We looking into new stone to cover the fireplace, but as it is a big fireplace (over 8ft tall and about 6ft around) it quickly added up to an expensive idea. Being the house poor new homeowners that we are, we realised a quick bit of lipstick was the best we could do in the interim. I had been dreaming of a charcoal coloured fireplace for that space, but was worried that it would be too dominant and heavy in the space, so I then second guessed myself (naughty Sarah) and moved onto the plan of safe and predictable white. But having seen a lot of painted fireplaces in the neighbourhood (I somehow think we were not the only ones who had fugly brick!)- I was not sold on how flat and lifeless painted brick looks, especially as we have so much brick to contend with, so I continued searching. After some web searching, I came across the option of masonry stain, and figured that if it didn't work out as planned, then the paint solution was always in our back pocket and we were, worst case, out $30 for a can of stain.
Because the stain is semi-transparent, and we had pink brick and soot stains to hide, we decided to try out my initial charcoal idea. So, after a trip to our local Rona, we gathered our supplies and our courage, and started to paint on the stain -the whole time cringing on the inside because we had passed the point of no return.
The process when pretty quickly, especially because our pink brick already had black grout (pointing?) - yeah it was a special design I'm tellin' ya!
our fireplace-pre stain
We just painted it on with small paint brushes the width of our bricks, being sure to cover the exposed sides of the bricks. After about an hour and a half, we have the fireplace covered from head to toe in charcoal stain and....
partway through the staining process
We then let it dry over night and the next day with fresh eyes we critiqued our work and our colour choice, and we loved it. The semi-transparent nature of the stain lets the variation in colour of the original bricks show through- the "grains" of the brick as well as the difference between the body and ends of the bricks, as well as a hint of the original pinky-ness.
With the first layer done, we decided to risk a second coat to touch up any missed bits and to further reduce the pinky-ness and hide more of the sooty bit.
Two coats of masonry stain was, for us just, the right amount. The finish is a bit shiny-er than our original brick was, but I'm pretty sure the average viewer wouldn't know the fugly-ness lurking beneath our lovely modern - but vintage appropriate fireplace. Just in time to show it off for the holidays.
Edited to add: Looking for more info on this? Then go here for a 10 month update with additional pictures!!
Gorgeous! I love this solution that is both low cost and high impact!ReplyDelete
We are looking at a home with a similarly toned brick fireplace today. The timing on this couldn't have been more perfect. Thanks for the brilliant idea!ReplyDelete
We love the color! Can you tell me what the actual color was that you used? The brick we have is similar to the one that you started with and we're hoping to have results similar to yours as well. Please and thank you!ReplyDelete
Glad you like it. We used Expressions CureCoat semi-transparent concrete stain in Dark Graphite, which we picked up at our local Rona (Home Depot's Behr brand has a similar product as well).
Thank you for the great idea and inspiration photos. I updated our huge 1960's brick fireplace this weekend with semi-transparent concrete stain from Lowes - Quikrete brand in Quarry Red. We had various shades of red, orange, gray and many faded bricks, and this gave everything a more monochromatic soft red tone. Subtle color difference, but what a dramatic update. It looks so much cleaner. Very easy, inexpensive and natural way to paint brick.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear it went so well, it's amazing how such a little thing can make such a impact on a space :) I'd love to see a before and after!
Here is a picture of the before and after: http://plushpaper.com/images/Fireplace.jpgDelete
The brick fireplace in my home is painted white from previous owners. Do you think staining the brick would work on brick that is already painted?ReplyDelete
To be honest I'm not sure it would. It is a stain not a paint, so it would lightly tint it at best. Stripping/sanding off the paint is probably your best bet if you really want to adjust the colour away from white. It might be worth checking with your local DIY store or the product manufacturer to see if they have any suggestions.
Hi, did you wash your bricks prior to staining?ReplyDelete
Yes, we did try cleaning the brick before hand but didn't see much change. As we were staining it dark grey/black we weren't too worried about the soot stains that were there and the new colour hides them perfectly.
Hi I've been wanting to stain my man made stone fire place I think this would work but I have one question is the stone on top of the harp marble because mine is from what I can see in the picture it looks the same as mine and if so did you stain that also?ReplyDelete
Yes, our hearth is white marble (and badly marked/burned by years of hot embers landing on it. We initially stained only the brick, but just last week we also stained the marble (so it's perfect timing for your question!) We are living with it for a bit before I blog about the results so I can give an honest and accurate assessment of how it works in that application.
Hi Lynn, using the stain on the white marble tiles is an ok short term solution, but with time gets scratched... For now it's more "patina" but long term I think it'll need replacing with new tiles or paint.Delete
I have a tan stone fireplace that I need to get rid of. I don't want it darker, I actually want it lighter. But I don't want it to look like I painted the stone white with regular latex paint. I still want the different tones of the stone to show through. Would masonry stain do the trick? And if you think it would work, do you remember if there were white stains available? Thanks!
Hi Chalise, you can certainly change the tone of the brick and they do offer light colours ie. yellow and tan, but the product I used does not come in a white.Delete