White Hot Fire Place

Another renovation update. This one is a quickie. In the Georgia house we have a 2 sided fire place. I can’t wait for cooler weather to start a fire in this baby! The fire place faces the dining room and part of the entry, where I have my favorite seating area.

See the bird pee?

This fire place in close inspection looked like pigeons pee’d down two sides of the brick wall. You know, the kind you see on the outside of an old building or a train station. As much as I love the brown brick, it looked clunky in the room, not to mention dirty. I took to scrubbing with a bathroom scrubbing brush with Borax and dishwashing liquid – a concoction I saw on Pinterest. I was excited because it was starting to look less like a bird urinal and looking like it had a make over. Then, the damp brick dried and my scrubbing did little to nothing. It re-exposed the unsightly drip. This sealed the deal for me to white-wash the brick. Since I scrubbed the brick clean already, I was already to get to the fun part of painting.

I went with the white wash brand Romabio in Avario White, I ordered a gallon of this online at Home Depot for about $53, a masonry brush $14 and a sponge $4. I watched 2 Youtube videos and felt I was ready for war. (Here’s one…. here’s two)

You have to dilute the paint (it has the consistence of cream cheese – smooth but thick). I filled the manufacturer’s instruction and calculated what I needed. I started with half the gallon and added the appropriate water. Stirring for about 5-10 mins. If you’re familiar with baking you know to add a little water at a time to avoid clumps. I know this rule but I just dumped and stirred. I shoulda listened to what I know. It took me twice as long to stir it smooth. And by the way, it was deceiving, I had to make half a batch more in the end.

THINGS YOU GOTTA DO BEFORE STARING TO PAINT: Frog tape the border between the brick and your floor. Protect your floor with a tarp or sheet. Wear clothes that you don’t love.

Let’s be real here. I watched a guy on Youtube and he seemed to be doing this with no sweat and no mess. HE LIED TO ME. I walked away looking like that pigeon who pee’d on the wall – shat all over me. Like big fat droppings everywhere, on me and on my tarp. Unlike regular paint, white wash is relatively easy to clean up luckily. And the masonry brush? Toss that, I ended up using a regular wall paint brush to get in all the mortar lines.

As I began this procedure I was unsure, thinking what have I done? I’m not sure I like this? It took me about 4 hours to paint the whole thing and in this time I could see the first side I painted was turning more opaque in front of my very eyes. Ohhhh, she’s starting to look a little sexy! I let her be, I packed up and had some tequila for my efforts.

The beauty of this white wash is that you have 48 hours to decide if you like it or not. You could sponge of some of the pigment off to show more brick. You could add another layer, it’s so flexible. We decided just to do the one layer.

Then…..the cast iron fire place guard. I spray painted that baby with a high heat matte black paint from Krylon. After a few coats, I decided I’m going to paint the decorative shield in Satin for a little detail, they don’t make hammered paint in high heat apparently.

I did this project so quickly I was able to fit in wallpaper stripping in the kitchen! Ready to prime for the next trip….#winning

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