Should all brick fireplaces be painted? No way. We always tell anyone who’s on the fence not to touch that brush. But if you’re 100% sure you prefer the look of painted brick, then it can be a great way to bring an airy and light vibe to a room (we sold our first house in two weeks with two painted brick fireplaces so it didn’t seem to be a resale deterrent at all). This makeover from Jamie and Ehren is all about crisping up a space – both with white fireplace paint and some darker blue paint worked in there for contrast on those awesome built-ins. Here’s their letter:
Hey YoungHouseLovers! Your blog inspired me to start my own blog to document the progress we make on our new home that we bought in July. I just wanted to share our living room transformation. It’s finally the “vision” that I had when we moved in. Here’s the before, shortly after we moved in:
It took about 7 months to complete our upgrade, but it was way worth it. I made chevron artwork, refinished the brass fireplace insert, made some paint chip art, some no-sew pillows, and painted and decorated the built-in shelves. And finally, the biggest, most tedious part that made the biggest difference in the room – painting the brick fireplace!
And 14 hours of painting later (with both of us painting), we were done!
The coffee table is my favorite piece of furniture in our house. It is a resin cast of railroad ties from the Philippines – has a lot of meaning for us! Plus it’s huge and doesn’t show crumbs, water rings from glasses, dust, etc.
My advice is: don’t be afraid to paint brick if you prefer that look! Especially if you want to brighten up the room and make it more contemporary. Our dog Cozy agrees.
It definitely came a long way in there and we’re so happy with the result. We hardly even remember the “before” picture anymore!
Keep up the great work and thanks for checking this out! – Jamie & Ehren from Lawrence, Kansas
So yeah, the painted fireplace looks awesome with those dark blue built-ins… but I’m also totally jealous of that awesome coffee table. And Cozy. He looks like a friendly pup. You can see more of him, Jamie, and Ehren on their blog (along with more pics of this makeover process). Thanks so much to the whole family for opening their virtual doors and sharing their makeover! Let’s play the favorite part game. Sherry’s really into how great those dark wood beams look with the wood mantel and the leather furniture. What do you guys love? Hands off the coffee table, he’s mine.
Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner, so click here to see if it’s you.
Paige @ Little Nostalgia says
It’s always amazing to me how much bigger rooms look when they’re decked out in light colors. And I’m all googly-eyed at that coffee table. :-)
Pamela D says
That is gorgeous! I have been debating doing this to our fireplace and insert – and this is all the convincing I need! Thanks!
AH, I have to get busy. I have a red brick fireplace in our master bedroom that is needing white paint–desperately. But I know it’s going to take forever, and I don’t want to do it! But seeing that makeover is inspiring me. Maybe when it gets a bit cooler and drier so I can open the windows.
[email protected] says
Love the light and dark contrast of the painted brick and cabinets, plus the dark couches and beams. It’s so balanced and light!
I love the look of painted brick in certain houses, but I’d never dream of painting ours!
Kellie R says
I’m in love with that coffee table. The room looks amazing and so much brighter! Good job Jamie and Ehren.
Kristen @ LoveK says
Wow!! Their living room looks beautiful!! And she’s right, that coffee table is amazing!
Beautiful! But please, please, please — can you tell me where they got that console below the TV? It’s EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for!
Here’s hoping they drop in with that info for ya!
Thank you for all the love! I tried to find the TV stand online but I can’t find it anymore. I think it was from Southern Enterprises online but it isn’t there anymore unfortunately. Sorry! :(
Sandy! Another person commenting found it on Amazon for us! You can go to Amazon or just google “Chelsea white media stand by southern enterprises.”
It is really solid, kind of tedious to put together, but we love it! Hope you do too!
Heidi M. says
Wow! This is one of my favorite reader redesigns! That coffee table is so amazing, and I love the ikat chair in the corner. Makes me want to paint our fireplace, too!
(Also, is it my crazy HGTV eyes that spy the Kliers from Selling New York on their TV? It’s so, so wrong that I picked up on that. Love me some Kliers with their dripping Chanel jewelry and Birkins and real estate savvy though.)
