Remember this mess? I figured it would be a quick and easy process to spiff this area up, so I decided to just go for it.
It was mostly a simple process- it was easy to unscrew the clamps holding the gold doors onto the fireplace, then they went down to the garage for a scrub and a fresh coat of paint. Once the doors were off, it became apparent that the previous owners hadn’t cleaned out the ashes from their fires in a while. Or maybe ever. There was at least six inches of ash and debris piled up in there! Thinking I would make quick work of it, we brought the shop vac up, and I started to suck up the mess. In less than 30 seconds, the living room was filled with a plume of smoky ash, as everything I was sucking up the front was shooting directly out the back! Still not really sure what happened there- but it was an epic fail. I switched to a broom and dustpan, and after an hour or so running the fan out the open door, the air was clear(ish) and everything on the first floor was blanketed with a fine dusting of ash. Admittedly, this was not the best start to a simple project!
Once the dust had (literally) settled and I had wiped everything clean, I caulked along the edges of the bricks where they met the wall. There were some gaps there and I’m always impressed by how quickly a little caulk can make things look finished. Then it took less than a quart of white paint to freshen up the bricks, and just a bit of a sample test pot of paint (Interlude by Behr) to update the mantle. One can of spray paint in oil rubbed bronze finish completed the task, and we were back in business in 24 hours! And the total cost for this update was under $30! I think it was time and money well spent.
Of course, cleaning up this one small area just serves to highlight the flaws surrounding it, but we’re on a slow and steady track here. One little thing at a time! I think finally getting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim around the windows and ceiling will make another huge difference in this space, so that might be next. I’m also thinking that Glenda’s suggestion to add some cool fabric to the back of the china cabinet might be fun. There’s certainly no shortage of fabric in this house!
Be back soon with more mini updates!