Renovating a fireplace & mantle with paint

Last fall I took on a huge project with renovating our staircase. We live in a suburban Ohio home and it was old, dark and dated. We have lived in this home for 20 years, and for the last 7 of them have been on hold with any renovation project while my husband has been fighting to recover from leukemia. He’s since in remission and I have been working hard since last summer on projects around here to keep it fresh.

Our staircase went black and white. When we did that I knew I would paint the mantle black. I wanted to do a lime wash on the brick, and I still might do that, but for now, just the mantle went black. We have an entire wall of brick….all rather orange brick. Well, not exactly orange, but close to it. The mantle was a dark brown stain, and sometime after we moved in I painted it white. It was just a latex white paint and well, after a while, close to 20 years I guess, it was kind of looking yellow. So you can imagine, orange brick and yellowing mantle… it REALLY needed updated! Thank goodness I found Fusion Mineral Paint. This is the best thing I could have done. This paint is so easy to work with and most of the time you don’t need a primer. Since our mantle was already painted, I didn’t need one, I just went over it with Fusion Mineral paint and it was done.

This is the before…how our mantle looked in the fall as I was getting ready to paint it.

As you can see, the fireplace takes up the whole wall. It is pretty hard to style this mantle with how big it is. I had just finished painting the room white. Yes, I do have eyeball can lights! Someday those will get replaced too!

The first thing I did was remove everything around and on the mantle. Since the brick was never sealed, I decided I needed to do that first. After a while, some of the dust began to fall on the mantle. I didn’t want that to happen after it was painted black. I went to Lowes and found a sealer for it that was a matte finish. I didn’t want the brick to be glossy. This did the trick, it dried fast and the brick dust is gone!

The first thing I did was clean the brick with TSP. I used a brush to clean the brick. I filled an empty spray bottle with a diluted amount. Half TSP and half water. I sprayed it on the brick and wiped off any excess with a rag.

After the brick was cleaned.

The sealer went on really easy with paint brush.

Halfway done!

You can definitely see the difference here with the sealer. It’s still wet in this picture, but it looks so much better than the other side. I was am so happy I decided to do this. As you can see in the picture too I taped off the wall around the mantle with painter’s tape before I got started on the mantle.

Brick is completely sealed.

I put two coats of sealant on the brick. Next it was time to paint!

I used Fusion Mineral Paint, color Ash. The same color I used on our staircase. It made a huge difference. I put on two coats of the Ash.

I’m so happy with the black mantle. I honestly never thought this was something I would do when we bought this house 20 years ago! I think now, it makes a better statement. I hope I can lime wash the brick someday! I think it would totally stand out next to the black mantle. But for now, I am loving the way it looks! I hope you liked this renovation project. It’s amazing sometimes how just a simple paint change can make a difference!

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Hello! My name is Lori. Welcome to my blog! I love comfort food! The old fashioned recipes that I grew up with! I love DIY projects! Refinishing something in my house, or finding antiques or something at the thrift shop and turning into something new again. I hope I can inspire you to try a renovation, craft, or recipe in your home.

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