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Q&A: How to paint a brick fireplace?

<p><a onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=450,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false” href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/06/11/sunsetfireplace.jpg”><img title=”Painted fireplace” height=”333″ alt=”Painted fireplace” src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2008/06/11/sunsetfireplace.jpg” width=”250″ border=”0″ style=”FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 5px” /></a><strong>Question</strong>: I have hated my brick fireplace since day one of living in my otherwise-fabulous home. I have considered removing the brick altogether and creating a brand-new one by placing stucco over it with a mantle, or painting the brick white and adding a rich, dark wooden mantle on top. Actually, a Williams-Sonoma home store was my inspiration; it has the same painted white fireplace. It seems to be the most cost-effective. Do you recommend painting a brick fireplace white? How would you do this? What kind of paint? Some say oil, other say latex. Just curious to hear your thoughts. — Brianna</p>
<p><strong>Answer</strong>: Brianna, I also like the look of a painted-brick fireplace. In fact, I wish I had brick on my fireplace instead of my big faux lava rocks that aren’t so easily transformed with paint or plaster.</p>
<p>I asked the advice of Dan Gallagher of Gallagher’s Decorative Painting &amp; Design in Sierra Madre. Dan’s a decorative and home painter who has been featured in this blog <a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/2007/10/grass-cloth-tro.html”>here</a>, <a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/2007/08/when-architectu.html”>here</a> and <a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/2007/07/a-crafstman-com.html”>here</a>, and in the newspaper’s Home section. Check that out <a href=”http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-moriarty1-2008may01,1,1980024.story” target=”new”>here</a>.</p>
<p>Dan says:</p><blockquote><p>All your ideas are good and doable. If a painted look is the course of action (either decorative or straight paint), the most important thing is that oil-base primer should be used, at least two coats. It’s best that the oil-base primer is a long-drying for maximum strength. Your usage of the fireplace should help to determine the type of paint — oil-base or water-base — for the finish. If the fireplace is used a lot, go with an oil-base paint. For low usage, like two or three times a year, go with water-base paint. Mark the can and store it for touch-ups in the future. Remember, removing paint from brick and mortar can be done, but it is extremely expensive. </p>
<p>If you were to go with a stucco or masonry-type finish, you might consider adding a relief design. It will add interest and personalize it to your home and decor.</p></blockquote><p>For more insights, Dan can be reached at his <a href=”http://dgpaints.com/” target=”new”>website</a>.</p>
<p>Also, Brianna, check out <a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/2007/05/rate_this_remod.html”>this absolutely gorgeous transformation of a brick fireplace</a> in Manhattan Beach.</p>
<p><a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/ask_an_expert/index.html” target=”new”>See more Q&amp;A</a></p>
<p><em>(Photo: <a href=”http://www.sunset.com/sunset/da/result/0,24880,733223,00.html?&amp;Details=DetailsFireplaces_Mantels&amp;offset=33&amp;tab=Rooms” target=”new”>Sunset</a>)</em></p>


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