Archives For interior design dispute

Worth the Wait

Jennifer —  December 28, 2011 — 2 Comments

We moved into the house and I immediately wanted to paint the fireplace white.  I may have even mentioned it in the walk through of the house when we first looked at it.  It immediately got the “kibish” from the hubs.  When we bought our house we had not dabbled into home renovating yet.  My only design experience was watching HGTV.  I really don’t have much more than that now but at least I have a few rooms/houses under my belt now of making design decisions.  Anyway, the hubs had seen it but didn’t know if it was needed.  He was right.  We had bigger fish to fry like the kitchen and the laundry room.

We bought our first couch and I still hated the brick fireplace.  Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with an exposed brick wall.  I think it can be the perfect quirk in a room but I quickly decided that it only works in  large spaces or a spaces with tall ceilings.  We have a small living room and no matter what you put in the room your eye always caught the redbrick fireplace.  It broke up the room in a bad way.

It took me almost four years to convince the hubs of paining it white.  He wasn’t stubborn.  His response was “Not now”.  He was making me wait to make sure I really wanted to go through with it. He wanted me to finish the house bit by bit and see if I still wanted to do it.  He was waiting to see if I would grow into it.  The more I finished the house the more I wanted to paint that sucker.

I finally sat down after three and a half years and gave him three good reasons to paint it white.

  •  It would make the room more cohesive….thus making it bigger
  • It would soften the room and make it cozier.
  •  I pulled out Pinterest.  He just had to see that it was a desirable thing for others and not just for us.

He agreed to let me do it.  I was ecstatic but yet still nervous.  I was nervous down to the moment t I made the first brush stroke.  You can’t change this one.  The black kitchen cabinets…a bold choice but yet, it still could be changed.  The white fireplace…not so easy of a change.  I read about if for a week, sought out advice of a neighbor, and then proceeded to begin.  Here is what I needed.

  • One Can of Kilz Oil Based Primer
  • One very nice brush
  • Painters tape
  • One can of decorators white (Valspar) semi-gloss paint.
  • Metal spray paint primer for the vents
  • Metal spray paint for the vents

This post is not a how to post.  These posts are a dime a dozen on blogs.  There are a 1000 ways to paint a fireplace and I don’t want to write like I am the only one to ever do it.  I did not use a roller, I used a paint brush the entire time.  The High Nap roller was not that great.  My brick was really pourous and the joints (mortar lines) really deep.  This made the roller harder to use.  I painted the joints and then painted the brick each coat.  If I would have done this when I moved into the house…with no furniture….I would have used a paint sprayer.  I did three coats of oil based primer and two coats of paint.  It was worth the work to even out the red color. (It took three coats of primer to do that).  I also cleaned and spray painted the vents.  Here is how it turned out. (This is before the vents are inserted)

Frequently asked questions by my friends:

Was it hard? – No, it’s like painting a wall but more time consuming

Can you use your fireplace? – Yes, we have a wood burning fireplace and we have used it multiple times.

Do you have to use high heat paint? – Not on the brick.  If I were to repaint the doors (the black surround) then yes I would have used high heat spray paint.  I used that on the fireplace in the flip house.  If you are wanting to repaint the inside of the fireplace then you have to use high heat paint.  I did not do that.  Since we were only painting the brick, which does not get hot, we did not use high heat paint.

Why Oil Based?  Can you use latex primer?  I am sure you can but oil based primer covers fire smoke stains and the deep red brick better.  IF you don’t use your fireplace you can use whatever you want.  Always remember that the next homeowner might want to use it if it’s possible.  Don’t be selfish on big decisions like that J

Why didn’t you paint the doors white? – I do things one step at a time.  I am not sure it is necessary.  I kind of like the contrast because I have black furniture pieces in my living room, but I haven’t ruled it out.  I have learned to be patient with these decisions.  I can thank the Hubs for that one.


The goal of this post is to inspire you to be patient if you must, be confident if you must, or wait for your husband’s approval if you must.  I have read many comments on other blogs of people who want to do something but their husband does not.  My advice?  Be patient.  Don’t die on that hill, work on another part of the house and work towards it.  You might change your mind anyway.  If you don’t, you have more of an opportunity for your husband to see your vision as you guide the direction of design in your house.  The Hubs was able to see it more as more of my plan was put into place.  Our marriage is better for it and his input is valued. He has a design eye, but I know that your husband might not.  Your last resort would be consulting a professional with him (like an interior designer or realtor) to see if your idea is a good one.  In the end you have to remember that your husband lives there too.  My husband respect and looks to my opinions but I trust his advice and leadership.  I would have been bummed if he really didn’t want to but it’s not my dream home and I could live with anything.

I have also read posts of people who are just not confident to do something.  If you are not confident call in an expert to see if it’s worth it or the right decision.  Google the mess out of “how to” and get after it if you really want to do it.  It never hurts to wait.  I am sure you have enough projects to do in the mean time!

All that being said, I love my white fireplace.  It makes the room look bigger and it fits.  The hubs loves it too.  Thanks for letting me try my ideas babe!

Thanks for reading!




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