Just a can of white paint…

Ok, well maybe a can of primer and a can of paint…and some leftover blue wall paint from the kitchen. That’s all it took to transform our living room.  I absolutely love how it turned out. I’ve been wanting to paint our fireplace since we moved into our house a little over 1 1/2 years ago.  Get ready for some amazing before and after shots!
To be super dramatic, this is what the living room looked like when we bought the house:
Lovely dark wood paneling everywhere and really nasty carpet.
Then, we painted the walls and wood. The sellers put in hardwood floors…
A huge improvement! This is how it has looked for the past 1 1/2 years.  
Then, after looking for a bigger area rug for that long, I found this one for super cheap:
So, we added the rug which really helped…but I still haven’t liked the brick fireplace and ugly brass and black fireplace screen…
It took some convincing, but finally Reid was on board with the idea. Don’t get me wrong, I do love exposed brick in some settings…but not here.
I also had the idea of using some leftover soft aqua paint from our kitchen to paint the backs of the shelves. I figured it would make the objects pop…
Ok, get ready…

Ta Da!!
It makes the room feel so much brighter, airy and modern!
It really only took one coat of primer and one coat of paint.
And the larger area rug makes a world of difference.
The most annoying part of the process was painting in between each brick with a brush before rolling on the paint.  If you attempt this, use an old brush that you don’t care about because it will be destroyed by the end.
I had fun rearranging some objects and adding in a lot of white things to showcase them against the now blue backs of the shelves. (recognize that owl?)
I even spray painted some old picture frames white to keep everything bright.
The fireplace screen needed a few more extra coats of paint. It’s not as smooth as I’d like it to be, but you don’t really notice unless you are up close. Maybe we will eventually get a new one, but this does the trick for now.
We just had to use a razor to scrape the excess paint off the windows.
So, if you have brick you don’t like, go paint it! It’s a little gutsy, but totally worth it. 
To recap the project…
* I just used regular latex paint and primer for this project and it has held up perfectly so far!

Next, we will tackle those beams…and hopefully paint the ceiling fan.. But, that will require a very high ladder and some upper body strength. :)
Has anyone else had brick painting success?


  1. 17


    Hi Megan, Found your blog through a mutual friend! Love your many quilt projects {with you mom} and decor ideas! Love, love, love your new fireplace!! Great job! Thanks for sharing.

  2. 20


    Seriously amazing. That takes some guts! I would be too afraid to do it myself, but you just inspired me so much! (Not that I have a fireplace or brick anywhere…yet). Love your blog!

  3. 21


    What an amazing transformation. It made such a drastic difference. Now you have me wanting to get my white paint out to brighten up my rooms.

  4. 24


    Your fireplace looks AMAZING! My husband and I are in the process of buying a house and the brick fireplace desperately needs to be painted. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation! :)

  5. 25


    What a makeover! We're right there with ya with the painted brick – we had an almost identical fireplace we painted white too – it's amazing what a little paint will do. Anyway, LOVE how your fp turned out and that rug is beautiful! Great job. :)

  6. 28


    Wow! What an amazing change! I love it! I have painted brick on my fireplace. It was already painted white when I repainted it but it was still a bear getting in those cracks so I know what you mean. I love the way you've accessorized. Very pretty. And the rug is FABULOUS!

  7. 29


    the ladies above said it all – that's fantastic! what kind of primer/paint did you use? i painted our fireplace surround (the brassy bits) a while back but i used heat safe enamel which was a PAIN!!
    you've got me eyeing our brick fireplace now. brilliant job :)

  8. 33

    Suzin says

    Looks so fresh,lite with a cottage feel to it! Your rug is soooo groovy, a suggestion tho … move your furniture away from the walls into your room so rug doesn't look like a dance floor.

  9. 34


    I love it!! We are thinking of moving in the near(ish) future and now I see possibilities even if I don't love the fireplace. Yay! Question for you…did you just use latex paint for both the fireplace brick and the screen?

  10. 35


    Yes, we did just use regular latex paint and primer for everything. However, there is actually another inner screen that you can't really see in the pictures, so the outside screen that we painted doesn't get hot. But if you use your fireplace a lot and the screen gets hot, you might consider using heat resistant paint for that part.

    And thanks for the tip, Suzin, but we are actually going to add a large ottoman/coffee table. Plus, we really like the open feel of the room! :)

  11. 37

    Anonymous says

    It looks great! I know you linked to where you got the rug, but it isnt available anymore. Is there a "name" for it that I can search it elsewhere?

  12. 41

    Kristina Jones says

    wow, what a beautiful transformation! I love all the soft colors, some of my favorites. Great job!

  13. 42

    Anonymous says

    Fabulous! I kept looking at it, thinking, "I love it! Why does it look so familiar?" Then I realized it is super similar to my den (that I am sitting in right now!) Yours definitely has better architecture (ceilings and built-ins) but I just finished mine with almost the same wall color – just a little lighter. A white painted brick fireplace, and light blue drapes on the 2 windows that flank my fireplace. It really tickled me to see your room!

  14. 43

    Anonymous says

    Love it! I have the EXACT same fireplace and want to do something with it but havent known just what to do and was nervous to paint it. Now I am going to paint it for sure! Great job!

  15. 50

    Katie M says

    This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. My husband and I are about to close on a house with cedar walls and red brick fireplace just like this that was making me very skeptical about the sale. Now my mind is completely at ease! This is fabulous!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *