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Our Ugly Brick Fire – He Vetoes Portray It!



Expensive Laurel,

Please don’t ream me out. I’m only a meek little housewife with three children— and a husband. He’s good to me and makes an excellent dwelling; no complaints.

So what’s the issue? It’s our new house, and it has not one however TWO of the ugliest fireplaces God ever created. One is ugly brick, and one is ugly stone.


I do know what you’re pondering.


Why did we purchase a house with two ugly fireplaces? That’s an excellent query, Laurel. It was June, and we misplaced out on the house we actually wished.

Nonetheless, we needed to dwell in that neighborhood due to the college district. It was June. The closing was in August.


There are components of the house that I like rather a lot. It’s bought an excellent structure and plenty of mild. I believe there’s a whole lot of potential.


The opposite factor is, I lied.


I do have one criticism concerning the husband. He says that he likes the brick and the stone or will not be considering making any modifications to it.

He thinks that we have to use that cash for the children’ training. Properly, sure, that’s true. I’m not going to spend tens of hundreds of {dollars} to take away the stone and brick. That will be nuts.

Nonetheless, isn’t there one thing we will do to make it look good? Might we paint it? I’m afraid to say something to h till I’m armed with a stable plan.

Thanks a lot,

Sabrina Brykschitz




Hello Everybody,

To start with, thanks a lot for the completely darling feedback relating to the 10-year blogiversary of Laurel Dwelling. I’m overwhelmed and extremely grateful on your love and assist.

Second. Sabrina Brykschitz ;] is a fictitious character. She’s an amalgam of conditions I’ve encountered through the years or examine.

And I do know that a whole lot of you have an interest in having a  publish about what to do with an unpleasant brick fire.


Nonetheless, it is a very broad subject as there are a number of issues to contemplate:



  • Model of the house
  • Age of the house
  • Location of the house
  • Measurement of the hearth and the encircling brick/stone


Since there’s a lot to cowl, I’m solely going to speak about The Ugly Brick Fire immediately.


For this publish, I’ll assume that you’re in search of a standard or traditional modern fashion and that your private home was constructed within the final 60 years or so.

However, there are such a lot of types of houses, and most of us don’t have a brick with a whole lot of character.


rustic exposed brick fireplace mantel and wall | Logan Killan Design

Logan Killan Interiors

Like this one.


And we don’t have the 20-foot ceiling both.

Please word that that is undoubtedly not a working fire as the fireplace is made from wooden!?!

Right here’s what I might do if I had an unpleasant brick fire that wanted to vary.

Stroll round your private home and see it as one complete composition.

The hearth is just one half, nevertheless it has to work with the house as a complete.

As an example, in case you have a country house that’s primarily stained wooden and a brick fire, and also you paint it white, it’s going to look bloody bizarre.

Actually, white-painted brick with an outsized wooden mantel appears horrible, IMO.


Necessary data earlier than I am going on.

I notice that some have agency opinions about whether or not to paint brick or not. That’s wonderful, however what’s not wonderful (by me, that’s) is to insult of us with absolutes, like “it’s gross to color brick.” Stuff like that.

However generally of us, though well-intentioned, make errors, and I’ll be attending to that in a sec.

Let’s take a look at different conditions the place the brick is left in its pure purple brick shade.

Mia Maestro craftsman home with a brick fireplace and wood stained trim and fireplace surround

Mia Maestro’s Dwelling in Lonny

It definitely appears applicable on this craftsman-style house. One factor I attempted to search out is a great-looking room that has partitions painted in a coordinating, rusty-bricky-reddish shade. That’s typically an excellent answer if one has a husband that refuses to budge. The brick will nearly disappear.

Nonetheless, there are many colours that look nice with purple brick. You may see a few of them right here.

After all, I dwell on the land with hundreds of homes made from purple brick. You may see some pretty examples on this publish about the improbable doorways of Beacon Hill.


Katy Skelton - exposed brick fireplace

Katy Skelton

This uncovered brick appears applicable on this Brooklyn Residence. The outdated residence that I lived in on the higher west facet of Manhattan within the 80s had an uncovered brick wall and excessive ceilings. I somewhat appreciated the character it gave to the renovated constructing.



hallys deli London through we coronary heart


However I believe it’s additionally cool to color outdated brick.


Right here’s a complete web page of whitewashed brick fireplaces on Pinterest.

And there are a whole bunch extra on the market.


There are two methods for getting the whitewashed look.


  • The diluted paint methodology – Simply what it says.
  • Lime Wash – A posh method that’s usually achieved on exterior brick and stone however I consider will also be achieved in interiors.


A very good overview of lime-washing, whitewashing, and mortar wash

This is a wonderful publish on Sand and Sisal with a reasonably final result after whitewashing the purple brick.

However, for probably the most half, I believe that when you’re going to color the ugly brick fire, then common paint is an effective alternative.


A slight little bit of antiquing is okay. I believe that if it’s a genuinely outdated house, one has extra liberty with the antiquing. However that’s not what most of us have.

Most of us have one thing like this.


ugly brick fireplace


Let’s Discuss About What To Do With Our Ugly Brick Fire


The best and most cost-effective factor to do is paint.

