Have you ever gotten to a point where you've just had enough with how bad something looks in your house that you one day decide "screw research or planning", brandish your paint brush and tools and tackle it?
That's what just happened when I declared war on our faux brick chimney.
It's actually where the real chimney is in our kitchen, but a past owner plastered over it, and then either the same owner or another decided to affix faux bricks over it held in place by what would pass as tar.
At best, it looks dated. No, scratch that - at its best, it's ugly.
Our preference would have been to take it back down to the original bricks, but with some inspecting during our first week in the home we found there was no way the bricks were coming down without taking all the plaster beneath with them. And that would be a mess. And we prefer having at least the kitchen being a non-construction zone oasis in the midst of the the rest of the house's current chaos.
Ditching any ideas of demo, in our favor the bricks do look very real. We actually thought they were when we first saw the house.
Therefore I decided the next best idea would be to treat these faux bricks like I would real ones and that sometime I'd attempt a white-washed effect with them.
So one day last week as dinner cooked I found myself staring down that wall of red and black and decided its days of ugly were done as of that night.
Over the course of a few evenings I've been making slow but steady progress of using my trusty milk paint to be rid of the black tar "mortar". The person who used that tar did a bad job (like a lot of things we're finding in the house) so it hasn't been easy getting the paint into all the grooves and hollows, but it's starting to look a little less bad each day. Still ugly, but less.
It's gonna take a few more nights of painting, and once I'm through with the mortar I'll be adding in some whites and grays and other details to the bricks. I'm mostly experimenting as I go, so we'll see how this turns out!