Little bit win, little bit whomp-whomp.
I got busy yesterday updating the brick hearth in front of the fireplace. Originally beige, I had painted it gray back in August (a project I wrote about here). The initial change to gray was dramatic, but I had one beef with it, and it’s the same cut of beef that I had with the gray sunroom floor: The flat gray paint showed every speck of dust and dog fur, looking eternally filthy.
Easy fix: I’d repaint it with the new high-gloss light gray paint that I used when I updated the sunroom; the Valspar Porch + Floor product was holding up really well, and because of the shine, helped to hide inevitable dog furries. And after all, the very-glossy hardwoods that wrap around the living room would undoubtedly look nice against a very-glossy hearth.
Just as I did the first time around, I dropped some blue painters tape around the edges, cleaned the brick surface, and began going at it with a basic paint brush so that I could get right into each dip and crevice (also, it was a small area and I really can’t stand cleaning rollers).
Ooh, shiny. Yes, just what I wanted. Looks a little darker here than in real-life, but the shine is emphasized, so that I like.
The whomp-whomp of this project comes into play when I took it too far. Thinking that a little extra flair on the hearth might be nice, I plotted to do some mini-stripes that wrapped around the perimeter of the brick. Pete and I discussed doing little squares, little dots, and other ultimately too folksy-ish ideas, but applying a series of clean lines seemed like it might be good. Subtle, but good.
Go ahead and flag my 2012 resolution as “Take more risks;” I had a hunch that this stripey plan could go awry easily… but I wanted to try it anyways incase it ended up being the best decision ever. Bonus: It’s just paint, so it’d be totally reversible, like I wish all risks could be.
Lining the brick with pieces of tape (recycling what I could from what I originally used to protect the woods when it was being painted gray), I created a very narrow stripe. Very, very narrow.
I lightly dabbed darker gray Valspar floor paint in between the tape edges with a 1″ foam brush and waited for it to dry, trying to avoid any rough movements that would cause the paint to spill beneath the tape. As I removed the tape, I was already disappointed with how the stripe looked but wanted to forge ahead with doing a second to see how it’d look.
From afar, it’s not totally repulsive with a second stripe (and I had been thinking of doing 3 stripes total, without trying to look all Adidas in this place), but maybe if I had a better technique (or a steady hand) the concept would have looked better. And yes, I did consider thicker lines but didn’t want to compete too much with other stripey aspects of the living room/dining room area (the duo-tone paint, the shiplap walls, the hardwood floors, the colorblock mantle art).
Up close though, it just looked sloppy. I didn’t even waste my time going all the way around or attempting to clean it up. I’d call it a day, lightly sand down the stripes, and apply another coat of the glossy light gray to make it a solidly gray hearth for now.
Anyone else vowing to take on more risks next year? Going to paint hearths and push your stripey boundaries? Going to go hog-wild with the porch + floor paints?
Happy New Year.
P.S. I should note, like I did last time, the porch + floor paint isn’t suitable for live fireplaces. We don’t use our fireplace, and as decorative paint, it’s A-OK, but it won’t last long if up against heat and flame. Tread cautiously.