I did it! I finished my DIY whitewash on my brick fireplace. It was a hard decision since I didn’t hate the rustic red brick, but I rented for a long time and I was tired of beige and red brick. So in time for the New Year, I decided it was out with the old and in with the new!
Making the Decision
I scoured Pinterest and read probably 100 whitewash tutorials before I even made a decision. My husband wasn’t really keen on the change and I got a lot of mixed feedback from Facebook family. But, I am so glad I did! My main goal for my home is to be updated with current colors in a modern rustic style. Whitewashing was easy and did not take long at all. Painting on the other hand, well let’s just say it’s done!
Starting The Project
I won’t complicate the process of whitewashing. It is very easy. First, I cleaned the brick with soapy water and vacuumed up any dirt and debris. It was gross! Then, simply mix paint with water. You will brush on the paint and almost immediately wiped off. Be sure to tape off walls and floor. It does clean off easily if it gets on the floor.
I do suggest using an off-white. When I started I used brilliant white and I was not liking it at all. I think it was my nerves, but a few phone calls to my sister and a few brownies later (stress eater here) and I was back on track. My tip I suggest is testing an area you won’t notice as much to see how you like the color. It is hard to tell until you get the whole area painted. I used the following;
- 1/2 cup Sherwin Williams in Whitetail
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Rag to wipe brick
Directions: tape off any area you don’t want the paint to get on. Clean the brick. Mix the paint and water. Brush on paint, then wipe off with rag. That is it!
I used much more water than the 50/50 that I read online. The brick ended up with 3 layers of paint. I feel it is better to ease into how many coats you want to use.
This is after one coat of whitewash. It may look kind of “ashy”, but that is how the bottom portion of my fireplace looks in the before photos. This would have been a nice subtle change, but I added two more coats.
Then we had the problem of the mantle not matching. It was stained a red/brown.
You can see in the picture that the mantle and walls do not match the fireplace now. So just like the story “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, if you whitewash your fireplace, you’ll probably need to paint.
Deciding a Paint Color
First, I re-stained the mantle in Ebony. I really like the darker color paired with the light brick. Then, I had to decide on wall color. I have been wanting to paint my walls gray since we moved into our house two years ago. Light gray was my initial color of choice, but I wasn’t sure. The best app I found is called Paint Tester. YOu simply take a picture of my wall and try out different colors. When I tested the area I did not like the light gray, but loved when I tried the dark gray. After testing a few colors, I went with Dovetail Gray from Sherwin Williams. I loved how smooth it went on and I only needed one gallon.
So without further ado, here is the final product! Don’t mind the blue tape. I couldn’t wait for a picture since paint takes awhile to dry.