1970s Brick Fireplace
Traci Wesley
July 26, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I want to update this curved fireplace. It is the focal point of the room and I hate the brick. I was thinking of plastering, dry walling, painting it white. Also was wondering if a surround can be made rounded? Any ideas?
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
jopamath
My son bought a house and the fireplace appeared to be built with the same brick you have! He painted his white, sort of "shabby chic" with an uneven color. it looks great! I'm going to try and find a picture of it to send.
July 26, 2013 at 5:38pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sandkshouse
I wouldn't hesitate to paint it.
July 26, 2013 at 5:42pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Quickchangeartist CA East Bay
Would you consider tearing it out and starting all over? Do you have a picture of the rest of the room?
July 26, 2013 at 5:49pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Quickchangeartist I don't want to spend the money on tearing it out. It will involve structural issues.
July 26, 2013 at 5:54pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
Do not tear it out! DO paint it. Not stark white, but antique white, then rub it down a little... paint the screen a complementary color (with stove paint)... good luck, it is not a bad shape to work with...
July 26, 2013 at 6:07pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
groveraxle
I don't think the problem is the fireplace. I like it; it's unique. I'm not feeling the red walls (too much contrast) or the things you have hanging on the face (too little contrast). I would paint the walls a neutral closer to the color of the brick, then hang a highly contrasting piece above the firebox.
July 26, 2013 at 6:36pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Nancy Travisinteriors
There is many ways to go. Some cost more than others less expensive is whitewashing. Mix a dark gray with water one part paint and 2 parts water. Try area let dry see if you like effect . If you want darker use more paint.put on with a rag. There are some nice metallics in silver might be fun. The metallics would go over dry paint. wear gloves. Play with it till you get look you want. Your decor is modern. But used brick, is country.
July 26, 2013 at 6:40pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Nancy Travisinteriors
Fill fire opening with white birch logs. Add a ton of white candles. A silver screen.
July 26, 2013 at 6:41pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
decorcrazy
I agree with groveraxle...I think it is the red walls I would change. I have a brand new home and my bricks are similar to your fireplace. I think the fireplace is very nice....different!!
July 26, 2013 at 6:47pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Marc Russell Interiors
I think the fireplace is great! Problem is the color/finish on the brick. I agree with most posting, it needs to be painted. The darker the walls around it, the more it's going to stand out, am not crazy about the red color. It needs a dramatic piece of art work on it. The furniture around it appears to be crowding it.
July 26, 2013 at 6:52pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
dzeipen
My friend made ugly red brick look amazing by whitewashing it!
July 26, 2013 at 7:01pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cluedin
You room looks very modern. I notice the beams which i assume are glue lam painted. I would paint the bricks a slate grey color.
July 26, 2013 at 7:50pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cluedin
Like this
July 26, 2013 at 7:54pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Thanks. The beams are real! They were actually stained and we painted them 20 years ago. I think I am going with painting the fireplace white. Will post after pictures. The walls will be a shade of green. The room has a contemporary feel and want to keep that to an extent. I so appreciate all the ideas, have been stressing over painting the brick since there is no turning back. Will post after pictures.
July 26, 2013 at 8:57pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
giniaginia
I would get rid of the brick... here are some curved options...
July 26, 2013 at 9:33pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
I love your curved options!
July 26, 2013 at 9:37pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
giniaginia
The bottom one you can order from a fireplace store. I'm sure they can get pricey. The other 2 are very do-able if you are handy. I would rip those bricks from either side out. You could have it stuccoed over the brick. For an experienced stucco guy that's 2 days work at most. Or you could do sheet rock and attach it to the brick.
July 26, 2013 at 11:56pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gingerclaire
I think that repainting it off-white or to match your ceiling and beams is the best interim measure. Once you are used to it, you might decide that it would look more refined with a smooth surface. My only concern is that if you whitewash it, you'll be wanting to repaint your red walls very soon after as the contrast between the two colours will look a bit jarring.
July 27, 2013 at 12:18am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gritsnh63
July 27, 2013 at 3:26am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Rina
Gingerclaire -- aside from the fact that I want your hair, please ... Traci said above she's going to paint the walls a shade of green. Sounds good -- especially if it's a fairly light green. I love the colour of the sofa in the pic Cluedin posted above, although a greyish green might work better.
