Tuesday, January 6, 2015


One thing I never really liked in our home was our wood burning brick fireplace. It was hate at first sight. If I had a choice, I would have preferred a modern (or ultra modern better yet!) electric fireplace with a neat looking mantle and hearth, probably something white and bright, which of course is the total opposite of the one we have. Our house was built in the '90s, so among other things that are dated and needs updating is the fireplace. Adding insult to injury was the previous owner of the house who wasn't too keen in home upkeeping. When we moved in the house, the fireplace still had ashes, burnt firewoods, soot, creosote and stain, and had a shabby fireplace screen. Altogether, it was an eyesore sticking out like a sore thumb in the big living room. Ugh! We thought of having it professionally revamped or even re-did but it would cost us thousands of dollars to get it done. With all the other more important fixes our home needs, needless to say the fireplace renovation got pushed down the bottom of the list. Sigh!  

One fine dandy day, out of the blue, I just decided to do the makeover myself. Yeah, right! The not-so-crafty me who had not done a single home DIY project. I couldn't watercolor paint let alone brick paint, what was I thinking!? It started with me searching the Internet for fireplace screens, which then led me to fireplace doors, followed by electric logs, and next thing I knew, I was googling for ways to clean and paint brick. Wow! I sure did have a lot of time in my hands that day. Hehe!

Anyway, I found Brick Anew paints online. The testimonials and reviews from their customers including the before and after pictures posted in their website gave me some hope in prettifying my fireplace without having to shed a good chunk of $$$$! What really got me into trying the product though was reviews that say how easy it is to use the products even for first time DIYers like me. "Cool!," I thought.

Well, before I could even get to the painting stuff, I needed to clean the fireplace first. To me, this was the hardest part in the makeover. As I said above, the fireplace was a mess when we moved in the house, and since I hated it, I pretty much left it as is and didn't touch it until I was ready to give it the makeover. I had to get rid of the burnt woods, grate, and the shabby screen. I swept and vacuumed the ashes inside the firebox. I was on my knees and eventually on all fours scrubbing and steel brushing soot and creosote build up in the firebox. I used up bottles and bottles of different brick cleansers. Anyway, after days and days of scrubbing and brushing, I gave up.  Soot had already stained the bricks, and though I didn't get to where I wanted in terms of removing as much stain, the fireplace was clean enough to be painted on. Some battles I just couldn't win but life has to go on, so onto the next step: Paint!

First, I watched the instructional DVD included in the Brick Anew paint kit I bought. I also read the written instructions and tips it came with. Then, I gathered all the self-confidence I could muster, breathed, and told myself, "I can do this!" :D Next, I put painter's tape on the surroundings and prepped the area once more. Then, I picked up the paint brush and went into the zone.

The finished product? I guess I would just share pictures of my fireplace (before and after makeover) and leave it up to you to decide if I have achieved something ;)

I hated how our old fireplace looked like. So much so that I didn't bother taking a picture of it before the actual makeover. So, here I'm sharing an old picture that was taken last year during Vonn Kaleb's first birthday. Behind me, you can catch a glimpse of what the fireplace looked like when we first moved in. The ugly fireplace screen, black soot in the firebox, ashes, burnt wood and grate. That's what I was talking about!

From drab...

...to fab!

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