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have you whitewashed a brick fireplace?

(51 Posts)
ggirl Sat 22-Jun-13 17:48:44

got the idea from pinterest here

I am v tempted ,thought I'd check if anyone else has done it successfully or not.

ggirl Sat 22-Jun-13 18:48:30

solo. I have hated my fireplace for over 20 yrs as well!
go for it, I'll post a pic after I've done the whitewashing

Solo Sat 22-Jun-13 18:53:46

I don't know if mine is too porous ggirl but I'll look forward to seeing yours!
I might go for it...actually, I could pull out a loose brick and paint the back to test it out!

Startail Sat 22-Jun-13 19:00:23

White wash, perhaps. Solid gloss paint looks like Lego.

I have cream bricks, I hate them, but they are really nasty grey things (not painted inside the fire place) so I put up with cream.

CarpeVinum Sat 22-Jun-13 19:03:33


If it makes you feel any better, look at my monstrosity.

Truely The World's Ugliest Fireplace

That's what I'll be attacking with chalkpaint. It just can't possibly look any worse.

ggirl Sat 22-Jun-13 20:02:31

CarpeVinum-ooooh , I'm sure that could be converted into a rustic pizza oven, tbh anything would improve it

CarpeVinum Sat 22-Jun-13 20:31:04

The actual fire thingie insert is great. It new and pipes hot air to four rooms upstairs and down...but it cost so frigging much to install there was nothing left over to "pretty" up the ...horror of Italian cheapo 70s orange bricks.

It's paint it or nothing, cos I still have the other fireplace to make as functional as this one...which is lots of euros.

Pizza ovens look nice, but are a pain in the arse (allegedly) . Nobody I know who had one put it uses it for more than a spider hut. grin

I only cook frozen pizza. <terrible "quasi Italian ish but not really" mother emoticon>

EleanorFarjeon Sat 22-Jun-13 20:35:57

I really want to do this to our fireplace. Agree OP - whitewash rather than white paint.

Ours is a thwacking great Jacobean inglenook, dh is shock at the idea.

RandomMess Sat 22-Jun-13 20:38:32

Cute Kitty Carpe!

CarpeVinum Sat 22-Jun-13 21:00:28

Isn't she just. That is my little Lilly. I "grew" her from an abandoned nine day old to the little Monkey she is today at nearly a year. I luffs her mucho...hence the sixty zillion pics of her. grin

CarpeVinum Sat 22-Jun-13 21:05:12

dh is shock at the idea

Mine was that way about the (dark) antique wooden cieling in the kitchen. Made the room feel like being in a coffin. Very oppressive.

So I painted it while he was out.

Even he had to conceed that it lifted the room to such a point that being precious about old materials wasn't worth it unless they has no distinct disadvantages in their virgin state.

<hands bucket of whitewash>

<is bad influence>

EleanorHandbasket Sat 22-Jun-13 21:08:41

Ooooh I want to do this. Ours is a seventies sandstone monstrosity.

MadBusLady Sat 22-Jun-13 21:11:37

A Jacobean inglenook?? I'm on Team DH.

Mind you, it's not like ripping it out, you can strip it again including its centuries-old patina <wibble>

LittleFrieda Sat 22-Jun-13 21:17:25

I would render/plaster that fireplace and then paint it. It will look so much nicer.

Liara Sat 22-Jun-13 21:31:59

I've done this on the refractory bricks of a fireplace I was plastering. I used dilute plaster, as that is what I had to hand, and it really toned down the colour very nicely.

I think that limewashing either of those would work just fine. You can use hydrated lime mixed with water. Ideally soak the fireplace first, so that the paint doesn't dry out too quickly, or it might powder. The colour won't show immediately, the lime will react as it dries and go whiter in the process.

The good thing about lime paint is that it is not going to have a problem with heat. It is also very cheap, and can be painted over as many times as you want until you get an effect you like. Every coat just makes it nicer.

If you are going to tint it, make sure the pigments you use are lime compatible.

ggirl Sat 22-Jun-13 21:32:00

LittleFrieda - would still have to be white or cream I guess. Will see how whitewashing looks first before spending serious money on it.

btw does anyone know how big a job it is to get the tiles on the hearth changed?

ggirl Sat 22-Jun-13 21:33:40

Liara-you're getting a bit too technical for me
where does one get lime stuff, any links to show how to do it?

Liara Sat 22-Jun-13 21:38:19

You should be able to get lime at a builder's merchant.

How to do it? Mix one part lime with 3 parts water. Paint on. That's it. Mix the paint up regularly as the lime will tend to settle on the bottom and then the last bit might be too thick.

If you want to, you can add a little bit (about a teaspoonful per 5 litres or so) of skimmed, powdered milk, which can help the paint hold better. You probably don't need it on something as porous as a brick fireplace, but it won't hurt if you have some handy.

Liara Sat 22-Jun-13 21:39:34

I can't see the tiles on the hearth on that picture, so hard to say how big a job it might be to change them.

ggirl Sat 22-Jun-13 22:13:21

so is the lime a white colour?

the tiles are dark brown , some at front broken so def need replacing

Solo Sun 23-Jun-13 00:39:08

shock A Jacobean inglenook?!?! I'm on Team DH toooooo!!!

EleanorFarjeon Sun 23-Jun-13 17:46:34

I think I'm going to do a little area inside to see how it looks.

Jacobean or not, it's still very bricky and it's very big and imposing.

CarpeVinum Sun 23-Jun-13 18:11:59

Jacobean or not, it's still very bricky and it's very big and imposing

See this is the argument I have with DH when I paint his coffin like antiques.

Old is no vaccination against fugly and annoying to look at.

And paint often helps in that regard.

mrsminiverscharlady Sun 23-Jun-13 18:18:57

Can't you knock it out? Friends of ours had a similar fireplace and installed a wood stove and knocked the brick monstrosity out. Looks a gazillion times better than before.

ggirl Sun 23-Jun-13 19:28:58

have looked into that and apparently the back is too small or something so major bashing about needed
have also just redecorated (I know..arse about tit)

Liara Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:49

Yes, the lime is white. If you put pigments in you can make it other colours, but they will always be pale.

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