What better way to start off February than with a quick project recap for you all! If you’ve been following along for awhile or follow me on social media you’ll know my fireplace has gone through many stages over the last three years of owning our home.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane! When we moved into our 1960’s home, we had a red/orange, floor to ceiling, bulky hearthed fireplace. This feature was not original to the house, but added probably sometime in the 70’s (according to county auditors record permits). Which makes total sense because the exterior chimney brick is not the same brick that was used on the front facade (I limewashed the exterior here). Immediately, I knew something needed to be done about how bold and dingy the fireplace looked! One feature I had always hated was the mantle. The positioning was far too high and it wasn’t very deep. Both these “issues” presented challenges when decorating the mantle.
After white washing (1/4 white latex paint, 3/4 water) the brick, I was much more content with its appearance, but it still wasn’t exactly my taste. In all honesty, we have never used the fireplace in three years primarily because of safety concerns. It probably needs a good professional cleaning and inspection, but it’s just never been a priority to have a fire. It's funny to look back at how much our home decor style has changed and matured since moving into our home with our one bedroom apartment decor and furniture!
About a year ago, we realized we had a major issue. The fireplace installation was done poorly and the floor was not reinforced beneath the hundreds of pounds of brick which over time caused the joists to slip off the footing (it is a crawl space beneath the fireplace room). It was a really unfortunate finding. So our temporary solution (as I’m currently pregnant and not looking to undergo major projects, especially in the winter) was to remove the upper half, which was pulling away from the wall, likely from the floor sagging. Some might think we’re crazy for undoing such a “beautiful” fireplace, but there are bigger safety concerns. Ultimately, we removed a significant amount of weight off of the already compromised floor joists and spruced up the top and mantle. I would not be sad if we ended up removing the fireplace entirely, but next summer we will tackle removing the remaining brick, fixing the fallen footer situation and rebuilding the lower half out of wood (the top will stay as is and the new bottom will blend right into it).
This project was honestly one of the more simple projects I’ve completed in our home and my husband managed to remove the top portion in less than an hour (if that gives you any indication as to how unsound it was). I find the new look to be less ‘in your face’ than the original. If you’re curious about my paint choices my wall color is Behr Natural Grey and the white I use throughout the entire house is Behr Polar Bear. It’s a perfect neutral white without a blue or yellow undertone.
10/18/2018 08:50:45 am
love to see these funny pictures , it refreshes my mind a lot, its a amazing blog full of fun, your site is suggested to me by my friend, well done.
10/19/2018 11:12:52 am
I love how your makeover turned out! We are in process of redoing our fireplace & mantle. Can you tell me the depth of your mantle? Ours was much too narrow as well!
11/15/2018 03:21:25 pm
How did you know that the top part of the fireplace was decorative and not necessary for the fireplace to function? Mine looks the same as yours did originally and I would love to take the brick off at the top. Thank you.
Beth @ Blush and Batting Blog
11/15/2018 03:59:42 pm
Hey JoAnne! We knew our upper portion wasn’t necessarily a supportive part of our fireplace because it was pulling away from the wall and we could see the drywall behind it. Once we started demo, we could better visualize how far down we could demo. Within your masonry, you will also have a metal support header that supports the bricks above the actual fireplace opening. You obviously cannot remove bricks beyond that point. If you cannot tell what your bricks are adhered to, I would suggest calling a fireplace inspection company before demo! You don’t want to damage your actual chimney stack. Hope this helps!
7/11/2019 11:17:08 am
Hello! I absolutely love this and plan on doing it to our fireplace. Quick question, what size boards and framing did you use? Thank you!
10/10/2019 05:54:52 am
Thank you for posting such a great blog! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work. Thank you for this wonderful Blog!
4/21/2020 06:45:05 pm
What color did you use on your walls next to your fireplace? The grays are so hard. I started painting a light grey and it looks blue.
Beth @ Blush and Batting Blog
4/21/2020 09:04:10 pm
Hello! The wall color in these photos is Behr Cathedral Gray and it’s definitely a more neutral undertone, no blue tones. I later swapped the color for Behr Natural Gray which you may see in newer photos and within the last two years painted the room in Behr Painters White. Just so there’s no confusion if you stumble on a more recent photo and wonder why it looks so different!
8/2/2020 02:30:40 am
I love your fireplace, any tips or tricks to get mine to look like yours?
9/14/2020 08:49:21 am
Hi! LOVE LOVE LOVE your update!
Beth @ Blush and Batting
9/17/2020 09:37:38 pm
Hello! When it comes to interior white wash I use a latex paint and water mixture. Specifically, I used 1/3 paint to 2/3 water but you’ll want to do a test area in a more discrete location on your brick to see how it absorbs and covers to determine what percentages to use. Lay down a drop cloth because it can get messy. Work in smaller sections starting at the top (easier to keep track of drips and runs). Wipe up any drips or runs immediately or you’ll see them under the whitewash. I apply the mixture with an angled paint brush and immediately wipe off with a rag. Hope this helps!
1/12/2021 11:26:05 pm
Any idea if this shiplap can be installed over the bricks (without removing any brick)? Lovely makeover!
7/17/2021 10:10:27 am
Also wondering how to apply shiplap on top of brick without removal!
12/20/2021 12:34:13 am
What better way to kick off the month of February than with a brief project summary for you all! If you've been following along for a while or follow me on social media, you'll know that my fireplace has gone through several stages in the three years we've lived in our house.
12/30/2021 01:48:32 am
Raw brick design is always my favorite, I always have a wall in room with this design. But I haven't thought about painting it. I was thinking to try the ash grey color.
12/30/2021 08:50:18 am
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1/9/2022 01:25:42 pm
Raw brick design is always a favourite of mine, and I always keep one in my room. However, I haven't considered painting it. I was considering trying the ash grey.
3/29/2022 08:54:49 am
thanks for sharing this post
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12/26/2022 11:36:53 am
I have surely learnt so much about brick fireplace makeover. What other time would it have been better if not now during festivities. Thanks for the insights
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