DIY: How to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace
Our living room needed the most work out of any of our rooms, mostly because it was dark when it should have been bright with its floor to ceiling wall-size window. It didn’t make sense to waste such potential in a room that by most people’s definitions (ours included) was outdated and, for lack of a better word, ugly.
The first thing we did was gray-wash the walls, which was both tedious and an easy task (as in anyone can do it). We had planned to live with that for a while since the room was twice as bright and we had other projects tackle. However, after griping about our dark and now out-of-place fireplace for three days, we decided to whitewash it sooner rather than later.
Of course, that’s not what happened. It sat like that, all sad and friendless like a mismatched island, for months. We had decided to limewash the brick instead of using paint and water because of its durability (it will last decades without needing touched up while white paint needs touched up every few years) and because I simply don’t like the thick, gooey paint-look on brick. Our brick was in good shape and there was no reason to hide that texture and character. I love brick, especially cottage-style brick, which brought me to the idea of using a limewash (or limewash paint as it is sometimes called). (more…)
DIY: How to Gray-Wash Wood Paneling
Gray-washed walls make our living room ten times brighter. Also, ignore the in-progress boxes and décor – and, well, furniture.
I should preface our first DIY post by talking a bit about our experience. Most of the projects I plan to share here are for the beginner to intermediate craftsman. If it takes a more skilled hand, I’ll clarify that in the beginning in big, can’t-miss letters. Please don’t attempt a project that uses tools or chemicals outside your skill-set without someone who knows what they’re doing.
That said, J and I both grew up watching Bob Villa and using tools with our dads and/or grandfathers. We’ve both been working with power tools and wood since before we were ten and thus have a high comfort level with taking on projects. If we haven’t done something personally, we have no discomfort in researching and applying the knowledge immediately. This particular project is for beginners: you just have to know how to sand and use a paintbrush. Oh, and you also need patience – a lot of it.
When we bought our house we knew one of the first projects would be the living room. It had great features: beautiful wood trim and window casings, a working brick fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and a wall-size window that looks out over old oak and pine trees. Unfortunately, the room was also covered wall-to-wall in wood paneling that made it look like a lodge or cabin – complete with the nail holes where animal heads once hung (or so our mailman says; thanks for the nightmares!). The paneling made the room feel dark despite the big window and also seemed to shrink it in size. There were two options: tear it out or whitewash it.