I believe it is Selling New York in the background.. always have to have inspiration!
Ashley C. says
Wow, that coffee table is awesome. And I’m such a sucker for dark wood beams. Gorgeous room!
I love that the bookcases and fireplace now look like a single, amazing unit. I wonder if they considered painting the triangles above the bookcases white to make the whole wall look seamless?
We just bought a house built in and not updated since 1975. The layout of the kitchen/dining nook/family room looks exactly like above, except the entire (far) wall of our family room is ugly brick. I’m dying to get some paint on it. I love all things white, but my husband is more of a color guy. He would like to something more bold with the brick, but because it’s such a pain to paint, I’d prefer to go white and see how we like it–I’m guessing it would be easier to do a coat of color over an initial white coat if we decided to go that route, right?
I’d go white first for sure, and then add color with accessories, art, curtains, rug, pillows, etc. You can always add a ton of color to a room but go white with a big basic item to keep from having to paint it twice :)
I love that huge yellow-striped artwork. The angles in it with the angles of the ceiling lead my eyes to the built-ins, but then I keep looking back at the bright yellow… nicely done!
Christine C. says
Love it! I painted my brick fireplace a light gray with a white mantel. I,ve never looked back, but I’ve heard countless comments from naysayers about “ruining” the brick. I think that if the next owners hate it that much, they can always change it. You can drywall over brick if necessary!
I love it!! Those built ins are beautiful! I do think an amazing light fixture besides that ceiling fan would be a finishing touch though. I also love that coffee table- I think my kids would too!!
Love it! It’s absolutely beautiful.
We have a dark red brick fireplace in our living room that needs to be white. I am worried about keeping the white clean. We use ours most every day in the winter. Do you have issue keeping yours looking white and clean?
We had a gas one that we used all the time without issue but never used our wood burning one. Anyone have info about a painted wood burning fireplace? John’s sister had one and used it all the time and just used touch up paint on some of the “use” spots before she sold, which wasn’t a big deal to her. Hope it helps!
Our wood fireplace is painted off-white (prior owners) and I use it in the winter with no obvious impact. But, it is fairly deep and I lean towards fires that are mostly coal, not big blazes.
Our fireplace is painted white and we have wood fires — sometimes blazing ones — every day we can beginning in late October and well into spring (even set a record by having a couple in June this year). No, we don’t live in the north; we are about 30 miles south of Sherry and John. We’re just crazy and love wood fires, mess and all. The bricks at the top of the arch surrounding the FP are slightly more tan, after cleaning thoroughly, than the pure white they originally were so will paint them before cool weather in the fall.
The bricks were painted an ugly green when we bought the house with an even uglier pink paint evident underneath, so it wasn’t a choice to go from natural to painted. However, I’ve painted the fireplace bricks in every house I’ve lived in or owned (as rental property or fixer-upper investments) — probably a half-dozen in all. IMO it was a marked improvement in every case. Another thing that makes it all look a lot neater is to paint the inside of the firebox with “barbecue black” flat paint so you don’t have to look at ugly scorch marks on firebricks which are often a lighter color.
If I lived in a 200 year old house with beautiful mellow hand-made bricks, I’d think twice about painting the fireplace surround. Most of the bricks used on fireplaces in houses that are from the early 20th century on aren’t that attractive, though. The homeowners featured here did a great job on the whole room and the FP shines as a focal point!
Just beautiful. So fresh and light. You have a great sense of balance in your design elements. Not too much white or too many angles. Warm wood with some lighter fabrics, and that nice and fun surprise of color in the chevron painting. This is my favorite makeover that YHL has featured. :o)
Wow, thank you for the compliments! That means a lot.
Karen F says
honestly, I didn’t think the before was terrible, but the after is gorgeous! All that painting definitely paid off! The room looks so much bigger and brighter! Love the chevron artwork, too!
That redesign is pretty spectacular!!