July 27, 2013 at 3:36am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gingerclaire
Ah, I missed the comment about the walls turning green! I think green with white would certainly be easier on the eye. Thanks for the hair compliment, I'm sure you wouldn't want the sunburn that goes with the red hair though...
July 27, 2013 at 4:02am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cluedin
Just to clarify, laminated beams ( glued laminated strips of wood )are real. They have superior strength to simple wood beams and are what permitted the construction of wide open spaces in mid century modern homes. They used to do ads of them holding up cars to illustrate their strength.
July 27, 2013 at 7:55am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Thanks everyone. I am going to paint it for now along with the walls. Redoing the whole room, furniture too. I am going to check out the surrounds at a fireplace store and see what the costs are, some that I looked at start basic at $2500 and all the way up. I covered another brick fireplace in my living room with drywall and had a marble surround made and cherry mantle. This fire place was very straight forward no curves. This was many years ago. Painting we will do!
July 27, 2013 at 7:57am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Cluedin thanks for the clarification -- too funny! No they are not laminated all solid wood.
July 27, 2013 at 7:59am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Just Your Style
I solved this same kind of problem by tiling with large flat (not shiny) tiles. The room became instantly contemporary and the fireplace no longer "jumps out". Of course it is filled with white birch logs and white candles!
July 27, 2013 at 12:54pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Laurence Tillett
had the same issue in our last house. painted it two shades darker than the walls, and it was gorgeous...kind of a pumpkin-y butternut hue. that might mean you would have to lighten up your walls a bit first?
July 27, 2013 at 1:19pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Cluedin if I paint the fireplace a slate gray -- will that look good with bright green walls? I notice you have blue walls. I would keep the beams and all the trims white.
July 27, 2013 at 2:23pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Or what seemed to be a shade of blue in a small area.
July 27, 2013 at 2:24pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cindymp
How about a mantle? Over the years we've had a number of "iffy" fireplaces & found a mantle with the right proportions and styling cured any number of ills. BTW, we built them ourselves, so they were really cost effective.
July 27, 2013 at 3:09pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Just Your Style
I should have mentioned that I did add a mantle while tiling, I'll have to get a picture on here, because the mantle is nearly invisible until stuff gets put on it and then whatever it is, really shines. No one who sees it can believe it once was dusty old brick!
July 27, 2013 at 4:18pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cluedin
I wish that was my house - it is an eichler i believe from california. I used to live in an eichler lookalike in canada. I painted my fireplace white, and it was ok. But then i saw an eichler fireplace painted slate grey and loved it. Very modern. Looks grey with accents of bright chartreuse green. Right now, the most current wall color is grey. So that s what i would do.
July 27, 2013 at 4:36pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cluedin
But, bright green would look great with slate grey. Just look at that couch in front of the fireplace.
July 27, 2013 at 4:39pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Tookens
I have that very same brick fireplace. Always wanted to tone it down and now I have some ideas! Wish you had more pictures of painted fireplaces because it is scary to fiddle with such an outstanding feature in the room for fear of making it even more prominent
July 28, 2013 at 5:01am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
gilpins google painted fireplaces and you will see many examples.
July 28, 2013 at 5:55am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
mccanndr
Keep the brick as it is. Change the rest of the room to better show it off.
July 28, 2013 at 6:30am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cluedin
That fireplace has a definite "inglenook" feel to it. This was more commonly seen in arts and crafts homes than modern homes in the 60's. It would be nice to see more pictures of that room showing more than one corner. We may all be "guessing" wrong.
July 28, 2013 at 6:53am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
larosinski
I had the exact same problem with my dull fireplace. I decided to paint my large corner fireplace a deep green with a hint of gray in it and all the walls are painted in the same family but a pale green. The finished effect is gorgeous. The fireplace stands out just enough so you really see the beauty of the shape of it, but also blends seamlessly with the rest of the room. This deep color can then be duplicated in accents pieces around the room or into other rooms nearby for a cohesive look. I have some of this same dark green in my tile backsplash in the nearby kitchen, the area rug in the room with the fireplace, and also in the flagstone flooring in the nearby entry. Have fun with color. By the way, it used to be in a whitewash with the walls a pale grey, but no one noticed the architecture of the fireplace and the feeling was too country for the rest of the house.
