Paint bookcases and /or brick fireplace surround? Definitely needs new mantel!
April 13, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I am helping a client in their first home spruce up their family room. My inclination is to do something to this wall of bookshelves and the fireplace. At minimum I would like to see them invest in a new mantel......Any suggestions?
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Paint the bricks a cream with using sand in the paint to keep the authenicty of the bricks and I would paint the book cases too or at least the interior of them - I will upload my fireplace that I painted and the original wll was that old orange brick and I painted the wall an eggplant color and then rubbbed the cream and egg plant into the brick so it looked like ot always belonged there. Let me know what you think. My husband built the book cases arounf the fireplace as the original wall was a sea of brick. The mantel in your photo looks too small for the scale of the fireplace. Hope this helps. Patty
April 13, 2012 at 9:28AM     
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Thank you so much for validating my inclination about all three points!!! I LOVE YOUR ROOM!!!!! It's fantastic!!!
April 13, 2012 at 9:44AM   
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Thanks I hope this helps let me know when you make a change would love to see it.
April 13, 2012 at 9:46AM     
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I really like the color , can you please explain step by step how you paint the brick with cream and eggplant color and how you keep the sand in between ? I am facing the same situation. I want to paint my fireplace !
April 26, 2012 at 8:33PM   
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Manon Floreat
The wood on the shelving units looks to be of good quality, so I would be hesitant to paint them. I'm all about paint, but when it comes to quality wood I think it's best to preserve its integrity. Especially, since wood is very difficult to strip of paint. Instead, I would seriously consider refinishing them and installing a new fireplace surround to compliment the rest of the decor.

Below are a few example of fireplaces flanked with wood to give you some more ideas:
April 26, 2012 at 9:04PM     
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Mint Design
If the wood is a good quality I would suggest pickling it and treating the brick with complimentary grey/blue wash over a cream paint base. If it is in the budget I suggest replacing the mantel with something like the one in the attached photo by John Bryan Woodcarving and sculpture. It would be the focal point of the room, an investment piece which could be removed and moved if your client moves in the future.
April 26, 2012 at 10:04PM     
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Mint Design
btw the mantel I attached is pickled wood.....
April 26, 2012 at 10:05PM   
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Thank you all for the great ideas!!! The pickled wood mantel is really beautiful!
I have rearranged the bookshelves and the wood looks better....we may now focus on getting a new mantel. Thanks again for great input!
April 27, 2012 at 5:23AM   
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Mint Design
You are so welcome! Hope you will post the after photograph! Enjoy the process!
April 27, 2012 at 8:10AM   
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I'd keep the natual finish of the bookcases and bricks and focus on adding a new mantle, new more substantial fire screen. Staging the book cases with art and hanging a great piece of art over the mantle is all that is needed.
April 27, 2012 at 9:56AM   
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i wouldn't paint the bricks. I would bring out their natural beauty by framing the opening with thick white moldings and putting a detailed white mantel. I would also paint the bookcases white too. Enjoy it!
April 27, 2012 at 10:31AM   
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love the look Patty , beefing up the mantel would be the perfect solution . Love the idea of the painted bookshelves as well your pic . you included has a very welcoming look to it , I love it. So many wonderful ideas in pics was added here love them all.
May 7, 2012 at 2:12AM   
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I love the look of Patty's sand painted brick. It is a great compromise between maintaining the look of brick and lightening the color.
May 9, 2012 at 2:54PM     
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