Andrea @ dwellrepurposed.blogspot.com
That coffee table is amazing….where is it from?
Here’s hoping she drops in with that info for ya!
Pretty sure they got it at Z Gallerie! http://www.zgallerie.com/p-10418-timber-coffee-table.aspx
Wrenaria is right! Z Gallerie.
Holy cow, I want that coffee table. I desperately need to replace my $30 ikea table that is falling apart!
Huge improvement! Looks great. I’ve admired that coffee table many a time in Z Gallerie.
Looks gorgeous! outdated to clean and awesome…. but I love the gsp the most! We are getting a second one this weekend :)
oh wow, i love the after! so crisp!
Christina @ Homemade Ocean says
Wow! That is all I can say is WOW!!!!
That looks so amazing, we actually painted our brick fireplace white thanks to YHL :)
Gorgeous. I especially like the chevron art. It’s so simple and yet brings so much brightness to the room!
I still say yes to painting a fireplace even though we are still not finished. The painting itself is the easy part I think, removing the tile, mortar and grout that was on top of the brick was the WORST,WORST,WORST ever.
Thanks for sharing another fireplace redo – it helps me visualize where we’ll be before winter hits.
Lindsay B says
What a beautiful room! Now to talk my hubby into the coffee table.
Is there a secret to pinning from your blog? Every time I try on the “Add a Pin” it only loads your blog header. Is it just me? Thanks! :)
So sorry about that Lindsay- it can be quirky. The best way I have found to pin things is just to download the Pin It button to my bookmarks and then whenever I’m on a page I click that button on my bookmark bar and it allows me to pick whatever picture is on that page and pin it!
Crystal @ 29 Rue House says
Oh I didn’t know about this…I might pin more now!
Lindsay B says
Ahh, that works SO much better! Thanks for the tip!
That coffee table is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.
We bought our house with the fireplace already painted off-white. (I call it renters beige, and most of the house was that color. I’m assuming it was realtor advice.) I hate it, and mostly ignore it. After seeing this, I’m wondering what a true white would do for my room.
I don’t ALWAYS go GA-GA over the redesigns you show…but this one… is amazing! Plus the ADORABLE doggie made me talk like a baby (at work) out loud! :) haha! LOVE IT! (That coffee table is TO.DIE.FOR.! :)
We transformed an outdated red/orange brick fireplace, but we did not just paint over it. (My husband threw a fit)
Instead, we did a FAUX BRICK PAINT JOB on TOP of the existing brick! We hired a faux painter who used concrete patio craft paint (like for painting pots, you can get it at Michaels). She first thoroughly cleaned the brick, then using a funky little sponge, mixed shades of white, gray, and tan and stippled it over the red brick, careful to not get any on the grout lines. I could only afford her services for about an hour, but she graciously showed me the technique, and let me finish it myself.
In less than 3 hours and for about $120 (inlcuding $100 for the faux paint artist), we had COMPLETELY transformed our brick fireplace to an entirely natural looking “new” color of brick!!
Everyone was trying to figure out how our fireplace looked so transformed, and even after close inspection, they could hardly tell it had been painted.
A great alternative if you can’t pull the trigger on paint.
I’ll see if I can find the pics from our digital archive! (when we sold the house, the realtor could NOT believe it was painted, and I know the buyers had no idea either!)
That’s so much fun!
Jenna at Homeslice says
What a great makeover! I love the bright, beautiful colors. I have to agree with her too, that coffee table is gorgeous.
Oh man, this post has just saved my living room from a pretty serious expenditure. I’ve been wondering what to do about the hideousness of our glaringly gold fireplace trim since we bought the place in January… Thought it would ultimately just have to be replaced. Who knew RustOleum makes a high heat version?! The spray paint love affair continues. Thanks for posting and having links to all the specific projects – Awesome sauce!
I love this redesign because it’s so accessible – feels like something I could actually take on. Also, they’re from Lawrence so I just have to send out a big ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK to them! :)
Thanks Kelly! Rock Chalk Jayhawk back at you!