July 28, 2013 at 7:17am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Cluedin now that I know what an eichler home looks like, I do believe when the owners at that time added the room on that was the look they were going for. I get it now. I will take some more pictures of the room and post. I have remodeled it over the last 20 years -- it had a floor to ceiling glass stationary window with to side windows (bay) overlooking the pool. We shortened it up. It also had very rough wood paneling which we tore out and dry walled. And the beams were stained dark brown. Now for its final overhaul.
July 28, 2013 at 7:21am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Sara Parker
Keep the brick and the curve which makes it special. Neutralize the walls to blend with it.
July 28, 2013 at 7:39am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Carol Ahl
I would cover up most of the brick with sheet rock and leave some brick exposed in the surround -- also add a nice wood mantle if you want a more traditional look. Brick is timeless for fireplace surrounds but the floor to ceiling brick is what dates this.
July 28, 2013 at 7:44am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ianblue
Traci Wesely. Hi Traci I couldn't agree with you more I think it looks awful. It would give me nightmares.
I would rush out and buy some white paint. I couldn't find any pictures to post but I have seen white painted fireplaces looking terrific. And its a low cost solution.
Mind you I do love those curved solutions some-one posted. Perhaps that could be something to consider later. I am already thinking about that myself !
Good luck.
July 28, 2013 at 11:24am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
djgreider
If you plan to burn in the fireplace, white paint will show smoke easily. If, you do not plan to burn in it. Clean the brick with a fireplace cleaner and soften the fireplace with gentle pictures (landscape) and pillows along the hearth add a soft touch and allow additional seating
July 28, 2013 at 11:58am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Wyland Interior Design Center
White washing, or color washing or glazing would be the least expensive way to go, as others have recommended. I have done this many time to old use brick and can give it a nice updated look. I don't recommend painting brick with paint, it tends to look like a homemade job. Do dilute the paint, like Travis Interior recommended, two parts water (or more) to one part acrylic wall paint. Start out with lighter coats and let dry, if you want to go darker than that go over it with another coat or slightly darker.

Another idea is to tile over the existing brick, with either 1x1 glass mosaic tiles or stone tiles or combination of stone & glass. It will need to be small enough to follow the curve of the fireplace. I think a 1x2 tile laid vertically would give it a nice update look . Any good tile installer can prep and tile over the bricks easily. Think about something like this following options:

1). This is a United Tile product - Go with something similar that is a random length tile that is 1/2" to 1" thickness laid vertically.
2). Another United Tile- Oceanside Tile mosaic. Glass and stone combo for a more dramatic feel.
3). 1x1 glass mosaic or glass & slate mosaic like this one from Oceanside Glass.
4). 1x2 stone mosaic laid vertical for a more casual look. This is mosaic is a 1x2 Honey Tan slate mosaic.
July 28, 2013 at 12:31pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sfrett
I painted my fireplace a chocolate brown with autumn orange on the side walls. It looks great!
July 28, 2013 at 12:45pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
dlynskey
I'd paint the brick, too. Since you want to redo the room and change the wall color, I would do that first because it is easier to change and it is a huge amount of color. Then get some heavy-duty poster board and paint it with a sample of what you think will look good on the brick & stand it against the brick for a few days. This will let you see if the combination of colors achieve what you want. Colors play off of one another and behave differently in different light, so you want to look at the planned combination in typical day and evening light.
July 28, 2013 at 12:57pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
groveraxle
Ooh ooh ooh, this would be sooooooo cooooool. I don't know if it will go on a curved wall, but it surely would update the fireplace:
July 28, 2013 at 1:36pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
seventy17
I loved the results when I painted a fireplace white. I say go for it.
July 28, 2013 at 7:02pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
aimster7
Paint it!
July 29, 2013 at 4:20am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
jorzel
Come on just paint it - let's see the finished product - I want to paint mine too! But I'm chicken!!! LOL
July 29, 2013 at 4:50am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
chavezr
I kind of like the old look, and I do like the red walls..but if would look better if you paint the brick a greyish color and take the front wall decor off and add something big that opens up with some shine to it.
