Finished Painted Fireplace

Yes! I was finally able to get the photos of the finished fireplace loaded. Everything is moving slowly today.

Well, the final results of the fireplace made the client very happy. And for me, well, I was a little hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure where it would lead us.

The first two photos are of the living room side of the fireplace. Take a close look at the mortar. Can you imagine it being solid black? That is what it was. I really think that this is an option that should be considered before a homeowner were to tear down an existing fireplace. What is the worst that could happen if you were going to do a teardown anyway?

In progress:
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The photo showing the entire fireplace is such a dramatic change from the original. Many times there really isn’t anything wrong with the color of the brick, it is the mortar chosen.
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Going around the corner of the fireplace you walk into the dining room and voila! The painted side.

It was a little difficult trying to make up samples. And it wasn’t just for the client’s sake but for mine as well. I am not fond of getting into something and playing around with it while actually on the surface. However, with this I still needed to make adjustments as I went along because there weren’t any spare bricks to use for making samples. This is why I was a bit hesitant to start. This side I did a little more to it than just paint it. I applied a little texture material to the face of each brick. Then I used a primer called Styx to help the paint to adhere properly. I covered the whole surface with it, kind of scrubbing it into nooks and crannies.
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After drying thoroughly I applied a white basecoat. I don’t very often use white as a basecoat actually. In this case not only was my client very specific as to what color she wanted used, but also, it worked better because I was able to use a shade or two deeper than I would have ordinarily. And that allowed for the color that landed in the nooks to show up better, giving a chance for more texture to show. The closeup photo shows this very well.
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And standing back you get the overall look. Rather elegant don’t you think? Client was pleased. I was definitly pleased. They are planning on putting a new mantle up. They are holding off because they are planning a major kitchen remodel and that whole space will be opened up. So the choice of which style of mantle will wait until they get into that. Wise move, I think.

I hope you have found this to be informative or even just interesting.

Hope everyone has been having a good week and I’m hoping for a great weekend!

Painted Brick Fireplace

Yes, I know, it has been awhile since I have been here. Life can get in the way sometimes, can’t it?

I have written on this subject on Facebook a while back but I think it worthwhile to give some details in case any of you are struggling with the decision to paint your old fireplace or not.

It is understandably daunting. And it is defitiely a commitment. But it can totally change the look of a room, as you will see. In this case the fireplace, (actually the mortar was the worse), was rather dated. And, well, replacing a fireplace can be quite expensive and very messy.

My client and I tried to keep an open mind. Their home is a remodel and they were making several changes at the time, so we wanted to stay open as far as how to progress.

First off I gave it a good cleaning, trying to get into all of the wholes and crevices. Putting down dropcloths to catch the dirt was well worth it.
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My client wanted to soften what was heavy black mortar. My suggestion to her is that we but a medium brown glaze over the black mortar. Not straight paint. Straight paint will give you a painted look and it most likely wouldn’t look authentic. It was rather time consuming. When it was my turn to work on it I would give myself a certain number of rows to complete. As you can see from the photo it helped immensely.
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This is a see through fireplace and this is the living room side. We did something really different on the dining room side. I will be taking final pictures tomorrow and posting them on Thursday. I think you will be amazed!

Have a good day! It’s beautiful here in northern Illinois!

Chicken Fajitas

Want a quick and easy fajita recipe? I should mention delicious too! Then this is one for you! I don’t remember where I got this recipe from and I have made my own adjustments along the way, but it is definitely a keeper!

Chicken Fajitas

1lb boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
2T vegetable oil
2tsp chili powder
1 1/2tsp cumin (I don’t add this)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4tsp seasoned salt (I use regular)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel), well drained
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper

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400 degree oven.
Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
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In a small bowl combine oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
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Slice peppers and onions and drain tomatoes. I was using things up so this time I used a half of yellow and orange pepper instead of the red and green. Also, you will notice in the picture that I used 2 kinds of onion, not necessary to do this.
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Add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the mix and stir to combine.
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Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
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Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. I am thinking that tofu could be easily substitued for the chicken in this recipe. What do you think?

I am also thinking that they could work quite well in the homemade pitas that my niece makes. Yum!