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.