Welcome to Salt & Rook, a blog about our DIY home renovation and design.

Why We're Painting Our Brick Fireplace

Why We're Painting Our Brick Fireplace

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Yep. We gave up.

If you've been reading our blog at all, you know that we have tried to restore our brick fireplace. You know, the one that looked like this when we moved in:

The fireplace in 2016.

The fireplace in 2016.

And we think we've come a really long way! Don't you think so? 

But we hit a wall when we realized that even with our most hardcore attempts at scrubbing brick (part three of this adventure) didn't yield the results we wanted.

We lost all of our motivation on the fireplace. Also, we were really sick of scrubbing brick. So we stopped for a long time. And when we came back, we finally admitted defeat. We have decided to paint it.

I know what you're thinking:

You told me NOT to paint my brick! What the HELL, Katie?



I know, I know! I did say that you not to paint brick. Yet here I am, in the year of our lord 2018, saying that I'm going to paint our brick. So what changed?

The damage was done before we got here.

First: the brick was painted before we got here. Like I said in our first blog: once you paint brick (especially very rough textured brick like ours), you can't go back.

So although I still think painting brick should be carefully planned, our brick was already painted. It can't be reversed. So we're leaning in.

The "whitewashed" look doesn't go with the rest of what we got going on, style-wise.

When we first stripped our fireplace, we really had no idea how the rest of our home would come together. It looked like this, remember? 

As we purchased more furniture and our style started to come together, the whitewashed brick looked increasingly out of place.

When Pat restored all the wood doors and built a new oak mantel for the fireplace, the brick was obviously sticking out like a sore thumb. That's when we knew we needed to make a change.

We don't like whitewashed brick.

Yeah, so ... it's pretty simple. We just don't like the current whitewashed look.

Our brick will always be whitewashed. Even if we spend hours on hours with the most dangerous chemical paint strippers on the planet. I wish could sling Jasco paint remover around like it's NBD. But I can’t. And that's okay!

And it doesn't matter, because the brick will always be whitewashed. So we're painting it.

The winning paint color for our fireplace: Iron Ore

We decided to go dark and we settled on Sherwin-Williams' Iron Ore. It's a well-balanced dark gray - or as I kept calling it, a "soft black."

But we also tested a shade called Greenblack. It was the first paint chip I pulled and I loved it. It's a bit darker and cooler than Iron Ore. But since Pat wanted gray and I wanted black, Iron Ore was a good compromise.

And guess what? We're painting really, really soon! We're hoping this change has a dramatic (and positive) effect on our living room. Stay tuned for the final product.

Do you think we're making a huge mistake? Or are you more like: OH THANK GOD they're painting because that brick looks terrible! Let us know in the comments!

August 13, 2018 update: We've posted some photos of the newly painted brick on our Instagram - follow us if you don't already 😊


Stuff on our mantel

Vintage bottle print: Kristen Solecki on Etsy
Gold and blue vase: West Elm (sold out, but they have similar ones!)
Picture frames: Gallery Frames from West Elm (brass, wood)

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