July 29, 2013 at 8:13am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
OasisDesign&Remodeling
If you want a more modern aesthetic, I would recommend painting your walls a medium gray/taupe/brown that doesn't compete with the tones of the brick. I feel that a bright green will compete as much as the red is currently doing. I would also paint the beams & ceiling a couple shades lighter than the walls, as having them white makes them look too oppressive in the room. I would keep the bright colors in your accessories for that pop. Perhaps a sleeker fan style & mount the TV on the wall a bit higher. This would be the least expensive way to go.
July 29, 2013 at 5:02pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Kelly D
We had almost the same color brick. We painted it white white and added a mantel. Very low cost (I painted, my husband made the mantel). I'm not a big fan of the white wash or shabby chic as I prefer more clean lines - so we went for full on white and it works with the rest of the room/house. What is your overall style?
July 29, 2013 at 5:22pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Kelly D thanks for the picture. I am going to paint it white. The decor is eclectic -- comfortable with some formal pieces. I am slowly going more casual, beachy, we live at the beach, with a more contemporary style, clean smooth lines. I always get lots of compliments on the house, and I want to retain some of the formal pieces as we go. I love how your fireplace turned out. I will post pictures when it's done.
July 29, 2013 at 5:48pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
jorzel
my daughter just did hers - it looks great! She painted it off white the cut a sponge the same size as the brick and sponged on grey - she did a really nice job. The white fireplace however looks awesome!
July 29, 2013 at 6:39pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
kdesignerinc
I would paint it white, then put floating shelves on the round part to display things, or you could put your tv on the round.
July 29, 2013 at 7:00pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
dundiddit
I had the same problem and finally painted it with enamel paint in a soft ivory color (think it was called candle glow). Huge success, makes the whole room look better instantly. Do it.
July 30, 2013 at 2:30am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
libradesigneye
Paint it white - you won't regret it!
July 30, 2013 at 8:30am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
bweingarten
I love your red walls and have always had a red wall somewhere in my home. The fire place is nice but I know what you mean about a change. You could take one of the colors from the brick and paint it that color. If you look closely you will see that there are several colors in the brick. White would make it pop but it would also show dust and black if you use the fireplace. If it were mine I think I would paint it black. Maybe with a crackle type of application. That would make it look old and go great with the red paint. I am the type of person who has to be different. At the moment I am making a double door pantry in my kitchen look like an antique built-in cabinet. Can't wait to finish it. It will be black.
July 30, 2013 at 10:11am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
dalejo
What a lot of advice! Have you thought about removing the brick walls each side of the fireplace so you just have the curved part? It may not look as heavy and dominant in the room then.
We have a recycled brick wall behind our wood burner. We updated our home and painted all the natural rimu tongue and groove ceilings, had the dark wooden beams gibbed and plastered and painted off white to match the ceiling and the walls painted in beige colors. It was a bold move, but the place is now light and airy and the colours so easy and restful to live with. They also tone in well with the natural bricks. However, painting bricks in off white matt paint would be effective and later on you may feel more confident to have them plastered over. You are having fun! The room will look lovely when it's freshened up.
July 31, 2013 at 4:34am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
erinmwilliams
Traci! Paint. I thought painting our dark brick fireplace in our 1950s-era home would be like putting lipstick on a pig. Boy was I wrong. Google for a Lowe's tutorial and take your time. You will not be disappointed. Guests in our home are dumbfounded by the difference it has made. Our very open home is much brighter and improved. Good luck!
July 31, 2013 at 4:38am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gingerclaire
What happened between the second and third pictures? It looks much better!
July 31, 2013 at 4:51am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
erinmwilliams
We used a sponge the same shape/size as the bricks. Dipped the sponge in a contrasting paint color, and pressed onto the brick that was painted slightly off-white. Best part is that we purchased both paints from our local Habitat store for $5.
July 31, 2013 at 5:15am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ann
we sheetrocked over our corner brick fireplace....so very pleased with how it turned out!
