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August 25, 2010 / dcwisdom

Updating a 1970’s Brick Fireplace

My mother lives in a 1970’s ranch style house with a modern element; the house is not rectangular.  It sits as a very fat, obtuse angle – sort of.  At the point of the angle in the rear of the house is a hexagonal shaped livingroom.  Always an odd room to decorate, it has two windows, two sliding-glass doors, a large opening into the house’s entrance, and a monster opening into the kitchen/dining area.

The fireplace area is B-I-G!  It covers an entire wall, and the hearth spreads onto the two adjacent walls.

As you can see, the brick is a 1970’s style that dominates the room.  Mom wanted a more subdued brick color after she and I repainted the walls a buttery yellow.

Not wanting to paint the brick a solid color, we used a 1:1 mixture of paint and water, using a fairly dry brush to spread the paint.  We had to experiment with the amount of paint to use and how much to wipe off, but we found the look Mom wanted.

Immediately after spreading the paint, we used a cut up t-shirt to wipe the bricks and grout dry.  It left a cloudy, softer finish that Mom really liked.  The effect is an updated, white-washed look which blends in nicely with the new paint, toning down the buttery yellow walls.

Need a beefier mantle, don’t you think?  I’ll share more pictures of the decorations when we finish the room. 

There are wedding bells ringing around our house.  Kid#2 Rich and Heather are getting married in September.  Plans are in full swing for an outdoor ceremony and bar-be-que dinner afterwards.  Rick and I are eager to add Heather and her two small children, Caleb and Madison, to our quiver. 

Heather really wants to go to Las Vegas for the honeymoon.  Heather’s such a great girl she might even let Rich tag along.  He may have to beg.

Y’all have a great week!



  1. mary / Aug 27 2010 4:42 AM

    Never saw such a big fireplace! But then I’ve heard everything is big in Texas. Great job, and I like how it turned out.

    Congrats on the new in-laws! Family weddings are always so fun.

  2. Glenda / Aug 26 2010 9:25 AM

    I think the brick looks great! That treatment really toned it down. I can see lots of pillows on that extended hearth to provide extra seating. Can’t wait to see what you all do with it. Congrats on the wedding news! Sounds like a true Texas wedding is in the works!

  3. diana / Aug 26 2010 7:46 AM

    Like the new look!!! I am going to be re-doing one next spring, too.

  4. Vickie / Aug 25 2010 11:48 PM

    Oh yeah – maybe on the mantle a color or stain about the color of the window casements?

  5. Vickie / Aug 25 2010 11:45 PM

    This looks fabulous, Deb! That appears to be a nice sized room. Lots of space, light from the windows – very nice! I like what you did with the brick. I thought the original grout was too dark, too. That paint treatment really softened that. Tell your mom I approve. I have that butter yellow at the W’house and also at the farm. I love that color.

    Check ya later!!! Go to bed. N.O.W.

  6. debby9972 / Aug 25 2010 11:41 PM

    Looks nice. It’s a beautiful fireplace. Can’t wait to see what else you do. Weddings are the best especially when it’s our children. Just so you know I have been over to read all your blogs from the last few weeks as I was unable to leave a message. Didn’t want you to think that I ditched you!

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