diy: white brick

white brick

The first project Rob and I Rob tackled in our house was to paint the brick around our fireplace white. This came as no surprise to anyone who knows us or who had visited our apartment in the South Bronx, where we had white walls, white furniture, white plates and…white brick around the TV (I guess it was formerly a fireplace or maybe a dumbwaiter?). Here is the only photo I have of that white brick, taken while watching the Winter Olympics a few years back. (And yes, my PJs have pink bunnies on them):

white brick in apartment

Not that there’s anything so wrong with regular reddish-brown brick; it’s just that, for our taste, it can be a bit heavy and, well, not white. We wanted our place to be as light and bright as possible. I did have a photo of this project mid-process but it seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle (i.e. was on an old phone that is now no longer with is, RIP.) There was a tarp involved, a stepping stool and some of that blue painters tape. In lieu of the photo, I have decided to interview Rob about this fascinating process…

Jocelyn Jane Cox: I noticed that you commenced this project almost the second that we received the keys to the house, and before we moved in. To what do you attribute this swiftness? Why this project first? Do you think you were sub-consciously and pre-emptively warding off a sense of homesickness for the South Bronx apartment and simultaneously subverting a fear of home-ownership and suburban malaise?

Rob: Umm…I thought we both agreed that we wanted to do that right away because it would look nice.

JJC: Yes, but tell us more about your process. We know you have an extensive background in fine arts and that you are an accomplished artist in many mediums. What effect were you going for here and were there existential and metaphorical implications?

Rob: Well, ermmm…yeah, I think we both decided that it would look nice white.

JJC: Okay, now, did you start at the top and work down, did you go left to right, or right to left, or did you paint the bricks randomly? Because this could tell us a lot about your psyche and your placement on the Optimism/Pessimism scale, your spiritual health and your political affiliations.

Rob: Well…honestly, I don’t remember. I think left to right, top to bottom, definitely not random. These questions are more personal than I expected.

JJC: Oh, I think our readers will find your answers to be VERY interesting…What about materials? Did you use a paint brush or roller? Did you use a specific kind of paint? A magnifying glass, a level, a color wheel?

Rob: Let’s see…umm, a paint brush. Semi-gloss acrylic latex and I did wear an old T-shirt.

JJC: Okay. Did you injure yourself in any way during the process or learn anything about yourself while you were doing it?

Rob: No.

JJC: Do you have anything else you would like to add at this time?

Rob: Not really.

JJC: Thank you so much for participating in this interview. I know our readers will find it to be just as scintillating as these before-n-after photos.


brick before

Note: The previous owners had an incredible sense of style – we loved how they designed, decorated and maintained this house. I think their online photos sold us on the place before we ever crossed the threshold. Guess what color most of their stuff was, aside from the brick? White.


white brick after

Voila! White brick. This wasn’t a huge project, but it made a pretty big difference. At least in our eyes.

Happy HIMP! Go ahead, give your house a big hug today.

18 replies

    • I think you should paint all the walls around the brick the way you want them first then decide: but this decision may require a visit to a psychic, a fortune teller, and a wizard specializing in…bricks ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I know, it was very revealing eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. White always makes a room look bigger…at least that’s what my parents always told me:-) That round table in the “before” picture looks very familiar…hhmmmm?

    The beauty of brick, it looks good in almost any color surrounded by some style-y.

    • Agree – the texture of brick and its imperfections are wonderful.

      That table – we had a good chuckle because we already had almost the same one (except ours has a black base). It was one of many signs…ha!

  2. Unbelievably you failed to pose the question all readers want to know: What ALBUM by a band with members first names beginning with the letters J. P. G. R. was Rob listening to while he painted the bricks WHITE?

    • Actually, YOKO, Rob tackled this project so quickly that we didn’t have any stereo equipment set up yet, and we may not have even had the electricity going yet. But nice attempt at a plug – I could be wrong, but think the band in question is doing just fine on the popularity front…

  3. I like it.

    Also, did you think I would miss the rocker in your previous owner’s photos? I did not. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Love that sconce too! Two thumbs up on your white-ness.

    • Yes, that was a cool rocker ๐Ÿ™‚ And I think they had a real, vintage Eames chair in here, too ๐Ÿ™‚ That sconce deserves its own post, eventually…vintage from the 70’s ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I know! A little paint goes a long way ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, my husband is a good sport. Me: I am going to ask these long-winded overly-deep questions and you just answer with something short and to the point…Him: okay. ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad I found your yellow-centric blog!

      • Ha ha….I wouldn’t have to tell my husband to answer short and to the point he would just do it.It’s so hard to get info out of him sometimes. He doesn’t talk in word circles like I do. Glad ya found my blog too, it gave me the chance to check yours out!

  4. If all else fails, paint it white! Just love the effect.:) I did this to my living room and the whole feel of the room changed. Good work.

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