Painting & Wallpapering Crown molding on brick fireplace, paint, faux finishes

Painting & Wallpapering Crown molding on brick fireplace, paint, faux finishes

Painting & Wallpapering /Crown molding on brick fireplace


Expert: Barbara Jacobs — 7/4/2012



I have varnished wood crown molding in my den, the molding continues on the brick wall. Because my den is rather dark. I would like to paint the CM white or creamy white. But I am wondering about the brick wall an how it will look if I paint it. Any ider what I should do.

Also my baseboards and door trim is varnished wood. Will that be ok to paint just the crown molding? HELP

ANSWER: Hello Vasilia,

Here is the «long answer» and at the bottom is the «short answer.»

You can paint over varnish but you have to do the correct preparation both to ensure that paint will adhere and also that you stain color does not bleed through. After sanding, I recommend a version of «Kilz» or a «Bin» product, but you can ask at your paint store for their best product recommendation. It’s typically alcohol based and not so easy to use but I think there is also a water-based and oil base version(s) of high quality primer-sealer, easier to use and clean up.

So, for your color—which was your actual question:

Yes you can get a nice look in painting only the molding as you asked. It does NOT have to be all the same in every part of the room. For example, sometimes we just do the window trim differently. Sometimes all trim is the same color as the walls, but in a trim finish.Sometimes the crown molding is the same color as the ceiling.

You said ‘varnished wood» but you did not state the color of the wood. light? dark? Maple? Oak? poplar? Pine? Each wood has its own color tone.

However: A white or off-white could be ok. You did not state the wall color, except for the brick (and what color is that? Since there are many colors of brick).

I only give all this other info just so you can think about your space as a whole, not just a Brick-and-Varnish-and Trim approach. For example you might want to use a color on the crown molding. what are the walls?

Just something to think about. But the ‘bottom line’ short answer is: Yes, you can do white or off-white if the other trim is varnished.


Painting & Wallpapering Crown molding on brick fireplace, paint, faux finishes

QUESTION: Thanks for answering my question. But since I did not state the wall color itis a very light beige an the ceiling is celing white. Now the brick fireplace wall is chicargo brick but it does have more of a red clay tones. The brick has many tones but all the tones are in the brick, clay tones. So with that being said do you think the crown molding that is on the brick would look good painted. But as you stated in the last email when painting trim if the wood meets it should be all the same color. It does meet but the walls are different so what would you do. Thanks so very much.



Hello again,

Maybe I was not clear in my earlier note — I thought I’d said that the trim does NOT have to be all the same color.

In any case, how about making the crown molding the same color as the walls? Just use a trim finish paint, a bit more sheen than the flat or eggshell you probably have on your walls.

You can even think about repainting your ceiling and your crown molding to be the same as your walls. I think that would be ideal, actually. Then where the wood trim meets the painted trim it will have more of a toned-color effect, not like the trim has to be «white» and stand out on the brick.

I am not sure I can go much further with this —

Leave a Reply