The husband was out of town all weekend so surviving is an accomplishment in and of itself, amiright mamas? But I also managed to bust out a project that has been on the list for a while--whitewashing the fireplace. (I apologize, but all these photos are iPhone photos... did I mention my husband was out of town?)
The fireplace is in the open concept portion of the house, which includes the dining room, kitchen, desk area/office and family room all in one great long room. It's hard to explain so let me just say it's an awkward space to design and I've been perplexed for about how to proceed for a while. However things are finally coming together with a little sitting area by the fireplace and I'm really excited. And since finishing the whitewashing on Saturday I swear I don't want to leave that space! I'm always amazed when a seemingly small change can completely transform a room--good design is in the details.
My before shot. I did scrub a little with some bathroom cleaner to try and get off the extra soot, but mostly I just vacuumed over the entire fireplace with my brush attachment to get rid of dust and cobwebs.
This really isn't rocket science and there are plenty of tutorials out there just a google search away. I read this tutorial for most of my info, and also used the same milk paint too (in snow white). I wasn't really paying attention when I ordered and accidentally got the pint size! Amazingly this teeny package lasted almost the entire fireplace. It was seriously a loaves and fishes type of miracle. I was down to the last few bricks on the bottom portion underneath the little bench part when I had to add a little latex paint and water to finish it off--it blended perfectly. You can't even tell. That being said a lot of people do use a mixture of latex house paint and water. Totally up to you.
Again, there is so much info already out there on this process I'm not going to add a lot, but here are my tips:
--I thought this would take 3 hours, it took about 6. I feel like I'm pretty good at approximating time, but I was way off on this one. So really, it will probably take longer than you think.
--However, the right supplies from the get-go will help a lot. I eventually used our nice thin angled brush to get in between the stone for all the mortar, then used our softest big bristle paint brush for the stone and really just sopped the wash all over it. Once I quit trying to skimp on the paint and used a soft brush that got in all the nooks and crannies better, it went a lot faster. I did find that a small foam craft brush worked well for the mortar, but it was eating it up pretty fast and I didn't have any extras on hand. But if you get a few this might be a good way to go as well.
My second accomplishment was much less photo worthy, but something I want to remember. I've been meaning to write it down all weekend but could never find the time... so I'll do it here. After Zuzu's nap on Saturday I got her out of her crib and she seemed extra cranky so I held her for a minute while she cuddled into me, sucking on her binkie. How great is it that my last baby also happens to be my most cuddly? After a few minutes I sat down in the rocking chair and continued holding her, rocking and cuddling the minutes away. This went on for a long time, a good 12-15 minutes. So long in fact I was sure she had fallen back asleep. As I sat there with her I recalled this article I once read about how we always mark our children's firsts--first steps, first words, etc--but never really think about the last's--when is the last time we play a game of catch in the back yard, or the last time they hold our hand on the way to school? And I thought, what if this is the last time I hold and rock one of my babies when they are actually still a baby? So I sat there, and stayed in the moment noticing little things like her hand on my arm and her quiet, steady breath. Saturday May 23, 2015 could so easily be remembered as the day I whitewashed the fireplace thanks to this here blog, but I also really want to remember it as the day I rocked and held my baby just because I could.