Great redo. Definitely a TEN in my book. Two thumbs up for that magnificent coffee table. Interior decorating is definitely in the near future for you.
I just love their whole look. (Minus that ceiling fan though.) lol But still….WoW! I’m loving their color scheme.
[email protected] says
Stunning transformation! And that coffee table, amazing.
Wait wait wait wait wait…is that TWO Oreo references in one day?!? (Weird Al’s song in this one, actual Oreos in carport one…) Sneaky sneaky!
Hahahaha, well I’ll be. You’re correct. Haha. We’re apparently a sugar-crazed couple.
Cool with me–I am currently enjoying some pregnancy-induced Double Stuf obsession…no wonder I was picking up on Oreo references! :)
LLLLLOOOOOOOVEE! I love the style, and the DIY’ness. Right up my alley!
I LOVE the fireplace insert update. I have been looking for a DIY how-to after umpteen people have told me they can’t do anything about my super-ugly, circa 1986 brass insert. It’s a two-sided fireplace so I have to see the awful thing in both my living and dining rooms. Cannot.wait.to.do.this!!!
I love it! Our tiny family room has an entire brick wall and there’s a covered patio outside so it’s DARK in there! The plan someday is to have built ins cover most or the brick leaving just bits exposed with lights and glass shelves. I must say this has me dying to paint it though!
Ashley Crenshaw says
Ahhh! I love the living room J & E! I went to school with Ehren since we were in 2nd grade! I would’ve never thought he had such great style… wait maybe that’s Jamie! ;) Anyways, love it! Love YHL! Thanks guys!
Thanks Ashley! I would say the style is 99% Jamie and 1% me. If we’re being honest here, my 1% was the sense to marry Jamie. Thanks for the love and thanks again YHL.
Of course! Love the makeover guys! Thanks so much for sending it :)
[email protected] says
Wow you did a great job and I love the fireplace. The room is beautiful and that coffee table rocks! :)
Amy @ PaintWineRepeat says
OOOh. I girl after my own heart. We painted our fireplace too and the brass insert! My favourite part has got to be the painted built-ins!
Laurie M says
I had to leave a comment, because I have been waiting for the day Ehren and Jamie’s home would be featured on YHL! My husband and I had dinner with them just a few short months after they bought their house, and I thought it was gorgeous then. But when I saw the finished product, I fell in love!! Way to go, Ehren and Jamie!
Hey Laurie! Thanks for all your kind words! Miss you guys! I bet we’ll see you soon enough!
Gosh, I am back yet AGAIN! It just hit me why I love this room. It IS our room! Our room is the same layout, proximity to kitchen, and size. I have yet to begin decorating since we recently moved in ( and then I broke my leg!) but my colors will also be that same yellow and blue that I see there. The two things which are different are:
Our room ( and entire home) is painted cocoa. Yep. Head to toe, soft sleepy…brown. :/
Our fireplace is stone and is actually kinda cool.
We aren’t allowed to change paint or dare change that fireplace since we currently rent. But looking at her room just set off an idea fest in my mind! I continue to refer to your projects page for tips on DIY art and little touches. And can I just say Thank You for also listing ‘where we got it’ ? I have discovered so many new stores and sites since I found you just a month ago. Me and my broken leg have enjoyed rehabbing while living through you! :)
Tracie W says
Oh my goodness, how funny is this- NOT the room, the room is gorgeous- but I clicked on over to their website, recognized Ehren’s face and remembered that I went to church functions with him in high school! What a small world!
Wow. Small world indeed. Are you talking about all the NYC type stuff? If so, good memory and good times! Hope you’re doing well!
Tracie W says
Yes! NYC, and Church camp in CO, I think? I went to Bethany Naz in Hutch. Anyway, I just thought it was too crazy not to share. If you want to look me up, I keep a family blog at nathanandtraciewoods.blogspot.com(so you can put a face to the name, though it’s mainly about my 1 year old :))
Well done! The room looks 200% better. Nice attention to detail. Bravo.