July 31, 2013 at 5:22am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ann
another view of before
July 31, 2013 at 5:24am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
rileyspal
Timely topic for me...just going to start painting this morning. I told the hardware store people I was going to do a wash with latex paint and water mix, and was told by 3 of them No Way, can't mix water and paint as they don't blend properly. So....they talked me into a good primer, then paint. Sorry to take away from the main topic, but I wonder if I'm doing the right thing?
July 31, 2013 at 5:36am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
rileyspal
...yes I am about to paint my fireplace.
July 31, 2013 at 5:37am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
erinmwilliams
@rileyspal You're doing the right thing, you're just not going to arrive at the effect I believe you are wanting to achieve. Try milk paint or thin chalk paint. Neither of which take a primer and will give you the look you are likely seeking.
July 31, 2013 at 5:56am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
erinmwilliams
@rileyspal You can make your own chalk paint by adding plaster of Paris or non-sanded grout to your latex paint, WITH a tad bit of WATER. Mix it well by hand.
July 31, 2013 at 6:00am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
rileyspal
Thanks Erin. Hmmm, will put the project on hold and investigate milk paint.
July 31, 2013 at 6:00am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Old Carolina(R) Handmade Brick Co
That's pretty hideous brick. Have you looked at covering it with thin, genuine handmade brick - see www.handmadebrick.com. It would give a totally elegant and sophisticated look.
July 31, 2013 at 6:42am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
kiki41348
I have a "see through" fireplace in my kitchen & dining room. It is made of the same brick. A decorator talked me into painting it white and she was absolutely right. It looks fantastic.
July 31, 2013 at 6:56am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ghesa1
I think the sheet rock and a classic mantle with a surround of limestone would look nice and add value when selling your home.

Northway

Asymmetrical Fireplace

San Antonio Colorful Home
July 31, 2013 at 7:08am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
zerolotline
Traci, we tired of the raw brick look on our fireplace so I applied pre-mixed stucco myself using a hand trowel. We left it as applied, meaning a troweled texture. The stucco has aged to a beautiful off-white fireplace with lots of character. It looks great against our medium-yellow walls. Totally takes away that brick look This was such an easy project. I can take a picture if you would like to see how good it looks.
July 31, 2013 at 7:52am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sf1v
i love the curved shape. whatever you do, keep that! i would go with white washing first to see if you like it lighter. you can always paint later if you do. if you don't you can then take it off or cover it up with a surround.
July 31, 2013 at 8:22am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Heidi Buhman-McNeley
Paint it! We painted our outdated brick white and it did wonders. I had a friend that painted her's chocolate brown and that worked well in her space. Choose a neutral color that fits your decor and the light in your space.
July 31, 2013 at 8:51am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Architectural Metals Inc.
My name is Danielle & i work for Architectural Metals Inc. We fabricate all kinds of things with metal, copper etc. We have made things for fire plaes as well, you can customize it however you want. if you want it painted a certain color or shape or even design. maybe even words engraved in it? Here are some examples. Just give me a call at 602-269-1400
July 31, 2013 at 8:52am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
2bbailey
I really like what erinmwilliams did! That looks great. I have painted a brick fireplace white before and it looked so much better. It took me a year to get the courage to do it because I was concerned about how it would turn out, but I wouldn't hesitate to do it again now. Definitely tone down those red walls Tracy. I'd go with a muted green rather than bright.
July 31, 2013 at 9:17am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
rhodalynn
I think the brick is beautiful but not with those red walls. I would get a carpenter and let him think of a way to make a mantel. I have brick like that in my den and I took the brick color into consideration when painting the walls. I matched it to the cement which is a taupe color and it looks great.
July 31, 2013 at 9:39am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Studio Van Herik
I actually have done just that........sort of whitewashed the fireplace and then wrote an article about it: http://wirewoman.hubpages.com/hub/Painters-and-Decorators-Paint-an-Ugly-Fireplace as well as: http://wirewoman.hubpages.com/hub/Painters-and-Decorators-When-NOT-To-Paint-Your-Own-Ugly-Fireplace

Hope it helps, best of luck!
