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DIY – Stain Fireplace Brick

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Here recently I have been terrorizing my living room. More specifically, I’ve had my aim on the fireplace section in my living room.  After I covered up the old 80’s wall paneling by making my own wood wall, the out of date brick surrounding it just stood out even more.

I’ve always had the intentions of refacing the fireplace completely but right now it is too expensive of a project for me to take on. So I started looking for a cheap solution that could tide me over and that’s when I found Crafty Waffles post about staining her fireplace brick with concrete stain.

After reading a little bit more I decided it was just the thing I was looking for.

Care to see the before and afters??…
Before:

After:

Now I realize it still doesn’t look spectacular, but it definitely looks better then what it did so I’m content with it.

In case you are interested in staining your own brick, here are the steps as well as some tips.

1) The first thing I did was go to Home Depot and look at their semi-transparent concrete stain colors. This was a hard step because they have close to 20 colors to choose from. My first instinct was to go with grey, but I was worried about those pinks showing through so I went with Loden.

2) Next I wanted to give the brick a good cleaning so I first pulled out my Dyson and vacuumed everywhere you see brick. Then I grabbed a bristled scrub brush and made a cleaning solution that consisted of Dawn soap, Baking Soda, and warm water. Since this is inside brick that is already relatively clean (no mildew/bird poo/sap), I didn’t waste time using any of the cleaning solutions that involve acid or a pressure washer. I had a few spots right around the face of the fireplace that was stained with soot (you can see them in the first photo), but a little elbow grease and my cleaning mix took it right out.

Can I pause real quick and just say how wonderful baking soda is? It literally is my cure all. Friends are coming over and my dog just rolled in something dead?…put some baking soda on him. Don’t like scrubbing toilets?….Baking Soda. Got a splinter and too much of a baby to let my husband dig it out? Make a baking soda paste to draw it out. Don’t know how to clean brick but need to figure it out?…yep! Baking Soda! Gosh. Gotta love well rounded stuff. If only it could change brake pads, I might replace my husband. ; )

Alright sorry for the ramble, now back to the meat and potatoes….

Tip: Since these soot spots were in smaller areas I grabbed a spare toothbrush (shout out to whoever left their toothbrush in my guest bathroom. Thanks!) and used circular motions to really get that baking soda in the crevices to pull the soot out. Since I had quite the build up in these two spots, I would get the brick nice and scrubbed down then let it sit for a few seconds and wipe it off then do it again. It took about three times for the stains to be removed. If your stains are not coming out, then you might want to look into a more powerful cleaning solution.

3) Now I started staining. On my first coat I actually used a 1″ foam brush so that I could control where the stain was being placed better (I did not want to stain my mortar) and also so I could really get down in all the pits and divots of the actual brick. Instead of brushing it on, I would ‘outline’ the brick first by holding the brush vertical and dab it on then go back and brush in the center.
Tip: If you follow my lead and also use a foam brush, don’t get the entire head soaked because it will drip all over the place or just sling everywhere. Start off with a little and get the feel for how much you need to coat a brick.

Below you can really see the contrast between the original brick and the 1st coat of stain.

After the 1st coat:

4) Drat. That darn pink is still peeking through….so after it was dry I decided to do another coat. This time I grabbed a cheap chip brush that cost about $1 to quickly slap on another coat. On this second pass through, I wasn’t overly concerned with getting every square inch of each brick like I was with the first so the brush worked great.

Like I said, it still isn’t my dream fire place, but for a couple hours of my time and $26 I will take it! Plus, I really think it will look much better once I make a few mantle decorations and chop some fire wood to store on the left there.

If you are interested in seeing more projects, be sure to subscribe to my blog! I’ve now created a Wilker Do’s Facebook page so you can follow along that way as well.

Total Time: 5 Hrs (over 2 evenings)
Total Cost: $26

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