I discovered something for the first time in my life when I walked in this family room during the showing. I found the ugliest, most awkwardly placed, red brick, floor to ceiling fireplace ever created. I stood gazing at it in disbelief. I am sure it was “the in thing” when the home was built. Maybe. I have seen some ugly fireplaces, and immediately envision a transformation, which is a great thing for buyers when choosing a Real Estate Agent. (Cheap plug for my services, I know). However, this one stopped me in my tracks. A few thoughts and questions ran through my head. I can only share a few of them.

1. Holy red brick!
2. Why?
3. Perhaps a light coating of whitewash…
4. Why?
And, last but not least…
5. Why?

After looking at it a few seconds, I no longer saw the big, red, ugly, room swallowing monster in the corner. I saw a bright white, floor to the ceiling fireplace, with shiplap and crown molding.

We hired a professional to remove the brick because we nearly killed ourselves removing a brick wall in the kitchen. Not because the job was too strenuous, because some jobs require a professional. (Like buying and selling a home. #ispeakthetruth) The brick wall in the kitchen was attached to 2 x 4’s with a few, thin metal strips. Let’s say; I’m surprised there weren’t bricks in the basement. The end. Next step. Paneling removed. Drywall installed. TWICE! Again, hire a reputable contractor the first time, to avoid round two. Enough said.

Once the contractor* started removing the brick, he realized he wouldn’t be able to cut each side the same width. Why? I’m not sure. I didn’t ask questions. I typically ask questions, but I just wanted that thing to disappear. I also knew there would be issues with uneven drywall because of rough concrete behind the brick. I didn’t care.   (Scroll through the images below)

Brick Removed Drywall Hung

However, I am proud to announce that I built this bad boy all by myself. I am not so pleased to announce that I did not use a plan, and literally “winged it” as I went. I searched Pinterest, of course, sketched a few ideas on paper and started cutting wood. 

The drywall behind the mantel is now smooth and level and fireplace complete. Eventually, new flooring to replace old carpet and cover concrete on each side of the hearth, another coat of paint on the walls, and maybe a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree in that galvanized planter.

-Select Pine, Menards
-1/4″ Plywood for Shiplap, Home Depot (HD cut the strips)
-10″ Ryobi Miter Saw
-DeWalt Cordless Drill
-Gorilla Wood Glue (BEST. GLUE. EVER.)
-Valspar Limewash Glaze for brick
-Zinsser Primecoat Primer and Sealer (for entire mantel)
-Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic, White, Semi-Gloss, Smooth Enamel Finish For Trim & Doors. (The Holy-Grail of Paint for Wood)


* The contractor hired to remove the brick and hang drywall was Jeffrey Channell of Channell’s Construction. There are no affiliate links in this post, nor was it sponsored. All opinions are my own.


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