This summer we tackled (and by tackled, I mean paid a professional to tackle) the monstrous brick fireplace in our breakfast/dining area. We considered white washing it, painting it black or a deep charcoal grey, painting it the same or a lighter shade of the wall color, and what we ultimately opted to do, paint it white. Here are the "why's"
Why not white wash?
Finding a local pro experienced in true white washing (with lime) was impossible. I did a lot of looking, and lots of guys were willing to give it a shot, but I figured that was no better than us doing it ourselves (which we didn't have the time or desire to do).
Why not grey or black?
That dark red/black brick and grey mortor was sucking the beautiful natural light out of the room during the day, and making the place look like a dungeon at night. As a result, painting it a solid, light-sucking dark color seemed counter-productive.
The other end of the kitchen is choc full of glossy white cabinets, so it seemed to make sense that a nice bright white painted brick fireplace would balance things out better than the taupey grey we used on the walls.
And the moment you probably scrolled down for: