Sunday, January 13, 2019

Remodel of our New Home - Fireplace

The renovation of our new home here in North Carolina was completed a little over a year ago.  It ended up being pretty much a complete reno because one problem led to another, and another, and another...yeah...but for now, let;s look at how we started making this house our home.  First, we painted...
Realtor's Listing Picture of this house's living room
The paint colors from the previous owners didn't mesh together very well, so that was my first priority.  This room's olive green and the adjoining hallway's turquoise colors were really jarring together.  I decided to lighten it up a bit and painted this room a pastel cream color which was an easier transition to the turquoise of the hall and the dark grays of the adjoining kitchen.  Whew!  

Next, after living here a few weeks, we started thinking of whitewashing Big Red, our nickname for the fireplace.  She really demanded attention as you walked into this room.

One day, I started washing the bricks since they were pretty sooty and nasty.  To my surprise, the bricks started flinging off grit like crazy!  No, I don't know why, but it was a BIG unhappy mess.  Big Red's fate was sealed, I started experimenting with paint samples I had on-hand, and we decided that white was the best choice for us. 
Taping off and painting
The 1st step was to tape off the mantle and the door.  Then, I just went for it....yeah. Kinda scary but there really wasn't too much of a learning curve. It went well.

I liked this mottled effect while maintaining the dark grout the best after experimenting on the hearth side which is not visible from the room (the right side).

 I found the best way to avoid "unbalanced mottling" was to keep 2 cans of watered down paint.  One with a ratio of 1:1 and one with a 2:1 ratio (2 water to 1 paint).  This way, as your 2:1 paint is running out, then you can add the more condensed paint mixture with an equal amount of water to maintain the 2:1 if you add 2 cups more paint mixture, then add 2 cups more of water to your bucket, too.  Also, stir frequently.

The whole process...washing and painting.....took less than 3 hours in total (its best if you wait for the bricks to dry for a day or so after washing).  Washing took the most time by far because I had to sweep all that dang-blasted grit which flung far and wide.
Here's the finished product
 So, we moved here in September 2016, and finished the complete reno in November 2017.  There was  a multitude of changes that were needed.  Shortly after this little project, we discovered a water leak stemming from the shower diverter in the main bath.  This sounds like a pretty benign issue doesn't it, but THAT is where the big adventure began.

Alas, that's a story for another day.  Wishing you a lovely week, Everyone, and until the next time....



  1. Your refurbished fireplace looks really good. I like red brick (especially used brick) but now that I've seen your white brick, I'm sold!! You are very daring and brave. I look forward to the story about the bathroom leak.

    1. Thanks Barbara. So glad folks are still out there reading my blog...been away so long. You know, I liked the natural color too, but we have a couple of massive pieces in this room, and it was just too busy visually. It all "felt" unbalanced, so that's why we went with the white. I wish I had taken a picture of my face and hair with all the grit that flew off the brick as I washed it. Crazy.

  2. The fireplace looks GREAT, Karen! I was surprised and thrilled to see your blog come up in my Feedly today!! I've missed you (and miss you & Lee, too). Looking forward to seeing what you did next!! Love & hugs

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    2. Thanks, Terri. Been going through all my pictures, and I have alot from this house as we tore it apart. So, thought I'd share a bit. We miss you guys, too. I've been totally away from the internet for the last several months, so I've lost contact with what's going on with everyone. Hope you and Joe are doing well. Last night ran across our pictures our visit to buy the van. So much has happened since the! Hugs to you both, dear friend


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