The two things that made me fall in love with our Randall Riches house was all the BRICK and the plantation shutters in the second living room and the big windows in the front living room which I lovingly have named it our 70’s room for the couch and the chairs that furnish it.
Other than removing 5-7 layers of wallpaper in every room in the house, this was the first room we edited. I wouldn’t say “updated” because it took hard work, paint and some creativity.
This is the before, very dark and very cave like.
I first whitewashed the brick. I researched a ton but ended up cleaning off all the bricks and mortar by hand with toothbrushes and good sponges like these with Thieves Household cleaner.
I cut up old tshirts and went to work making sure the area was properly cleaned and ready to be prepped for paint. We went with a brighter white, Extra White from Sherwin Williams (SW 7006).
We took the cabinet doors off to paint the fire place and I decided I liked them better that way.
We mixed the paint, you can see my recipe below, and I white washed with a regular paint brush and caught any drips with the old tees. I didn’t seal it but left it as is and it has held up incredible over the last four years.
After that step was complete, I dried and let the paint dry for about 48 hours, I painted the backs of the cabinets and my husband installed a blanket ladder inside where there was originally a gun rack.
We didn’t know what a gem of this fireplace was until it was a necessity. The fireplace is so big we could cook in it with the double doors and it has a temperature gauge and fan to help get heat throughout your home, making it nice and toasty.
After that we removed the border, and painted with Sherwin Williams classic Alabaster (SW 7008) making it uniform throughout our dining and kitchen area and giving more texture and contrast from the fireplace.
We mounted our TV on the brick wall that matches the brick of our house (this room was originally a carport) and changed the flow of the room. The brick of the fireplace and the brick wall didn’t match and that bothered me, hence the whitewashing.
You don’t always have to spend tons of money to edit a space. Instead, paint and elbow grease go a long way in getting a space to be home.
I filled my cabinets with specials pieces that serve as reminders, are sentimental, and create functionality (i.e. reading nook for the girls). I’ve never loved filling a space just because it’s bare but rather giving space to something of value. I hope that you get inspired today.
White Wash Paint Recipe
- Old Rags or Tees
- Paintbrush 4 inch
- Gallon of Paint needs to be latex
- Toothbrush *grout cleaning optional
- Thieves Cleaner in Spray Bottle
- Baking Soda
- Painters Tape
- Butcher Paper or Painters Drop Cloth
- 1 gallon bucket for mixing paint and water
- Clean the brick thoroughly. I made a paste with Thieves Cleaner and baking soda and went to town with a toothbrush on the grout. You don't want to be too aggressive to breakdown the mortar but get it clean.
- I lightly scrubbed each brick with Scotchbrite sponges and Thieves Cleaner to get any residue off. This took some time because our house is 50 years old. The lemon in the cleaner is an awesome degreaser and there are no harsh or toxic properties you are breathing in with this cleaner, win, WIN!
- Once everything was cleaned and DRIED well, I mixed the latex paint and water, 50/50 in the gallon bucket. I wanted it to be not so translucent but you can mix different ratios to get your results. Different brands of paint will mix differently.
- Put painters tape around the fireplace area and plastic or butcher paper down to catch any possible drips or spills. It's easy but a little messy.
- I sprayed the brick with some water (making sure there was no drips) to open up the pores on the brick and dipped the rag or the brush making sure the brick was covered first. I went back in with a brush to make sure the grout was getting covered as well. I did this in sections until the fireplace was completely. I let dry for 1-2 hours, making sure the paint was completely dry and then did 3 coats to get this result. Some fireplaces will vary due to brick texture and how porous these are.