Know Anything About Remodeling a Painted Brick Fireplace?

CocoaCoilyCocoaCoily Posts: 2,648Registered Users Curl Neophyte
Please bear witness to the hideosity that is my fireplace. Any suggestions? We'd prefer not to spend thousands, although I do kind of like the idea resurfacing it with concrete, stucco or slate.

sy9emw.jpg

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  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Posts: 2,812Registered Users
    CocoaCoily wrote: »
    Please bear witness to the hideosity that is my fireplace. Any suggestions? We'd prefer not to spend thousands, although I do kind of like the idea resurfacing it with concrete, stucco or slate.

    sy9emw.jpg

    Do you hate the natural brick? It could be as simple as taking some paint stripper to it and scraping it off. The stucco/slate/etc is going to be pricey.

    ETA: A new fireplace screen will bring it up to date too. I personally don't like those brass screens. You could get a pretty wrought iron one for a few hundred dollars.
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    If you like unpainted brick, I would start with a paint stripper...that would be cheapest. If you don't like the brick after the paint is removed, you can always resurface it with something else.

    I have a whole freaking wall of brick on one of my fireplaces. I really want to do something with it...it looks so dated with all that brick, but I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do with it.

    319589355303_0_ALB.jpg
  • CocoaCoilyCocoaCoily Posts: 2,648Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I didn't even consider stripping the paint... I kind of like the idea of natural brick. I just figured there are 1500 coats of paint on it.

    Just for shoots and giggles, I'm getting a rough estimate for a concrete remodel I kind of like... Similar to this, but without the cornices(?)

    concrete-fireplace-surround11.jpg
  • avataravatar Posts: 454Registered Users
    I have no suggestions, but I found this website that may provide some inspiration (they're also hawking a book, but have some good before and after pictures on the website too).

    http://www.homebedazzle.com/diy_fireplace_remodels.htm
    "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself." --- Abraham Maslow
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Posts: 2,812Registered Users
    CocoaCoily wrote: »
    I didn't even consider stripping the paint... I kind of like the idea of natural brick. I just figured there are 1500 coats of paint on it.

    Just for shoots and giggles, I'm getting a rough estimate for a concrete remodel I kind of like... Similar to this, but without the cornices(?)

    concrete-fireplace-surround11.jpg

    Yowza. That is a pretty sexified fireplace. While I like the natural brick on mine, I really like streamlined modern style of that one. My SO would never agree to it though. ;)

    You should also consider how the outside of yours looks. Is it on an outside wall? Do you see the brick out there? Might be something most people overlook..but if it's brick outside and something else inside, it may be questionable if you ever sell your house. People will think you were just trying to cover something up (fire damage, for example).

    ETA: Even if there are lots of paint layers, a good stripper will do all the work for you. I recommend Citristrip or SoyGel. They are the least toxic and are both quite effective. You just slop it on with a brush, let it sit, and take a scraper/wire brush to it. Easy Peazy. :)
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    CocoaCoily wrote: »
    I just figured there are 1500 coats of paint on it.



    The fact that there are lots of paint layers might actually make it easier to scrape it off. A new wood mantle and you'd be set. You can buy mantles pre-made, but you can also have them made by a carpenter for much less. I had a carpenter make me a mantle in one of my old houses. It was less than $100. I found him through a wood trim supply store (NOT Home Depot...a local lumber yard/moulding store).
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Posts: 5,766Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I have a kinda big brick fireplace. It's bare brick, though. I'm going to do a cool tile design one of these days.

    yeah, right. I've been saying that for 6 years now. Maybe I'll just get a new fireplace enclosure/screen thing.

    bleh. I don't want to talk about this anymore, it annoys me. :laughing7:
  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users Curl Novice
    You can easily tile a fireplace yourself, using slate, stone, tile, etc. Since the area is so small, you don't have to be a tiling expert. Hubby did the one in his old condo after taking a free class at Home Depot. It wasn't a quick afternoon project, but it was definitely doable.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

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  • CocoaCoilyCocoaCoily Posts: 2,648Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm starting to warm up to the idea of stripping the paint, since it seems like it's diy-able, and doesn't involve sand-blasting. I'm reading up on that SoyGel stuff, and it's got lots of good reviews.

    And I like the custom mantle shelf idea, RCW. We want something simple and modern, and I'm not finding that look pre-made.

    I'm still open to other suggestions though, as I am an explore-all-options kind o' gal.
  • PeppyPeppy Posts: 3,290Registered Users
    I would strip the bricks, get a new mantle and get a screen that isn't shiny brass. I agree that the brass seems to date it.

    If you don't like the bricks after you strip them, I would face it with stone.
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Posts: 2,812Registered Users
    CocoaCoily wrote: »
    I'm starting to warm up to the idea of stripping the paint, since it seems like it's diy-able, and doesn't involve sand-blasting. I'm reading up on that SoyGel stuff, and it's got lots of good reviews.

