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Restore or not? Removing paint from fireplace brick

September 22, 2013
I just purchased a home in Omaha. Early 20th century an I believe is a Four Square. I don't care for the white paint covering the fireplace brick. What steps do I take to see if I like the brick underneath, and if so, how can it be exposed. Brick is heavily texture-appears to be intact and in good condition.

Comments (15)

  • decoenthusiaste
    If you find the brick to be pleasing it may take sandblasting to expose it. Meanwhile, you can update by painting the brass surround with a black heat proof paint.
  • Darzy
    Generally, people paint the brick on a fireplace because it is ugly. Many a design dilemma here on Houzz is Paint or not to Paint their brick. I'd say repainting the brick the white (or even a light gray) and updating the FP screen and it will look great. Search Houzz photos "gray painted brick fireplace" and "white painted brick fireplace" and you'll see how great they look.
  • Maryl Hershelman
    Some brick is meant to be painted....it's not glazed. There is a church around the corner that sand blasted the paint off and found that the bricks deteriorated and didn't match.
  • PRO
    Removing paint from brick is a tremendous amount of work and not always successful. On our local historic homes tour, one of this year's houses had a similar situation and they ended up removing all the original brick and redoing the fireplace as they couldn't get the brick clean
  • PRO
    JamesV Consulting
    lots of options , stucco or thin veneer stone come to my mind. Last options to me would be trying to clean the old brick
  • Side3
    You could also tile right over the brick, but definitely paint over the brass on the door.
  • PRO
    Countertop Creations
    If you are looking for a more custom or modern look, I have a tuscan stoneworx product that i can overlay right over the brick. We finish with a color wash and polish. Its amazing!
  • Emily H
    I found this a while back and thought the process was really neat.
  • Debp
    Live with the white for awhile. You may grow to love it. I think it is quite nice. As an aside, you sconces seem low. Would it be possible to turn them so they shine upward?
  • PRO
    LB Interiors
    Removing the paint may not come off clean enough. An easy and inexpensive approach may be to 'faux paint' it.
    Fireplace Makeover · More Info
  • PRO
    LB Interiors
    This may not be an example of actual faux painted brick. It's a color that may appeal to you.
    East 75th Street · More Info
  • PRO
    LB Interiors
    Emily's video makes it look great and fast :)
  • Marilyn Wilkie
    I can see reasons for restoring the fireplace to it's original color since your home is somewhat historic, and Emily's video may be the answer. We are contemplating painting a 1960 brick fireplace...not historical in any sense.
  • smdrovetto
    Hi Omahafoursquare!

    Love your home!

    I love learning all the architectural terms I've seen on Houzz! Did you see the piece they did on the 1930's Florida beach bungalows called "cracker"? I would kill for one of those homes!

    I clicked on "Browse Rooms" and then typed in "arts and crafts (also try craftsman) fireplace", and it brought up several examples that look very similar to yours.

    I have my rudimentary little drawing, but you'll see all kinds of beautiful tile designs.

    That might be a good solution for you if you like that look. Tile is very inexpensive, not too hard for DIY'ers, with predictible results.

    This period of design is very simple and pretty, and if you can do restoration that is fairly easy to maintain the integrity, it usually has a positive impact on resale etc.

    I used blue green, but true green was used a lot, which I personally love, because it goes with everything, but there are infinite choices.

    You wouldn't even have to change your surround or hearth. It would probably cost under $100.

    Very pretty fireplace, and home. It looks like it is in beautiful shape for its age!
  • amadeus157

    Shabby chic it? Kinda like above. The sconces are throwing me off a bit...upside down? And the brass screen door should be painted black or replaced with something with a little more character. Just my 2 cents worth. :)

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