Painted Brick Fireplace and Fall Inspired Mantle

If you asked me to sum up my life in one sentence it would be "An idle mind is the devil's playground." It all began on a cool HOT September day in Arizona when I had 5 minutes to sit on the sofa with Mr. CG.

Minute 1: I looked at my fireplace and dreaded trying to style a Fall mantle

Minute 2: A new project was born

Minute 3: Paint the fireplace! A white background makes eva-ray-thang prettier (obvi)

Minute 4: Break the news to Mr. CG (instant rejection)

Minute 5: Show up in front room with paint can and paint brush (quite certain Mr. CG is Googling divorce attorney's at this moment)

Painted Brick Fireplace and Fall Inspired Mantle

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Now yes, I realize I'm light years behind this trend (I mean, Chip and Jo are on their 4th season of Fixer Upper)... but this one took me a while to warm up to, and I still don't always love it. However, I joined a Fall Instagram and Blog hop with some other amazing ladies who are linked at the bottom of this post and I needed to get my Fall mantle styling on.

I. was. dreading. it.

In fact I even talked them into adding shelf styling to the mix because I didn't want to photograph my mantle.

P.S. I also hate styling shelves - LOL!!!

But I'm a team player so I was going to put my big girl panties on and git 'er done.

Don't get me wrong, I love the character of the red brick but it's from 1991... it's not like I'm painting over something from 1904. I also like to style this room with neutrals and it ALL BLENDS IN WITH THE RED BRICK. 

Mr. CG... whole other story.

Painted Brick Fireplace and Fall Inspired Mantle

He likes the coziness of this room (he's opposed to anything white because he thinks it lacks coziness), and he also hates change - so I was batting zero. The key to making white cozy it mixing shades of it so it's not sterile.

With a little assertiveness and conviction I assured him that I do not want to take away the cozy either, and basically - this was happening. When this girl gets an idea, watch out. Game over. It's happening. It can be today, it can be next week, it can be months, but the seed has been planted.

I'll admit that I was a little nervous because there was no coming back from this one. Trust me, I Googled it. At this point I was more worried about me hating the result but having to pretend I love it so Mr. CG truly doesn't divorce me. But, guess what?

Painted Brick Fireplace and Fall Inspired Mantle

I freakin' love it, you guys! I have not regretted this for one single second, and I'm still married to the love of my life.  Winning! 

We live in a tri-level so this particular room has very low ceilings and I cannot believe how much it opened this room up. It still feels cozy, but oh-so-fresh, and I actually had a lot of fun styling the mantle. Some frustration, but mostly fun. 

I'll go over my super simple method to painting my brick with what I had on hand, and then I'll talk a little bit about the inspiration for my fall mantle: 

  1. I put some dish soap in a bucket
  2. Filled the bucket with warm water
  3. Dipped a rag in the warm soapy water
  4. Wiped the brick clean
  5. Taped the perimter while the brick air dried
  6. Rolled the brick with Behr Ultra White Latex Paint (non-tinted, straight from the shelf)
  7. Used a brush to paint the mortar
  8. Patted myself on the back and checked in with Mr. CG to make sure he didn't hate it
Painted Brick Fireplace and Fall Inspired Mantle

But of course, no project is THAT easy. I put the mantle back on and instantly hated it. I needed to build a new one.

Building = no problem.

Finding the time to do it = a challenge.

I was able to do it in one afternoon for $45 in lumber cost and installed it using the existing lag shield anchors and screws from the original mantle. I referred to the same plans I used to build my floating bathroom shelves - click here. I just adjusted the dimensions to what I wanted - 72"W x 5"H x 8"D. Then I stained it with Dark Roast Gel Stain, hung that sucker up and started brainstorming how I was going to style it.

Floating Fireplace Mantle DIY

I definitely wanted to keep with the neutral eclectic feel I have going on in the rest of the room, which is a marriage of rustic, industrial, and modern. Also, as I've mentioned before in a previous blog post, I'm not much of a seasonal decorator and need to keep it subtle so it stays. Pumpkins are subtle and easily worked into my existing decor so that was the inspiration - all kinds of mini pumpkins. I got a few plastic ones from Michael's, a couple ceramic ones from Target's Dollar Spot, and a few of these little cuties from Kirkland's. 

And of course I love my greenery so I incorporated a few air plants throughout. 

Fall Mantle Styling

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen my documented struggle with styling this mantle. I definitely did not nail this in one try. It was the main centerpiece and focal point that gave me a hard time because I didn't care for the canvas I originally had against the red brick. I tried a clock (and LOVED the clock), but didn't end up loving the overall look so I tried this round brass mirror from Target and that was the ticket! 

Fall inspired Mantle DIY

I simply created a vignette on either side (sticking to the triangle rule) and haven't touched it since - that's a good thing, peeps!!

Triangle Rule Vignette Styling
Triangle Rule Vignette Styling

I am always so thankful that you stopped by and took the time to read through what comes out of my crazy head. There is so much more Fall inspiration to be seen from these amazing blogs linked below, so I hope you'll take a few minutes to visit each of them because they will surely get you inspired to decorate for Fall!

Top Row // Left to Right

Yours Truly // Revive and Design // Cambridge Home Company

Bottom Row // Left to Right

Simple Cozy Charm // The Pickled Rose // Julie Warnock Interiors

Fall Mantle Blogs

Don't forget to pin your favorite images to Pinterest, and you can also subscribe to my blog by clicking the floating tab for periodic updates on what's happening around here!


Painted Brick Fireplace and Fall Inspired Mantle


I love love love the white painted brick you nailed it. I am so glad you like it and I love your styling. Your a painted brick ninja.

Aw, thanks Chell! I'm loving how fresh it feels in the room now!

Christina, it turned out so beautiful. You are the DIY queen GURL!

Takes one to know one! xo

I am soooo glad you did this!! And I am certain Mr. CG is as well, you did magnificent at keeping it cozy friend!

Thank you, Martha! He doesn't love it, but he doesn't hate it so that's a start. HAHAHA!!

Luverly. Do you follow Kylie Mawdsley on her blog? She's funny, you write like her. I hired 2 contractors to do our new mantle, shoulda heard them cussing. And you did yours by yourself! I want to whitewash our fireplace, keeping the gray grout that is already there, sound doable? And I like that you kept your dark bookcases...or is that temporary? --

I don't - but I'll have to check out her blog! Too funny about the contractors. It really wasn't hard at all. I think whitewash with gray grout would be pretty if whitewashing the brick comes out a little gray so it's in the same color family. Yes ma'am - the built ins will be staying just the way they are. I like the contrast, and they were already a pain in the you know wha to stain. LOL

I'm dying over your fireplace refresh! I love it, everything about it and then all the mantle decor just is the cherry on top! Perfection

Thank you, Lindsey!!

Girl! I have never seen someone complete a project from start to finish like you can and this fireplace is no exception!!! I LOOOOVE the white (obvi) and you knocked this one out of the park!!!

Hahahaha!! Thanks, Jules!! Xo

Wow this looks so amazing! You are the most entertaining writer. So much fun reading your posts!

Aw, thank you Deanna!!