{Disclaimer: I know that there are some of you out there who think you should never, ever, no matter what paint brick. I apologize in advance, but I painted brick}

It’s getting really cold and we’re using our gas fireplace all the time for warmth and ambiance on dark winter nights. We’re also in the midst of “making over” the Family Room in our new home, and part of that project is to update the fireplace to be a better reflection of our decor style. This is really just part one of a larger makeover, but just this small change has already had a huge impact.

Fireplaces are typically the “focal point” of a room. You can make a major change in a room simply by making an update to the fireplace surround, and there are many easy ways to do it. In our home, we have a two-story family room with formal brick and moldings running all the way up the wall to the ceiling. It is a major focal point–you see it as soon as you walk through the front door.

Fireplace Before ,

While I liked the simplicity of the white trim around the fireplace and up the wall, I struggled with the dark brick. In my otherwise neutral room, the dark brick seemed to really jump out at you. Not to mention I didn’t find it to be particularly “pretty” brick,  it had that “builder basic” look to it. I considered several options, but decided to go the path of least resistance and simply painted the brick white. After all, I knew if I hated it, then I could implement Plan B: adding tile over the brick. Luckily I am pleased with the results, so there isn’t a need for Plan B!


fireplace in progress


As I said, this was the first step in our grander plan. Next month we are adding dark hardwood flooring to this room {which explains why you see carpet with an area rug covering the stained carpet that came with the house}. I wanted to make sure I painted the fireplace first, so any paint would spill onto the old carpet not on the new floor. Once the new hardwoods go in, this should all come together nicely.

After the dark hardwoods are installed {seriously, I can’t wait}, the next step is that we’ll be pulling off the dental molding and mantel and installing the mantel from my childhood home. Until we tackle that project, I am happy with the overall updated look of the fireplace.

The below image was my inspiration photo; I have loved Melissa’s fireplace and while I don’t have as much variance or texture in my brick, I did the best I could to make my fireplace “look” like this one below:

cozy-fall-family-room- {Image via The Inspired Room, view this beautiful home tour HERE}

Not being one to typically let something DIY-related intimidate me, I admit I was a little nervous before breaking out the paintbrush.  After all, you can’t unpaint brick. I read multiple tips online and even asked for a recommendation at the home improvement store {mistake: the paint counter employee clearly was on the “you should not paint brick” side of the argument, I’d scratch this step if I were you}. I forged ahead despite his frown and can say I am happy with our result!



It was honestly quite easy to do this. I used an off the shelf white paint + primer; it took several coats to cover the brick and I did use a little water to help spread the paint into the grooves of the bricks. I also added some gray chalk paint {only because I had chalk paint on hand in that color} to the white so I could randomly add gray “accent color” bricks to break up the white like those in the inspiration fireplace.


It took a few hours from start to finish {one entire playoff football game to be exact!} but the results were just what I wanted. I love a project that turns out better than you hope!

Here is a reminder of what I started with and what I finished with…

before and after-marked-frame


I prefer the lighter look and it works with my decor. I am sure it isn’t for everyone, but once the dark hardwoods are installed, I think it will be an even better fit in the room.

And, this girl in particular seems very pleased with the upgrades to her favorite napping spot!


Be sure to check out even more paint transformations and follow along as we make improvements to our “forever house” over at 11 Magnolia Lane. And, stay warm everyone!



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