Hello dear friends…
I’m still here, plugging away at my big brick fireplace re-do. Although I’m pleased to say that the painting part is all done and I’m SOOOOO happy with the results. Thank you to all of you who read THIS post and offered your opinion. It was unanimous, you all thought I should “go for it” with the white paint makeover.
Was I a little nervous?
As someone pointed out in a comment, “with bricks, there’s no going back.” But do you ever get to the point where you’re simply ready for a drastic change?
That was me.
The warm red brick that my Dad and I had originally installed ourselves had become dark and oppressive to me. It was made worse by the fact that my family room gets very little natural light after morning, despite some big windows. And since new furnishings were out of the question, I went the economical route, with paint of course.
So the first thing I did (besides ask all of you what you thought) was to do some research on the best coverage with the least amount of labor. Because frankly, while I enjoy painting, I had over 105 square feet of brick to paint and I didn’t want to get stuck having to apply one extra layer if I didn’t have to.
I got online and went to several professional painting websites. But none of these had any information on chalk paint and bricks.
photo: one benefit to the chalky quality
Then I started going to design blogs and I began to see some results, although still not a whole lot of chalk painted brick fireplaces out there.
Photo: see how excited I was? I started painting before I even cleared my shelves!
But the consensus was, that if I were to use standard paint I would definitely need to apply a primer coat first. And at least two coats of the final color. And then a top-coat.
And honestly, that was a deal breaker. It was just too much work. And regarding the cost, while Annie Sloan paints are considered pricey by some, I would still end up paying less and painting less by going with chalk paint.
Photo: it’s hard to get nice pictures with poor light. I used Photoshop to lighten this corner
So I headed to the nearest Annie Sloan Chalk paint dealer at a lovely shop called
Not So Shabby in Historic Old Town Folsom, California.
I walked quickly in, like a woman on a mission, grabbed my two quarts of white paint and headed to the counter. Only the woman at the counter was none other than Bobbi Eddy, the warmest, most helpful person I could’ve bumped into. And we had the best chat. Turns out that Bobbi has been painting for over 20 years and is the resident expert on Annie Sloan products. In fact, as I write these words she is now carrying Annie Sloan’s line of fabrics in her shop. I didn’t even know Annie Sloan had fabrics that coordinate with her paint colors. Did you?
I’ll be heading down there to snap some photos for you all. But if you’re anywhere close, you should drop by.
But back to the subject of chalk paint on bricks. I found out that the chalk paint was definitely going to save me time. No primer. No problems adhering to brick. It would take about 15 days to cure, but that wouldn’t stop me from putting on the finish coat.
That’s the part you should know. If you use Annie Sloan paint on your bricks, you will need a clear matte finish if you want to occasionally wipe and clean the bricks. Without having to worry about removing paint if you scrub too hard. Bobbi recommended the same finish she put on her shop floor. It wasn’t too shiny or thick, more of a subtle matte shine, if that makes sense.
I bought one container and ended up having some leftover.
Photo: in the natural light I could see the places I’d missed with the finish coat
I also liked the fact that the finish has no odor which was nice since I was painting in the middle of winter and didn’t really want all my windows open.
Our paint job required two good coats. Technically, after letting the first coat dry completely (about an hour) you can paint the final coat. But we quit for the day so we could view the paint in the morning light. Natural lighting is crucial in order to see those lighter areas in need of a touch-up.
I ended up going back for a third quart because I did my mantel and the big framed mirror. I also added additional coats of paint to the piece of slate on my hearth.
I can’t describe how pretty and clean the white bricks appear in the natural light.
But I also like how the white bricks look in the evening. They have a soft, buttery glow from the lamps. Here’s a photo I snapped last night. I’d been sitting right on that plaid blanket reading and I suddenly glanced up and realized how happy I am with the results.
I remembered to take a quick “before” shot before we began.
And I took this one right afterwards.
Photo: I still need to touch up the ugly black around the glass doors. Sigh, one thing leads to another.
Just so you know, I’m not affiliated in any way with Anne Sloan paints. This post was simply me, sharing my own experience. And I hope it’s helpful to any of you who might be thinking of painting your bricks.
If you liked this post and would like to stay in touch don’t forget to follow me. I’ve always got something going on around here.
Isn’t that how Life is?
To be continued….
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