July 25, 2016

This escapade runs in tandem with my previous post on color washing brick. I wanted to experiment with color washing because it is simply paint mixed with water, so there is no risk in trying it because a second coat of solid paint can go right over top.

As a few weeks passed living with the color washed effect, I decided I wanted to go with a solid color.


Working with black walls is a welcome challenge. It  is cool and dramatic and artistic, but it is also so, so finicky. These walls are intense, which has the potential to be really fabulous, but I need to mellow it down and balance it. I think one step in accomplishing this is going with a solid color for the bricks instead of color washing. The extra texture here was creating contrast where I do not want it.

(Black really is the opposite of white in decorating. To me, just about anything looks good when painted white and just about anything looks good with white. I love it so much. When in doubt, choose white. Which I am, for the majority of rooms in our home. Except here!)


I applied a second coat of paint, Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black in satin, just like on the walls and built-ins. The whole wall seems visually smoother and more polished, just as I hoped.

Black you are a tricky beast! You will be tamed.

PS: The metal fireplace is really being a thorn. It reads so yellow with the black. I tested Minwax’s gel stain for wood and metal in an inconspicuous spot, but the finish was very fake, flat, spray painted looking. Tell me your tricks for tinting metal without losing its time worn patina.

My New Cookbook



  • Chris

    I also like the fireplace better being black. I agree with you that the brass needs to go away. Is there a possibility that you could use a heat-resistant spray paint to change it? I might try an oil-rubbed bronze color. The shiny aspect would be gone but still would have a metallic look to it. We used this color on our fireplace surround and it’s a dark brownish/black finish. Hope it all works out for you. The video really does show how far you’ve come in your remodeling – good job!

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