/3803949802/)

I think if you're considering painting it, it should likely be painted.

Long enough reply? Oops. Sorry.

Jacci said...

No, that's okay, Lindsay. I asked for input, after all :)

Thanks for your thoughts, guys. I'm thinking along the lines of what Lindsay said at the end of her comment - "if you're considering painting it, it should likely be painted".

Now, what finish?

~Jacci

Tiffany said...

The brick painted white would go perfectly with your style! (I totally just admitted that I've been stalking for a little while...) :)

You won't regret it. You have great taste and painting it that cream-y off white like in the first two pictures will look great. Go for it!

Lindsay said...

I'm back. :) I looked at my finish on the brick in the basement, and it's a flat. I painted the stairs in a semi gloss, and some of that semi gloss got onto the wall, and I really don't like the sheen on the brick.

So, my recommendation is totally the flat, no sheen for the brick, so that way it still maintains some authenticity to the brick.

And I think that will go nicely if you have semi gloss on trim!

And I have successfully filled up 1/2 of your page with my ramblings. ;)

Anna See said...

I still haven't painted mine but I go back and forth about it constantly. I am thinking GO FOR IT!

Marissa Breann said...

I think it might look really nice painted white. Good luck!

Cathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy said...

Okay I'll try again. I was wondering if it would be better to decide about painting the fireplace after you do the walls and the curtains. It might really look lovely with those changes. Just a thought from your mom who has absolutely no sense of style. lol Give kisses. Love, mom

Jacci said...

Mom - first of all, when I saw that deleted comment, I wondered if it was you ;) Second of all, you have some style, woman. Third of all, I actually had that same thought. It's not at all a bad plan. The trouble with this whole brick-painting scheme is that it's not at ALL easy to go back. It's not like you just wipe the paint off and go back to bare brick in the blink of an eye.

Love you :)

~Your devoted eldest child

Sarah said...

I think I'd paint it! I think it would be lovely, especially since it's such a large part of your room. Can't wait to see it painted if that's what you decide!

Janene said...

Hmmmm! That is a very hard decision...because once it is painted, it will be a tough job removing it if you don't like it. I would leave it as the last thing you paint. Do the walls first and see if you like it any better. If you do decide to paint it, I would recommend painting it satin (better for washing than flat!)
Good luck...I am looking forward to your decision!

Jacci said...

Good point, Janene. I did wonder about the washability with flat. Those bricks tend to collect dust, and it would definitely show up more if they were white. Benjamin Moore sells a srubbable flat paint that they call "matte". That's something to keep in mind.

Thanks for all the feedback, guys. Now... how long do you think we'll need to wait for a warm day? :)

~Jacci

cousin Deb said...

I would definitely paint the brick a white satin finish. Good luck!

Stephen and Larissa said...

Go for it!! I think it would look lovely and more closely fit to the design style you are going for. Also I love what Layla and Kevin did to their fireplace over at the lettered cottage.....

Heather said...

I was faced with this exact problem. Fortunately I ended up having two fireplaces. One I painted cream, and LOVE. The other had wood paneling all around it, and when I painted the paneling white I ended up deciding to keep the brick natural and I love that fireplace also!
Sorry not much help!!!

vintage simple said...

I'd paint everything the same white - probably in a eggshell or satin finish. I wouldn't do flat, but I'm not sure why. It just seems to me that the brick and the paneling (are you keeping it?) should have a little bit of sheen - but not glossy. I'd talk to someone at a small, local paint store - the people at my local Benjamin Moore dealer are really knowledgeable and they'd know the answer right away - and the reason behind it, too!

But - yes. Definitely paint it white...with the white curtains... It'll look lovely, Jacci. And so bright and soothing. Plus, pretty much all of you inspiration photos are all white - I'd say you want to do that. :)

..and check this out for a tutorial and more information:

http://www.younghouselove.com/2009/01/how-to-paint-a-brick-fireplace/

xoxo,
-maria

min hus said...

I think some paint would really lighten your room.

I painted my hideous brick fireplace after loathing it for three years. It's so much better now. Instead of clashing with the room, it's a feature Haven't regretted it for a minute.

Seeing what Young House Love did to their den might be inspirational too.

chewie429 said...

Hi! My first time posting - I love reading your blog! Have you ever checked out the blog younghouselove? They have a fireplace very similar to yours and they painted it - white I believe. It looks really nice. Good luck!

Jacci said...

John and Sherry are my peeps :) I should've linked to their tutorials in my post! Thanks to those of you who added the links in your comments.

Maria - I know you're right. You're all right. Why does it scare me so?

~Jacci ;)

Elisa @ whatthevita said...

at least paint the wood panels and then decide from there. maybe seeing how it looks so good with the painted panels will give you enough courage to go and paint the bricks, if you decide to do that. i love bricks myself and want to see how your fireplace looks with painted walls/panels..

Kathy said...

We painted our wood panels and red brick fireplace and it was definitely the right decision!! What a change it made to how we felt when we were in the room. So much brighter and happier.

I really like nice brick like in your first photo but ours was not nice. If you are nervous about painting, you could try white-washing your brick to look like the photo's fireplace. Not sure how it would work but worth a try before painting. We used a flat latex paint on ours because that is what we were told to do by the paint store. It worked out really well. No issues with dusting.

Good Luck!!

Kathy said...

We painted our wood panels and red brick fireplace and it was definitely the right decision!! What a change it made to how we felt when we were in the room. So much brighter and happier.

I really like nice brick like in your first photo but ours was not nice. If you are nervous about painting, you could try white-washing your brick to look like the photo's fireplace. Not sure how it would work but worth a try before painting. We used a flat latex paint on ours because that is what we were told to do by the paint store. It worked out really well. No issues with dusting.

Good Luck!!

Kristin said...

I would paint the brick! And then give the walls and paneling a makeover too. It would look striking!

Just found your blog from YHL, um, new obsession with home blogs now!

Mrs. Jones said...

I say paint the brick white (or cream) and do a nice black mantle to match those black doors...you'll love it.

Jan's camera said...

I love the look of white painted brick. Go for it.

julie said...

paint the brick white

Renae said...

There's nothing like posting a question about painting brick that can successfully increase the traffic on your blog! I'd do it. In fact, we're going to paint the brick house we just bought. The brick is U.G.L.Y. and we can't stand it. But it's brick...and we love the look of painted brick. We're determined to do it right and swear that will will not listen to the people who gasp in horror after we've done it! :)

Goose said...

I agree it needs changed but don't paint all that. Tile over the top of it.

leslie said...

What was your final decision on this? We painted a brick fireplace in our last house (white semi) and loved it. And another idea if you haven't already moved on from this subject... whitewashing with lime. Kind of an antique-style look.

Alison said...

OMG. Paint your fireplace (all the brick) and all the wainscotting off white, put down laminate or hard wood floors, white curtains and you'll have the scandanavian design look you probably want.

Alison said...

OMG. Paint your fireplace (all the brick) and all the wainscotting off white, put down laminate or hard wood floors, white curtains and you'll have the scandanavian design look you probably want.