The Stockings Were Hung By The (Pretty) Chimney With Care...


We started building our house in 1993. I was 21. We installed all wood trim throughout the entire house and a huge brick fire place in our living room. It's just a solid, old fashion, real wood burning fire place. It dominated the room and It was dark. It was all dark.

For many years, it felt right, like part of the family. It has watched over many treasured moments of our lives. As my style evolved and trends changed, the voices in my head began to whisper "paint it". I tried to ignore them at first but they grew louder and louder until one day I said to Greg, "I'm thinking of painting the bricks." He basically told me in so many words that we wouldn't be doing that. His vehement belief in the raw brick loomed large for quite some way too long.

One day he came home and I had painted the brick fireplace. He LOVED it painted and asked "Why had I not done that sooner??" The moral of this story is sometimes it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

These are the best 'before' pictures I could find. Surely better ones exist, but I will lose the entire day in old pictures if I'm not careful. (Sorting my photos is on the long long list.) Here we see my precious girls posing on Valentine's Day. The big one is stealing the show with that face. 

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I'll share with you the steps and materials used in case you too have voices that need taming.

Step 1 - If there's an outdated door, screen, insert or surround, ditch it. FAST!

Step 2 - Use a stiff brush to 'clean' the bricks. Just give them a good firm brushing and then go over them again with the vacuum.

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Step 3 - Prime it...really well. Get in every nook and cranny. This is my favorite primer. I use it for most everything. 


Step 4 - Paint it. At least two coats. There's a time for excellent paint and this is it. I use Sherwin Williams Pro Classic for jobs like this. You can have it tinted to any color you'd like and it is 'self healing' meaning it doesn't show your brush marks. In addition, it's SUPER durable. It has really stood up to the test of time on this and many other projects.

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Step 5 - Impress your people with your amazing skills.

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*Note: If you have a wood mantle like us, you can use the exact same materials to paint it as well. 

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