After you have stripped paint off of a stone fireplace, you know how you are usually left with a fine film of paint residue? And it just won’t quite go away no matter how much paint stripper you use? Plain, white vinegar, any brand, will instantly remove the paint residue and brighten your masonry.
The brick on our fireplace was faded out from the paint stripping process and we weren’t sure how to darken it. I posted the question to the knowledgeable folks over at American Bungalow magazine’s online forum.
Someone had stained their brick with wood stain to bring back the color. Another poster suggested trying concrete stain. One poster who has orange bricks like ours used a mixture of 50% boiled linseed oil and 50% mineral spirits to bring back the color to his bricks. We decided to try this approach first.
I tested a brick on the side of the fireplace near the bottom. If it didn’t work, this area wouldn’t be all that visible. But, it did work. You can see the difference between the faded brick and the brick treated with boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits.
I applied it with a small cotton rag and we let it sit on the brick for about 5 minutes. David followed behind me with a clean cotton rag and wiped any excess off.
The grout really stood out so we went back in and covered the grout as well. It darkened it only slightly but created a more uniform look.
Over the last three days we have been frantically looking for antique brick that will match the original bricks on the porch. While I was doing some searching on the internet yesterday I remembered that the recent LA Magazine had mentioned a stone store which sells high quality stones for construction projects – Bourget Brothers.
I gave them a call to see if they carried bricks. They do. They also happen to be conveniently located in Santa Monica so I visited them this morning and I think I’ve found a match. Heather and I will be returning to the store this afternoon to take a closer look and purchase the 100 bricks we need to continue our porch restoration.