I See This Project In My Future

Good Monday morning to you!  Well, let’s hope that this morning isn’t an indication of how the rest of my week is going to go.  I have projects…several projects…to share with you.  Five projects, to be exact.  Yes, I’ve been busy.  I’ve been productive.  But unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures to prove that!

My mom and I finished the wingback chair, and it looks gorgeous!  But I failed to get a decent “after” picture of it.  Bummer.  I made a great little chalkboard and intended to deliver it to John & Alice’s house yesterday so I could hang it and get pictures for you.  I didn’t, and I don’t think you’d want a picture of it sitting on my breakfast room floor.  I made some cute little candlesticks that belong on John & Alice’s mantel.  They’re currently sitting on my breakfast table.

You get the picture.  I just couldn’t seem to get it all together this weekend.  I’ll give myself a pass, since it was a weekend and all.  But I sure hope my week is a bit more organized!

But over the weekend, I did take a few minutes here and there to look at some of the projects y’all linked up on Friday.  And I saw one project that I feel almost certain is in my future.

Do you remember my mom’s living room?  It currently looks like this…


The fireplace used to be a pinkish-orange brick…

Isn’t that awful!?  Paint definitely did wonders for that fireplace.  But I’ve always had this vision of covering it with a wood façade and possibly adding some pretty picture frame moulding to give it a cleaner, more traditional look.  The problem, and the challenge, is that the mantel has a stair step brick design.  I never could work out in my mind how to clad that part with wood without first chiseling away at some of those bricks.

Then I saw this post at The Pear Tree Cottage.  They had a similar problem with their outdated brick fireplace.  But they didn’t let it stop them from covering it a wood façade, and the results are absolutely stunning!  Here’s how their fireplace looked when they moved in…

the pear tree cottage fireplace before

See the stair step brick mantel?  Well, here’s what the fireplace looks like now…

the pear tree cottage fireplace after

Isn’t that beautiful?!  They share the process right here.

Now my mom’s fireplace still presents a bit of a challenge, because where the fireplace above has a similar stair step brick design, there are only three rows of bricks that are stair stepped, and there’s a great deal of space between the mantel and the fire box.  My mom’s fireplace has six rows of bricks that are stair stepped, and the bottom row sits just above the fire box.


Yeah.  That’s SIX ROWS.  Some 1960s brick layer was really trying to strut his stuff, wasn’t he?!  What a pain!  But now I’m confident that we can come up with a solution.

So perhaps this project will be added to the “to do” list.  I’ll add it right after the tufted upholstered ottoman that I told my mom I’d made for her…two years ago.  Smile

So do you have any brilliant ideas on how to tackle these six rows of stair stepped bricks?  Have you ever seen a fireplace like this clad in wood?




Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I have a fabulous Clock that would work nicely for this look!  The Marisol Wall Clock, what do you think?  Check it out at http://Lindaburt.Willowhouse.com view at my online catalog #41402.  Loved to hear your thoughts! 
    Love the look and look forward to seeing "your project" future!

  2. I'm not sure how to handle the six rows of bricks (tile?) but I love the idea of a painted wood fireplace surround. I hate the 70's brick on our fireplace and have thought about covering it with a wood facade for some time. I'm planning to save your post to "favorites" as an inspiration to actually add a project like this to my ever-growing "To Do" list. Thanks so much for sharing this idea and the photos.

  3. Kristi,
    I love this idea. I have always hated the 70's  brick on our fireplace and plan to save your post for future reference…love the before and after photos. I think your mother's fireplace looks great painted white but the wood surround would like nice as well. The six brick hearth is a problem…maybe a pretty tile or granite facing?
    Thanks for sharing the inspiration photos…as if I need more projects!

  4. I'm helping my Mom re-do her 70's family room as well. I love your Mom's fireplace painted white. Do you have a DIY project someplace that explains the process?

  5. No, I don't, Kristine!  (And I just realized that I actually did take some photos of the process, and possibly even a video, and I never posted it.  Bummer.)  But it's pretty straight forward. 

    (1) Be sure the brick is clean.  Use a broom or vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove all dust. 

    (2) Prime the brick.  You can use a latex primer on the vertical parts, but if there's a hearth where people sit, that should be primed with a quality oil-based primer (like Zinsser Cover Stain).  The primer can be rolled onto the face of the bricks with a very thick roller cover intended for heavy texture.  Then the mortar in between the bricks will need to be primed with a brush.  The action is more of a dabbing motion rather than a brushing motion. 

    And (3) paint over the entire thing with your choice of paint.  Latex is fine to use.  And again, use a thick roller intended for heavy textured walls on the face of the bricks, and then use a brush for the in between parts.  Depending on the color you choose, you might need to do two coats of paint.

    Hope that helps!!

  6. I am having such trouble getting good pics of anything. I was thinking of buying a new camera for more features but I REALLY need to take a class before I even consider it. haha

  7. Hello Kristi,
    I just saw your post on your mother’s fireplace. Being in the hearth industry, I do indeed have some suggestions for you. Sadly, the staggered brick “mantle ” comes down too close to the opening of the fireplace to be able to be “capped over” with anything. However, you could have a brick mason “shave” the protruding brick off and then you would have a flat surface to deal with! The other thing I woud caution is to make certain that you adhere to the clearance to combustibles rule ( 8″ of clearance on either side of the fireplace opening and 12″ at the top ) Beyond that clearnace, you can cover over all the brick with sheet rock or cement board and decorate to your heart’s content! I love that you dared to paint the brick at all. In my daily working, most homeowner’s complain that they can’t stand the look of their brick but they baulk at paint nearly every time I suggest it. However, when I have convinced people to do it, they come back in our store ranting and raving about just how much it changed the look of the entire room! Just like most decorating, sometimes it just takes a friendly and knowledgable nudge 🙂 Keep up the excellent work. I just love your site!