When we moved into our house three years ago, we knew it would take some work to bring it out of the 1970’s and into the present day. It was an immaculately clean, beautifully maintained home, that really hadn’t been updated since it was built.
The first major change we made was to paint the wood paneling in the family room white. We also ripped out the very, very old carpeting and installed a laminate floor. It was the same price as carpet, and with 4 kids, I like to go with what is easier to keep clean.
The family room is a north facing room with small windows and very dark. Painting all the wood white really helped to brighten it up. The only downside was that after we painted everything, the fireplace, which had looked so nice before, kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. I spent of lot of time on Pinterest looking at painted fireplaces, but I hesitated to make a move because painting a fireplace is so permanent.
I finally settled on going for whitewash. It seemed like a compromise between leaving the brick plain and all out painting it. On Saturday the kids were dragging out the Christmas decorations and I decided I couldn’t bear to see our beautiful decorations on the dreary fireplace one more year. It was the moment of truth. I decided to paint.
Luckily I had plenty of the white paint left that we had used on the wood paneling. I mixed one part paint to one part water in a paint pan and mixed it together with the paintbrush. I taped around the fireplace, and added newspaper. I quickly learned that this watery paint is messy and to cover a large space around the fireplace with newspaper.
I painted a few bricks at a time and used an old t-shirt to blot the paint and wipe the many, many drips. I honestly didn’t think it looked very good at first, until the paint dried.
Whitewashing the fireplace has improved the room so much! The visual flow seems better, the room is even brighter and seems bigger. It also seems cleaner. I’m very glad I took the plunge. I do prefer the white brick look to the brown and black brick. I’m not sure if I’ll leave it whitewashed or just paint it a solid white. I am fine living with it for a few seasons to see how I feel about it. I’m looking forward to seeing how our Christmas decorations will look with the white brick. 🙂