A Fireplace of a Thousand Shades of Gray

This is a tale of everything you shouldn’t do, and everything you should do when painting/staining a fireplace gray. Especially a mid-century, burgandy stained, brick fireplace that takes up half your kitchen/dining space…Oh yeah baby bring on the ugly pics…

Take it all in…Yes, that is mustard yellow walls. Yes, those are pecan/orange built-ins with gold hardware. And yes, that is my half-attempt of making it all work together with a hand me down piece of art.

Now here is the instigator…The Valentines gift from hubby that threw us into action, and made us get off our duff after a year of living with ugly…

Back in October when the basement flooded, we found this relic from the hubby’s bachelor days. During the clean out I had made an off-hand comment, “how great would it be to have a TV in the kitchen so I can watch the news or Food Network while cooking…” And guess what…MY HUSBAND REMEMBERED!!!!!!!

I swear our spouses surprise us sometimes! You wonder how they can forget to buy the milk at the store one day. Then suddenly they remember an inconsequential comment from four months ago. (Who knew?! I totally love this man!)

However hubs had one caveat, a TV would have to wait till our savings caught up to it, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be installed? And a fireplace could be painted?

Now that is love! He hates, painting, I mean H-A-T-E-S… In fact as a rabid UCLA fan he’d rather watch USC kill his bruins in football than paint…


I FEEL SO LOVED! First he prepped and cleaned the fireplace. We had researched a couple of diy brick staining projects and decided to give it a go. We settled on Waterstone semi transparent masonry stain by Behr. It was the lightest gray available, since charcoal would’ve been too dark for our room.

As for the dogs, they had to hang with us because of the weather…They were great supervisors.

At first we were pretty satisfied, yet as the day wore on and lighting changed we noticed the gray turn bluer and bluer…You’d never guess based on the pic below that this was a robin egg blue to the naked eye.

20140222-195554.jpg So we started to get a little desperate and try a new technique…Like paint it with leftover cement gray by Glidden (the same perfect shade of gray we used for the garage) Nope! Still blue!

Poor hubs, he dealt with me as I went through all the stages of grief that Sunday. The Moms were called, and became our color counselors, (the pics and texts were flying furiously that day!)
Finally in a moment of exasperation I just had to leave the room. Then for the first time noticed our olive wood accent wall in the living room, in the afternoon light was gray! I mean the perfect shade of mossy light gray! Immediately I splashed some paint on the fireplace…Voila! Gray!

It wasn’t the stain or paint at all, our backslider lighting was the culprit! See our house is a cute blue exterior and the light from the backslider reflects off the garage and patio creating blue light in our little house! So here it is…

Yay! Color crisis adverted, a light mossy gray that seriously brightens the room..Some before and after pics shall we?


Of course hubs still has some more work to do, (including setting up the TV wall unit) but we are finally tackling this room. We have several big updates in the coming weeks and so excited to share! Happy Sunday everyone!

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