Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Got The Look

I know everyone out there probably has one or two things, oh heck maybe more, in there house they've never been happy with. I'm not any different than anyone else. One of the things in our home that I have disliked since Trucker and I married, is our fireplace. Never being a fan of red brick, I kept telling myself it had to go. However it's never been in our budget to do anything with it this entire time. I want to build a surround for it and sometime this summer we are going to do our darnedest to get that in the budget. In the meantime however I started searching for alternative ways to make a difference in the brick now. I looked at all sorts of ways to paint it in various colors but after giving it much thought I decided I didn't really want it painted. I love the look of all the painted ones I've seen, but most were white. Right now are walls are off white and I didn't want it to blend in and get lost. After all it is the focal point of the room. So what's a girl to do? I kept scouring for ideas and eventually ran across one that I thought would work.

I found a blog that talked about staining the fireplace brick and gave a small tutorial on how to do it. For the life of me I cannot remember who and where it was, or would give credit to them. I've got to start writing all this down for doing just so. Anyway I loved the look of the darker brick. So much so I decided it couldn't hurt anything for me to give it a try. In my opinion I couldn't make it any uglier!

Here's the before and after pictures. See the difference?

Notice what a huge difference it made? I love it now. I still want to build a surround for it, but for the time being I'm in love with the new look. Now to discuss how it's done it was really easy. I used Minwax dark walnut stain, which I already had from a purchase a few weeks ago. I used a paint brush to apply it to the brick and made sure there was a drop cloth of course. It really wasn't as messy as I thought it would be. The stain does run down quickly so be ready with your brush. However by it running this way it helps to get into all the cracks and crevices of the brick. Be sure and have your windows open. Lordy, my brain wasn't working when at first I started and ended up being high and having a headache. But the house smells fine now. As cold as it was I had to open the windows and place a fan blowing outward into one window. As said, make sure you ventilate well.

After finishing up I decided to make some minor changes to the mantel. Nothing huge but wanted to add some candlesticks in place of the ginger jar. That was an easy peasy fix. To give them varying heights however, since both are the same height, I used small jars that I keep for canning. In order for the jars not to show I put a doily over the top of them and then placed the candles onto it. I also decided to add a few more doilies to the other candle holders as well. I really like the new look and expect it to stay this way for some time. Not sure why the picture turned out to blurry and I apologize for that. If you remember a few weeks ago I painted all of the brass candle holders that I had acquired over the years at GW, thrift stores and flea markets a shiny metallic silver. I still love the look and am so glad I done this. Here's the final pictures.

I'm gonna party hardy today by joining lots of parties. I am linking up with:

Do It Yourself Day @ A Soft Place to Land
Met Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Toot Your Horn Tuesday @ A Silly Little Sparrow
Second Time Around Tuesday @ A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
Trash to Treasure @ Reinvented
Works for me Wednesday @ We Are That Family
100 Ideas Under $100 @ Beyond The Picket Fence
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Quick Project Thursday @ Collected Treasures
Transformation Thursday @ Shabby Chic Cottage

Be sure and go visit all of these wonderful blogs for many sources of inspiration and great ideas.


Kim said...

I've never heard of staining brick before. You can't get much easier than that. I'm glad you had such good success, it's a nice facelift.

Adrianna said...

I hadn't hear of staining brick either. Looks so shiny and new! I love love love the mirror over your fireplace too.

Patti said...

First time i had heard about this idea, too...came out fabulous!

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

It turned out very well!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Love the new look, thanks for linking up!

Angie said...

Staining the brick was a great idea! I painted mine a dark red and I love it.

Madame Meg said...

I've never heard of staining bricks before- but it really does make a difference! The new richer color looks great! I'm also impressed with your sprayed brass- I find myself always shying away from altering conventionally "valuable" materials. I just recently convinced myself that it's OK, really, to paint wood furniture!
Thanks for stopping by my place!
- Meg

Carli said...

That came out really nice! I have a friend who would definitely be interested in doing something like this, I'll have to pass it on :)

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Love the sheen on it!!!

Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

that looks great!

Jennifer said...

It looks great! Who would have ever thought to stain brick. Nicely done!

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

Wow love the change! Never would have thought of stain.

bec4 said...

It made a huge difference--thanks for sharing it on my under $100 link party. Paint is great, isn't it?