If it’s uncooked brick, you’ll need a beautiful primer.

Cathy Dickson, who commented right here, recommends Zinsser Bull’s Eye 1-2-3, and I’ve heard different good issues about it. She follows up with Benjamin Moore Cloud White within the matte formulation.

She’s achieved this many occasions as she’s a home flipper and says it at all times appears terrific.


A wonderful publish on A Stunning Mess about methods to paint brick and stone.


Re: paint sheen.


That’s one other bugaboo. I normally choose a flatter end (matte or eggshell), however when you don’t, that’s cool. I choose an oil-based paint if it’s satin or semi-gloss nevertheless, however that isn’t simple to return by as of late.

If anybody has had a whole lot of expertise portray brick fire mantels and recommends a sort and/or model of paint, that might be fantastic. We’re all right here to be taught and make our houses extra stunning.


After portray comes the following little bit of expense, which is a mantel.

There are many posts the place I share my favourite fire mantels.


There are some issues right here, and a few are a security situation. I don’t suppose the whitewashed brick is working with the extra formal mantel and trim. The mantel’s proportions are off. The crown shouldn’t fan out that a lot and never be so heavy.


However really what ought to occur is that the legs of the mantel ought to be out additional.


There may be imagined to be a minimal of 6″ of non-flammable brick, steel, or stone between the firebox and mantel.


After that, it is a prevalent factor. I might tile the inset or use a black honed granite slab or soapstone. This makes it look rather a lot much less like a mantel simply slapped up in entrance of a brick wall.


Christy Ford – photograph Patrick Cline


This can be a nice instance of a slab of honed granite or soapstone, possibly on this case.

I really like that and have specified it typically.


ugly brick fireplace with a lovely wood mantel


A beautiful addition is that this return if the brick comes out from the wall just a few inches.

This one would’ve regarded superb if the brick was painted the identical shade because the wall. After which if I might add a black honed granite across the firebox.

beautiful white-washed brick - painted white brick with wood piece on the top of the mantel - designed by Ron Marvin

Ron Marvin


This can be a intelligent approach of coping with a low brick mantel.

A sublime crown/shelf is the right addition.


beautiful painted brick and old stone fireplace mantel designed by Michelle Willis Adams

Michelle Willis Adams

An outdated stone fire is fantastic over this outdated painted brick. That is undoubtedly in an city setting like San Francisco or possibly New York. It’s considered one of my favorites.


Nonetheless, normally, I believe that probably the most stunning solution to cope with the brick is to construct over it.


Many examples I’ll be displaying are DIY.


Satori Design For Dwelling

They did a terrific job and included a superb tutorial about how they coated up their ugly brick.


Dillard Jones Builders

This can be a case the place it relies on what else is occurring. I believe it’s an excellent job. My private desire could be to have all the brick painted white with a slab of honed granite for the highest of the fireplace with a 1″ overhang, if doable.


Donna Moylan through Lonny

An beautiful mantel, superbly in scale with brick painted black. There’s a particular paint that’s heat-resistant for contained in the firebox. It appears like the fireplace could be painted too. Unsure.


Giannetti Home - beautiful painted brick fireplace and wood mantel to match the walls

One in every of my favorites from Brooke and Steve Giannetti.


designed by Melinda Woodruff - beautiful brick fireplace with built-in book cases and shiplap

Melinda Woodruff

I really like the look of this dramatic fire with built-in bookshelves and shiplap.


beautiful white painted brick fireplace

Entrance + Most important

That is from a house in Milwaukee. After I lived there within the late ’70s, I had a pal who had this precise configuration. Fond reminiscences!


classic white fireplace surround over a brick fireplace and rustic beams

That is considered one of my favorites. It’s a fantastic mix of conventional and rusticity. (supply unknown)


Laurel,  do you at all times have to color the brick fire white?


In no way!

I really like the look of portray every thing in a single shade.


cure for an ugly brick fireplace benjaminmoore knoxville gray hc 160 Good HousekeepingGood Housekeeping

Above is a wonderful instance of the brick fire, trim, and partitions which can be all painted Benjamin Moore Knoxville Grey hc 160.


Paint and Paper tone on tone fireplace mantel and wall.

Paint and Paper through Supreme Dwelling UK

Whereas this isn’t a brick fire, it may’ve been.


There was a request to have some black painted brick. Whereas there are some across the firebox, that is good-looking on this setting.


beautiful paneled fireplace surround over a brick fireplace

This fire encompass is attractive!


I’ll depart you with one tremendous profitable makeover for an unpleasant brick fire. I took the freedom of making a graphic of her pretty work. So please make sure you observe @allthingsali.j on Instagram.


Ali is a younger mother with a stunning Insta feed that includes superbly edited traditional modern interiors.


@allthingsali.j on instagram before and after ugly brick fireplace mantel makeover@allthingsali.j on Instagram


ugly brick fireplace

Please pin this graphic to your Pinterest boards!


Properly, I hope that gave y’all some concepts for coping with a not-so-great brick fire. There are various choices for holding the brick, portray it, and constructing over it.



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