When it comes to your fireplace, the last thing you want is to have it looking out of place and unfinished. Whether you like it or not, your fireplace is going to be the focal point of your room, so you’ll have to either shell out a fair chunk of change for a professional to finish it for you, or… you can do it yourself. This easy faux finish fireplace technique will have your fireplace looking like you paid a fortune in just a few hours of dedicated work.
Brick Faux Finish: Before You Begin
The beauty of brick is that although it’s been around for centuries, it never looks dated. The work you do on this faux finish can be easily touched up if you ever need to, and it will still look like you had a brick fireplace installed yesterday.
Your first step is to choose the base color of the wall around your fireplace. The base coat of the wall is going show through your faux brick to represent mortar lines, so be sure to have a relatively accurate shade of gray or off-white to look realistic.
For the bricks, you can choose any realistic shade of glaze: red, brown, terracotta, and so on. Using two complementary shades will also help in creating that ‘true-to-life’ brick look.
Starting Your Faux Finish Fireplace
Start working on your faux finish by taping around your fireplace trim. Once these edges are protected, load a moderate amount of your base coat paint onto a 3/8” roller. A latex satin base will work best for this kind of faux finish; just be sure to use smooth downward strokes to avoid leaving roller tracks.
After your first coat, wait four to six hours before applying the second. The base coat should be allowed to dry at least 24 hours before starting on the brickwork.
Creating Realistic Faux Finish Brickwork
Using two or more faux technique glazes will allow you to create brickwork that contains color variations and shading, just like real bricks. Real bricks are made like paints – in batches – so if you ever wanted to buy bricks, you’d get variations in the color.
When you’re ready to get started, pour your glazes into separate paint trays and start working in one of the upper corners. Using a 1” nylon brush, apply your glazes onto a brick-shaped cellulose sponge. It’s easiest and most efficient to just randomly apply the colors onto the sponge – that will make it look more natural in the end. Just don’t put too much paint on, or else the paint will drip and run down your surface.
Next, stamp the sponge lightly onto the surface around your fireplace. The sponge will leave a textured pattern similar to that of brick. Also, remember to stagger the bricks on each line, making the faux brick look like its been laid out correctly. Leave about half an inch between each brick for the base coat to show through like mortar.
Final Steps for Your Fireplace
In the semi-circle area around the fireplace opening, just continue the pattern as normal. Real brick can be cut with a sharp blade, so it won’t look unusual if you have half a brick on the edge of the opening. If you have spaces around the edge that need filling in, cut your sponge into the size you need and just use that small piece to do the touch-ups – the less chance of accidentally getting paint in the wrong spot, the better.
While the glaze is still drying, take the tape off the edges of your fireplace trim. Those areas will serve as mortar lines as well, so you won’t need to worry about touching up those spots.
The best part of a brick faux finish fireplace is that not only does this kind of finish provide a painted job, but by using a sponge, it provides an authentic texture as well.
Wait for your faux finish to dry, and enjoy!
See Also: Faux Finish Stenciling