Thursday, April 8, 2010

To Paint or not to paint...

As I mentioned on an earlier post Matt and I have put an offer on a short sale in Annandale.

Being the planner that I am I’ve already started looking for some design ideas and I’ve come across the most amazing/inspiring blog Young House Love. John and Sherry bought their 50-year old ranch home in Richmond and began working their magic on it. I’ve decided that I really like their design style and I LOVE the fact that they go into so much detail when writing about their own DIY home projects. Matt and I are planning on tackling most of the renovation projects on our own once we get the house and I will keep you updated on here…

In our (fingers crossed) soon to be home there is a HUGE brick fireplace in the den off the kitchen. The space is a room which will be utilized a lot and the idea of having this huge dark wall is a bit of a turn off for me…

John and Sherry had the same predicament with their property. See their before and after picks bellow.

Before den…

After Den...

It’s hard to believe this is the same room. They had another dark brick fireplace in the living room that received an equally stunning makeover.

Here is the living room fireplace before...

Living room after...

Now for the big question… if we get the house should we paint the fireplace??? We will have to completely paint the house before move in because there were smokers living there previously… THOUGHTS?


  1. I don't think you should do it, the brick in your place is so pretty. Or, maybe just paint the back wall and leave the hearth brick?

  2. Good question with lots of possible answers. :)

    Andy and I live in a 1945 bungalow and our fireplace IS painted. Granted it was painted when we purchased it and so we gave it a new coat when we redid that room. (Check fb and you can see tons of pics.)

    Things to consider:

    -Once you paint's painted. Can't really be undo without lots of $. So if you do it jump in and love it 100%.

    -I would consider the lighting first before I touched the brick. When we redid our kitchen we put in recessed lighting and then decided to also add it to the den and living rooms. WOW. Unbelievable, what proper lighting can do for an old house. It will change the look and feel of your room. After we did it I wished we had done it 2 years earlier when we bought the house. So maybe look at the lighting.

    -Are your ceilings smooth? And are those beams on your ceiling? If so, you may want to consider a paint combo for them. Coupled with recessed lighting and it could look amazing.

    -Is this a house you plan to live in long term or just a few years and then sell? If it's long term do whatever you want. If it is short term think about what makes it most marketable and enhance those features. We've worked on ours with the intention of selling it because it's not big enough for us long term. So we've made choices when remodeling to make it marketable over personal preferences. However, I will say that I love how it has turned out in comparison to what we started with.

    -From your picture the brick looks really good and adds a lot of texture to the room. I can go either way when it comes to painting fireplaces. If the brick is an awful color I can totally justify it BUT I do like unpainted fireplaces just as much.

    I look forward to seeing what you do. Old homes are so much fun and have so much character. We have one room left to tackle...the laundry room! Along with landscaping and then we are finished.

  3. Your brother, a Realtor, says paint it then put in some shelving, it will accent the wall and add some storage space as well and a great way to display things as long as it doesnt get cluttered. It looks great! How long ago did you put in the offer? You should have heard something by now and if it doesnt go through you get screwed out of your tax credit. I hope you guys have a back up offer in somewhere because if this offer isnt approved by the bank and it falls through you will not get a tax credit. Also you need to check and see if whom ever you are doing your financing will give you the $7500 grant. I hop eyour agetn is giving you all this info. Give me a call. I want to make sure you are being taken care of sis.