For an easy fireplace upgrade you can do yourself, take a (web)page from Terri Klemm. The design pro and blogger transformed her dark and dated fireplace into something bright and beautiful by whitewashing the brick. Here’s how: White paint with an eggshell finish was brushed on in small sections, and then wiped down with rags to remove most of the paint. (She did two coats like this, to achieve the lightness she was looking for). For a finishing touch, she sanded over all the bricks with a medium grit sanding sponge. This brought touches of the original color through and gave her the rich texture she felt was missing after the whitewashing.
An archway opens into the great room, where a neutral sofa and several chairs provide seating for visitors. The brick fireplace was repurposed from the Old Logan school and serves as the room's focal point.
The rough-hewn mantel brings out the natural texture in the painted brick fireplace. A blend of spindly branches and small sculptures adorns the mantel, while a potted plant and driftwood keep company on the hearth below.
The beautiful brick fireplace was a major focal point in this great room, but it lacked character without a defined mantel. The designers reclaimed a solid piece of red cedar to do the job and also add color and texture to the space.