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Faux Real Fireplace Makeover

June 9, 2011

Back in February, I solicited advice from you all about what to do with a recent thrift store find. Remember these?

Well, I took the advice of the majority of you and painted them black and then never got around to showing you the results. Here they are hanging above the fireplace with a couple inexpensive white taper candles from Michael’s:

Much better! I also mentioned in that old post that we wanted to paint our faux brick. At the time I thought that meant a slate-like color, but then I found a genius blog post about how to paint over already painted brick to make it look like real brick. Did you follow all that?

Here’s what we were starting with:

I mean really… can you get any more faux looking than that? When we first moved in, even the logs in the fireplace were faux logs. I think one of the very first things I did in the house was to remove the awful faux log pile.

This project was pretty easy (and cheap!), especially considering the fantastic results. Most of the necessary materials I already had on hand:

  • newspaper (and/or dropcloth)
  • painter’s tape
  • standard paintbrush
  • paint tray
  • large sponge
  • paper plates
  • latex paints
  • acrylic paints

Now, I cut out some steps and supplies from the tutorial I linked to above, but then I wasn’t painting over already painted brick and I was doing a much smaller area.

Since the mortar color was normal, I opted to skip the first step of painting the mortar and moved straight to applying my base paint to the bricks themselves. I used leftover tan wall paint (Behr’s Gobi Desert) applied with a paintbrush. The plan was to roller all the bricks, but my leftover paint was a little dried out and gloopy so the roller just wasn’t cutting it.

Next, I laid out six paper plates for my brick colors and poured out a half-dollar size amount, one color per plate. I used a $3 sample size of Behr’s Thick Chocolate as my base tint and Americana acrylic paints (found in the craft paint aisle at Michael’s) in Terra Cotta, Burnt Siena, Antique Gold, Milk Chocolate, and Burnt Umber.

To paint the individual bricks, each time I started with my base of thick chocolate and added one or two other color tints to my sponge. I tried to do 2-3 bricks at a time, randomly spaced, with that unique color combination before reloading the sponge with more paint and different tints.

I tried to get a good variety of dark brown, red, and light brown/gold tints spaced around the fireplace to help it look more authentic.

We had a few people from church over a couple days after I finished and they were surprised to learn it was painted. It was the first time any of them had been to our house so they hadn’t seen the previous incarnation. Success!

Here’s a couple side-by-side before and afters (including the wall sconces), just for fun:

  Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Transformation Thursday

21 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2011 5:52 pm

    That’s awesome! (The brick thing.)

    I did notice that you’d painted the candle holders black in one of your latest blogs. They look great.

  2. Gigi Neff permalink
    June 9, 2011 6:05 pm

    I love make-overs! This is simple and a wonderful change!

  3. June 9, 2011 6:15 pm

    that is genius! looks great.

  4. Abby permalink
    June 9, 2011 6:42 pm

    Wow! Nice job on the fireplace – I’m impressed!

  5. Fay Chave permalink
    June 9, 2011 8:32 pm

    Looks very nice, Sarah, job well done!

  6. June 9, 2011 8:33 pm

    Looks 100% better!

  7. Kelly permalink
    June 9, 2011 10:57 pm

    This looks amazing! Nice job!

  8. June 9, 2011 11:06 pm


  9. Mary permalink
    June 10, 2011 7:39 am

    Looks great! Oh, the wonders of paint!

  10. Rae permalink
    June 10, 2011 8:44 am

    That looks fantastic! I would not have known that it was painted. Way to go, Sarah! I’m so impressed.

  11. June 10, 2011 11:26 am

    Thanks, everyone! :D

  12. June 10, 2011 1:15 pm

    Dramatic difference. Good choice, good tutorial, and good photos. Thanks for sharing. I found you at Picket Fence.

  13. June 10, 2011 3:16 pm

    Wow! What a difference a little paint made to your fireplace. Love it! Thanks for linking up. Could you please provide a link back? Thanks.

  14. June 11, 2011 5:55 pm

    Very neat! It is a great transformation. I like that it was simple and inexpensive too!

  15. June 14, 2011 5:22 pm

    Beautiful — and you’re so crafty! I love that you repainted the painted brick (that is a little tricky, but I follow!) and did something cool with a thrift store find.

  16. June 15, 2011 10:43 am

    Turned out beautiful. I’m following you from Fingerprints on the Fridge. Would love to have you link this up at my {wow me} wednesday link up party going on over on my blog right now. :)


  17. June 16, 2011 12:20 am

    Wow, you did a great job! Looks like real brick. So much better. I love the redo on the candle holders too :-).

  18. July 28, 2011 5:51 am

    Very good article. I`ve been reading as quick as possible. Please continue as well as that. Regards

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