July 31, 2013 at 9:49am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
pat2
Love the curve! Keep it!!! No one has mentioned re-cycled granite. We have a place here near Indianapolis that cuts granite counter tops leftovers into 1/4" thin pieces that are about 1" x 4-8" in size. Many colors to chose from and you can lay it horizontal or vertical. The place is called Natural Valley Recycle in Brownsburg, Indiana. We did ours with this and it looks great! (NaturalValleyRecycledGranite.com). It was so easy to do and I think the vertical look would work nicely with your curve and the price is considerably low compared to the high end look you get. Check it out!
July 31, 2013 at 12:28pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
quinciettajane
I think I'm totally outnumbered. I like the brick "brick" because there's no going back once they are painted. But the walls? Yes. Change. And easy to redo as trends come and go.
It's like a trend right now to paint a brick fireplace. Twenty years ago they were putting in fireplaces surrounded by all marble. My house, twelve years old, has a tile surround. But brick? It's been timeless...
July 31, 2013 at 1:14pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ruthieq
not sure what your style is but the fireplace and beams remind me of the southwest style. I think you should paint the fireplace an off white and paint the beams a wood color. also move the furniture away from the fireplace this would give you a more spaceous feel to your room. also get rid of some of the little stuff that seem to be tightly around the fireplace. Above the firebox take your large round artifact and paint it a bright color. the red walls need to be toned down or changed to a color you like or can live with. good luck on your room.
July 31, 2013 at 7:00pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gayla1morris
I just saw a brick fireplace painted black and it was stunning. I'm personally not a fan of painted brick, but I did like that black fireplace. Mine is a floor to ceiling red brick, but not the pretty blue red, it's the orange red and I don't care for it with my blue tile floors and soft beige walls. So I've been looking at stone or marble tile. There's also a method of covering a surface with concrete that looks like marble or granite. I've seen it done on countertops and intend to price it out if I ever have some extra money.
July 31, 2013 at 7:11pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ghesa1
I like Rhodalynn's fireplace and shelf above it! Very nice!
July 31, 2013 at 7:12pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gayla1morris
@erinmwilliams: looks like you did not take your TV down? I don't know that I'd be brave enough to leave mine up while painting. @zerolotline: I would like to see pictures of your stuccoed fireplace.
July 31, 2013 at 7:22pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
zerolotline
Will post pic tomorrow.
July 31, 2013 at 7:41pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
victoriathibeau
Painting it white for a modern look or staining it a dark grey for a more eclectic, subdued look are both affordable options.
July 31, 2013 at 7:44pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
onthecoast1
IMO, your brick is a timeless classic style -- it's very beautiful with the creams mixed in with the pale reds. I also love the curved shape. It doesn't scream 70's at all to me.

As much as I love the red color on your wall, it is that red that is making the fireplace look awful. I would change the wall color, wash the brick well and paint it with a clear masonry gloss sealer (it deepens the colors and makes it look more finished and polished).

If you do change the brick fireplace, I'd go with plastering. I'm not fond of painted brick.
July 31, 2013 at 9:33pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Tookens
I looked at last years photos of the fireplace and decided to leave it alone. We (husband) covered the top portion with sheet rock and built a mantle . Painted the new sheet rock the same colour as the room and left the bottom portion as is. I realize I would miss the natural brick if I painted, and my dogs agree! :-)
August 1, 2013 at 4:10am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
rhodalynn
To get your bricks more uniform in color, you can mix half brick red stencil paint (the kind in the little bottles)
and half water and just paint it on the bricks. Or just use it to "paint" the bricks that are lighter in color. That's what I did. Don't paint that beautiful brick!
August 1, 2013 at 5:57am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
erinmwilliams
@gaylamorris We did keep it up, but our mount extends off the fireplace up to 4 feet. I could walk behind it.
August 1, 2013 at 6:00am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
zerolotline
Here is a photo of our fireplace brick overlayed in unpainted synthetic stucco.
August 1, 2013 at 1:33pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Nancy Walton
Traci, of all the treatments, I think stucco is the way to go--would give it a more modern look, or a look like a kiva fireplace. If your decor isn't Modern, go with Venetian plaster.
August 1, 2013 at 1:42pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
susancole55
I have old red bricks around my fireplace with a gas insert that is black iron. My walls are Silver Lake white. I want to paint my bricks gray but do I need to prep the bricks and mortar or clean them with something special first?
August 1, 2013 at 3:42pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Susancole55 I have been told they have to be cleaned. My painter was investigating on what to use. I am going to paint it white and if I don't like it I will then dry wall it and have a mantle made or surround.
August 1, 2013 at 4:09pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
rileyspal
Susan & Traci, I have spent the past 2 days painting my fireplace. I didn't have to clean it as it wasn't dirty, but did see a recipe on google including TSP. I used a good primer called Zinnser 123 (I'm in Canada) and then an eggshell type finish with my oatmeal colour paint. Also primed and painted the grout. I painted because I had pink coloured bricks from the 80's. Well....it looks wonderful now. So pleased! I have a black iron gas insert as well. On it I used black 'heat' paint and also painted out the brass door surround on it.
August 1, 2013 at 4:20pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Rileyspal post a picture.
August 1, 2013 at 11:33pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
rileyspal
Traci, I cannot send a photo til next Tues. or Wed. The computer I need for downloading photos is in a shop being repaired. Sorry. But the bricks look real, not painted, which is amazing.
August 2, 2013 at 5:33am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Ok, I really like this surround anyone know of any dealers in Southern California, Los Angeles area I can contact?
August 2, 2013 at 8:19am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Nancy Walton
That would really transform your fireplace!
August 2, 2013 at 8:21am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
I know Nancy I really love this. Need to figure out how expensive and then drywall the rest. The drywall part is easy.
August 2, 2013 at 8:31am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Nancy Walton
Actually, the drywall on the curve could be a problem. You might think of plastering it.
August 2, 2013 at 10:39am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ahillswife
As dzeipen said, I too love the idea of whitewashing it.
August 2, 2013 at 10:42am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
lrb945
i have done this particular transformation several times. plaster over the brick with several layers of drywall mud. it has to be done in stages to avoid cracking. keep adding layers until you get the look you like: leaving some faint brick lines here and there, or not. sand it down with metal mesh. apply primer. i have always done a color wash effect to give it an adobe fireplace/oven appearance, which worked well in the houses i was re-doing. if you want something more formal, choose a different paint style.
August 2, 2013 at 1:08pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gayla1morris
Traci, www.foamdesigncenter.com is located in Bakersfield, and they are able to customize their products. I have not ordered anything yet so I cannot speak to the quality of the product, but I fully intend to order something in the very near future.
August 2, 2013 at 4:59pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
zerolotline
Have you made a decision?
August 25, 2013 at 1:27pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Traci Wesley
Zerolotline I have made a decision, I am going with a precast surround in a Tuscany style and where the surround ends it will be drywall. The bid is $9500 total. It's not the surround itself that is costly it the custom mold they have to make because it is curved. I can't start work until the end of October but I will post pics when it is done, it is going to be spectacular. I love the company I am going with.
August 27, 2013 at 11:06am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
zerolotline
I am so happy for you. You being happy is what matters.
August 27, 2013 at 11:47am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Nancy Walton
Attached is a picture of my kiva fireplace I had installed recently. Complete install with firebox, surround, gas log was around $4000...
August 28, 2013 at 7:27pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
woodsincity
cluedin....I like the painted brick fireplace ¥ou posted here. What color is the paint? thankyou
July 14, 2014 at 6:05pm   
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Help! 1970's brick fireplace
Check this out for a 1970's brick fireplace. Husband...
Help! 1970's Brick Fireplace
Need ideas for this big ugly brick fireplace. On a...
1970's Brick and fake wood paneling
Updating this den area. I have pulled out the orange...
Want to update our 1970s brick home
Would love any and all suggestions. Not interested...
More Discussions
Benjamin Moore Gingersnaps palate alternative in Sherwin WIlliams?
Hi all - I recently got some advice from a post I put...
Your favourite colour combo?
I'm currently into yellow + grey interiors, it's a...
What color should I paint this small bedroom?
Main floor is getting painted next week. Mostly SW...
Which backsplash?
I got a new granite countertop with a dull black undermount...
Jesse's kitchen - what kitchen would look good?
I'd love some ideas for a total kitchen refit, some...
© 2014 Houzz Inc.
Houzz® The new way to design your home™