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Opinions regarding whether to paint brick fireplaces?

I have a ceiling to floor, nearly 8 ft. wide real, red brick fireplace, and am consdiering painting it a white-ish gray, to make it look kind of antiquish. Opinions? Suggestions? Thanks.

There is a big debate over painting brick. Some decorators look at a brick wall and see it as a wall screaming for paint, others appreciate the rustic quality of exposed brick. Before you make this decision, I would do a google image search to see what you like better. Ultimately it depends on the rest of the decor of the room. To be honest, if you are looking for an antique look, you should check out antique faux finishes before you land on a greyish white. If you paint the brick a solid grey, it won't look antiqued, it will look like a big grey mass, and possibly favor a wall of cinder block. You might want to go with a cream, then to give it an antique look, take some paint about 3-4 shades darker, water it down a lot, like 3 parts water to 1 part paint, and do a light wash over the brick, and you should decide if you want the mortar a contrasting color. You might want to go to the home improvement store, get a couple of red bricks and paint them to see what you like best. You can find sample Glidden paint for $3 a bottle at home depot. Removing paint from brick is a big mess & hassle, I think it would be a good idea to see the finish before you commit.

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