Tag Archives: sunroom

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

I’m no sure if it’s more appropriate to call this project “whitewashing” or “faux painting”, because it certainly involved a bit of each.

In my research, all the “whitewashing brick” tutorials featured porous, red brick – not my flat-slabbed industrial, gray brick we found on the backside of our fireplace.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

So I turned to my long-standing sound credo, let’s just wing it.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

1. White Base

I started with a VERY watered-down paint – about 5-8 parts water to one part white latex paint. Stir thoroughly.

I used a fat brush to apply, and old rags to wipe around the excess – I found wiping was better than dabbing, which left a weird texture.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

Most tutorials I read used a 2:1 water to paint ratio. But, since our brick was not very porous I was worried about it just looked straight-up painted. (Not the look we were going for.) You can always add more paint people!

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

2. Depth and Variation

Because our brick wall was straight gray, I wanted to add some variation. I made a few different colors of gray paint, using a bit of black paint. I painted specific bricks a different color gray – emphasizing darkness in certain corners of the brick to create shading.

I also used some bright white paint to highlight corners of some bricks to help with this.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

3. The Grout

You will need to decide what color you would like your grout to end up being. We liked the look of a whiter-grout, so I took a small paintbrush and used the same step 1 treatment on all of the grout.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

4. Final Layer

To bring together all of the different gray and white bricks, I added a little bit more white paint to my original watered down mixture. I went over the entire wall three times, wiping down each layer.


1. This was SUPER drippy. I had no interest in protecting our floor, since we are building right over it – but you should probably protect yours.

2. You can’t go wrong. When in doubt, dab, wipe, repeat.

3. Your arm should be moving CONSTANTLY. Otherwise your wall will just look drippy when the paint collects.

4. Layers. Layers. Layers. I probably did each step 3-4 times before moving on to the next step.

5. Back AWAY from the wall. Every few minutes, walk 10-15 feet away from the wall and see how it looks to ensure consistency.

6. Daylight. I paint at night all the time, but this project is definitely one you need daylight for. Harsh work lights will cast an uneven glare.

Now that we’ve started painting the room, I might do another layer to tint it. If I do I will sure let you know. : )

Sunroom Renovation Progress (There are Real Walls People!)

First of all, thank you for all the Italy travel advice. You guys rock! Keep it coming!

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLively

The sunroom is quickly  growing up to be the family room. There’s a lot to catchup on.

The last time you saw this room, we had completely gutted her. Read about it here. (Want to know how fast time goes? I posted about gutting this room THREE months ago. It feels like yesterday.)

No more solid wood paneling. No more drop ceiling panels.

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLively

There has been more done in this room than I can probably explain – in all honesty, after the demolition, I have not been very involved. Moose has been doing a lot of work in conjunction with some professionals. This non-DIYing is very exciting and feels so fast! It feels like this room has come together overnight!

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLively

This is the doorway we have had for the last 1.5 years. And now it looks like… (drumroll please)

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLivelyall pics are from my phone. and it’s dark. so they aren’t that great. oh well!

First, we got our french doors installed!!! I am thrilled and I love the way they open up the two rooms together. Because we have an old home, an open floor plan isn’t really an option for us and this really brings the spaces together. This is a load-bearing wall, so they also needed to install a header – definitely not a DIY job for us.

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLively

No more ancient broken windows with rotting sills either. When we put new windows in our house 2 summers ago, we did every room except this one to delay the cost (because this room boasts a whopping 9 windows). We got our new windows installed and they look great!

The old (GROSS) insulation was ripped out, and we had a professional come in and blow foam insulation. While the upfront cost is definitely more than rolling the traditional stuff out ourselves, it will pay for itself in the next two winters. Boston winter ain’t got nuthin’ on us.

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLively

You might also notice the floor has been raised. This room was built on a concrete slab, so it was a step-down from the rest of our house. We had insulation rolled on the floor and then then built this subfloor on top of it – this also greatly contributes to the feeling of an open floor plan. Hardwood floors to match the rest of the house are to come.

The room has been run with all new electrical outlets, cable hookups and our ceiling has been outfitted with can lighting.

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLively

We have walls! Real walls for the first time in this room. This was really the kicker for me. It feels like a real room now, and it’s such a huge change to look across this living room and not see a dark pit. This was definitely another job for professionals – since we own an older home, nothing is level or square. These walls and ceilings are plaster, not plain old drywall.

The brick wall is still up for debate. We have left it open and are going to decide how we feel about it as the room comes together. More on the brick wall this week!

And just because it makes me feel good, let’s look at the before again:

DIY Home Renovation - DesignLively

We’ve come so far!

Next up for this room? Lots of painting, installation of all the window and door trim, and the floor.

Just call me Tom Sawyer.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

In case you’re wondering, we’ve made zero progress on our sunroom since we gutted it.

But that will all be changing very soon.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

As a part of the project, we have one DIY project we are going to attempt.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

Perhaps you are  seeing a theme in all these inspiration photos I am posting today?

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

When we gutted the room, the back of the fireplace was exposed.

We’re going to try whitewashing it and see how it looks.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLively

If we fail, we will just drywall over it!

I love DIY projects with little-to-no negative consequences.

My only concern is that I have only seen how-to-projects on people whitewashing over red brick, but gray like ours.

Have you ever whitewashed brick? Gray brick?

The 70s Called, They Want Their Knotty Wood Paneling Back.

I am about to share a room with you that, in the 1.5 years I’ve lived here, has never appeared on this blog.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

Call it “the room I like to ignore”.

Or, as I call it, “the room where everything goes to die”.

This room is less emotionally known as the sunroom.

My bitter relationship with this room began the day we moved in.

Since we were renovating like banshees in the rest of the house, ALL of our belongings got stacked in this room when we unloaded our moving truck.

And it has not been clean, empty or organized since. The bane of my existence, this room is quite literally where our clutter goes to die.

Until NOW!

Now it is quite empty.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

In defense of this room, it is beautiful and large.

It boasts NINE windows and gets beautiful light all day long.

And the wood paneling was actually really great quality. In the words of my BFF, it was the “Cadillac of wood paneling”.

I had dreams of painting it and turning it into a quaint cottage-y room, until we determined we needed to rip everything out to run new electric and re-blow the entire room, ceiling and floor with insulation.

This was a good thing too. Not only were the disgusting ceiling tiles riddled with mouse poop:

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

But we found creatures like this hiding at the foundation.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

This room is so ill-protected from the outside it’s crazy. You can actually see sunlight coming through. Not for long!

That exposed brick you see is the backside of our fireplace in the living room.

We have some whitewashed brick projects up our sleeves that we can’t wait to test out.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

The plan for the room is straightforward: Redo everything.

After we run new electrical and can lighting, we will have new insulation blown throughout the whole room.

Then we will install new windows, new drywall, new molding and a new ceiling.

We will raise up the floor (it’s currently a step down) and continue our hardwood floors that are in the rest of the house. We will also add a baseboard heating unit so we can use this room year-round.

And, something I’m twitching with excitement about, we will turn this glass door into two french doors that open from our living room!

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

I have no idea what my end-vision for this room is yet. I am sure as I watch it take form I will get inspired.

One thing IS for sure, our television will be moving (finally!) from our living room, where it has been parked in front of two more beautiful windows since we moved in, to this room.

Do you like the feeling of a crow bar in your hand? Do you like demolition? Does mouse poop freak you out?