A friend recently asked for help in her home. She and her husband work and have two daughters. Time is a commodity and her home has not had much updating since she moved in. She wants something light and fresh, maybe with touch of coastal/beach. (Insert; me happy dancing!) Her oldest is graduating college and her youngest is graduating high school in June. There will be parties and visitors and the clock is ticking. While she would like to do the kitchen, dining and living room we have decided to focus on the living room for time and budget sake.
My first hurdle was one wall in the living room. It is covered with faux bricks and an off-centered fireplace with a dated brassy-gold metal surround.
The family cleared the living room and took off to visit colleges leaving the room for me to work in for two days. First up was that brass surround. I tried to remove it-that was plan A, but no luck. It wouldn't budge. Okay...I am not deterred. Plan B- I taped of the glass on the fireplace screen and taped paper around the brick to protect from over spray. I put a paper inside the fireplace in case any paint made it through the cracks. I put down drop cloths (-everywhere!!) and grabbed my high heat Rustoleum spray paint. ($7) I used black.
This took 3 coats. If you are attempting this here are my pointers: Open windows between coats (to prevent the paint from blowing around). Follow the directions and allow each coat to dry. Three thin coats are much better than a thick coat that may run and ruin your project. Start spraying on the paper then in a back and forth motion spray your frame, being sure to keep the appropriate distance. Take your time.
Now to tackle the rest of the wall. There were bricks that had come dislodged. I reapplied them with Liquid Nails and taped it in place to dry. Some of the bricks were cracked. I used spackle (I had this on hand) and a small putty knife to fill the cracks. I was not too concerned about smooth surfaces. Once the cracks were spackled over I grabbed my white and off white chalk paints.
I poured some of both whites onto a paper plate. Using the same putty knife I dragged the paint onto random bricks. After the paint and spackle were dry I used a sanding block to knock down and edges or marks not consistent with the look of the bricks.
Using a 1:3 ratio I mixed white chalk paint with water. That is 1 part chalk paint to 3 parts water. Stir, stir, stir and then stir some more. you will need to continue to stir as you are applying as the paint tends to want to settle. Now the messy part. I used a chip brush, nothing expensive, and worked in about three foot square sections. Brushing on the paint is messy and drippy. The bricks are porous and take the paint quickly. The grout was a little more resistant but I got the hang of it. I used a rag to dab and rub to my liking. There is no right or wrong way to this.
Standing back, I like the look, I think. I will keep going to get one coat on everything. At this point I realized I should have protected the fireplace surround I had just painted so I had to stop and cover it. (I just get so excited when I get something done that I like to look at it but now was not the time.)
I liked this look but we were going for something different based on photos my friend/client had found on Pinterest. While this dried I got a coat of new paint color on the walls.
The brick was dry. I grabbed another chalk paint in a tan color mixed in the same 1:3 ratio. I brushed this on random bricks. And, that did it. That was the look we were after. I used the sanding block and sanded through some of the paint wash to see a bit of the brick color in some spots but ever so lightly. Depending on the look you're after you can sand more. the chalk paint is easy to sand through.
The colored bricks on top need a little white wash and a sanding to match the bottom ones.
and yes, I am still working on my own house!
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