Firing the Fireplace

I feel like every house that I have lusted after since the beginning of time has had a fireplace. It didn't even matter that the house was located in Phoenix-- I was meant for a fireplace. We use our fireplace almost every morning except in the height of summer. I love it. What I definitely did not love was the red brick. 

You see, when we were under contract for this house, I must have looked at the listing pictures hundreds of times (I was scheming and planning for furniture). And in the photoshopped version of this fireplace- those damn bricks are gray. STRAIGHT UP GRAY! That is a GRAY fireplace folks. 

In real life... red. Blah red. When we painted the walls Stonington Gray, the red was even more pronounced. I just hated it. 

So then, we furnished this room, and I tried not to think too much about the red... but HELLO. I stared at it every day. And so, I'd had enough. I got a gray from Home Depot last weekend, watered it down by eyeballing it and then just started painting the brick. 

Here was my thought process: If I hate this, I have a crowbar. I will just take the brick down, sheetrock and tile-- which is what I want to do anyway. So I'll just force the issue/decision. Fuck it. 

I got a bristley brush and got to work. I painted and wiped the brick off with a cloth so it didn't look super painted/uniform. I somehow don't have a picture of this process because I did it on snapchat, and wouldn't you know... they delete those! Crazy town! Suffice it to say that with just the brick painted, the brick looked white, and the mantel looked yellow. LB and I looked at it for about two hours and then this conversation happened:

Me: I think that we should do something with the mantel. 

LB: You want to paint it bright white? 

Me: (spouting nonsense about brown undertones and yada, yada) I think getting it not to pull yellow will be tough in this room... what about....

LB: Navy blue? 

Me: No... what colors of chalk paint do we have on hand... HOLY SHIT. Graphite. The black one. Let me do some quick pinteresting (does quick search of black fireplace mantels, shows him three pictures). Yup it looks rad. Black it is. 

LB: Be right back. (Returns with graphite paint OPEN, a brush and blue painters tape. Runs a huge swab of paint right at the front of the mantel). 

I am not joking when I describe this. The decision was made this quickly. I don't know many people who make decor decisions like this, but that's how we work. So here is what we had after I had chalk painted the mantel. (Excuse the graniness of the picture- it was like 8 pm.. so the ISO was at like 3200...). 


You can see here how it looks kind of blue and well, chalky. Imagine that. 

You typically always have to wax when you chalk paint. It's the one downside. Literally. The only one. I love this stuff. 

What you'll see below is the pretty quick process. We cranked this out in 45 minutes. I brushed the wax on, and then LB came behind and used a rag to buff it out/up. You can REALLY see the blue coming out of the chalk paint with the wax in that second picture. It's crazy. It's magical. It's more magical than that nasty BS starbucks unicorn gimic. (Give it a rest Facebook). 

Now we're done... and it has made the fireplace the showstopper, focal point, stuff that desert dreams are made of (LOL), that it should be. I have dreams about extending the moulding up behind the TV and crown and builtins and I need to learn carpentry folks. Legit. I want to learn. Anyone want to come during nap time on the weekends and teach me? 

I love it. I am purposefully not giving a zoomed out view of the living room, because I have a few other tweaks that are getting made this week... new furniture is on its way folks! I am pumped about what really feels like our first major DIY project in this new place. Took us freaking long enough AMIRIGHT.