    And I like the custom mantle shelf idea, RCW. We want something simple and modern, and I'm not finding that look pre-made.

    I'm still open to other suggestions though, as I am an explore-all-options kind o' gal.

    Just FYI, the SoyGel is REALLY a gel - I mean, it's THICK. Good thing about it is, it doesn't drip. Bad thing, it takes more product to do the job. It's also more expensive than the Citristrip. Most hardware stores have the Citristrip, not all have the Soygel. Not trying to stear you either way, just wanted you to know as I've used both.
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • hadtochangemynamehadtochangemyname Posts: 628Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    very very difficult to get the paint off the brick. been there, done that with the bricks around our fireplace

    I would build a faux front over the fireplace that had the mantle, etc like the one you looked at. It would just sit in front of the existing brick. Saw it on Trading Spaces once so you certainly can do it in 30 min or less (LOL j/k)

    You can even cut in a notch for the end of that baseboard heater that butts right up to the existing stuff.

    You can build it out of wood and finish it with the spray faux stone finish to make it texturized.

    then replace the brass insert with a black one and there you go, similar to the one you were looking at, except of course yours isn't gas, so it would look different (front needs to open, can't tell if you have a blower or not but that is always a good addition, etc)
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You can build it out of wood and finish it with the spray faux stone finish to make it texturized.


    Faux-finished wood?!?!? That would look like crap...not to mention it's a fire hazzard. There's a reason that fireplaces are faced with non-combustible materials. Most cities/towns have an ordinance about this...usually no combustible material within 12-18 inches of the firebox.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    I think it would be very hard to get all the paint off the brick -- brick is porous and tends to soak up paint.

    We have a brick fireplace in our finished basement and I plan to stucco over it at some point.
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Do you know what color the brick is underneath the paint? personally I love a whitewashed red brick (home exterior or fireplace). Here's an idea of what that looks like plus some information on tips and a kit you can buy.

    PS- I agree the brass looks very dated. A black matte (iron or faux iron) look would look very nice. Plus there is a lot of brick face on your fireplace, either increasing the opening size or having a bigger mantle that drops down a bit will balance it out.

    fireplace_remodel_paint_kit.png

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  • CocoaCoilyCocoaCoily Posts: 2,648Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    We are definitely changing the doors. I hate them! The only reason we haven't as yet, is because we wanted to figure out what we're doing with the rest of it.

    I don't anticipate that getting the paint off of the brick will be easy, but it is doable, from what I've been reading. If it works, we save ourselves $1500-3000. If we don't like it/can't get it all off, then we'll resurface it. We'll only be out about $100, and we'll have nicely exercised arms!
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    our fireplace is white-painted wood surrounding black slate with glass brass-trimmed doors and black slate hearth. i hate it. it reminds me of when black laquer and brass furniture was trendy, and i hated that with a passion too! this is most similar to what we have:

    6310-ww_lrg.jpg

    we are going to do a diy project and put brick veneer over the black slate and hearth. i don't think it will be costly or difficult.

    i just prefer natural brick over the other designs.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • hadtochangemynamehadtochangemyname Posts: 628Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    You can build it out of wood and finish it with the spray faux stone finish to make it texturized.
    Faux-finished wood?!?!? That would look like crap...not to mention it's a fire hazzard. There's a reason that fireplaces are faced with non-combustible materials. Most cities/towns have an ordinance about this...usually no combustible material within 12-18 inches of the firebox.

    Well, you might think it looked like crap (having not seen it, I have no idea how you can determine that, but whatever) but it increased the appraised value of our home by $2000 and the new buyer of the house said she loved it.

    And it isn't a fire hazard. It is a wood mantle, not a wood firebox. It passed code inspection just fine :-)
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  • goldilocks777goldilocks777 Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    Getting paint off brick is really hard, as the surface is porus and actually absorbs the paint.

    I really like the look shown here (not a fireplace, a brick wall, but you get the idea...the second picture shows it better): http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/how-to/how-to-make-your-brick-walls-like-bddws-004202

    Basically, it's somewhere between totally covering the brick, and still letting a bit of texture through. I've seen this in person and it looks very clean and modern. And it is CHEAP.
  • goldilocks777goldilocks777 Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    Also, FWIW - that fireplace would look a LOT better if you just painted it with a matte paint instead of the glossy, painted over the awful yellow color, and switched out the grill.
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    Dang! Why do folks think painting over brick looks good? ugh :sad3:
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Dang! Why do folks think painting over brick looks good? ugh :sad3:

    Even crazier -- why would you paint over a fieldstone fireplace? (which is what the people who bought my childhood home did.) I guess the idea is to lighten up the look of the room, but...ugh.

    (though I do kind of like the look of brick with a little whitewashing over it.)

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