Good Questions: Dealing with Faux Brick in the Kitchen?

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Help! I just bought a cute little house built in 1940. Most of it is looking pretty good thanks to refinishing the hardwood (with some further projects planned). Unfortunately, the kitchen suffered a redecoration in what I guess would be the 70's and features both fake brick AND fake butcher block. I'm definitely changing the flooring and countertop but how do i deal with the brick? Paint it, remove it (and how?), tile over it? Also, the cabinets are red oak with a dark stain. Definitely updating the hardware, but will that be enough? I'm hoping that things start looking lighter once the brick is gone. And it needs to be gone. Soon.
Thanks! Rachel

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Rachel,
We aren't sure how labor intesive removing all that brick would be, but we fear that it might seriously damage the drywall/plaster beneath turning this into a huge project if you have to basically replace the walls. If you decide to hold off on demo, painting the brick would definitely help to lighten up the kitchen.

Readers, how do you think Rachel should handle her faux brick situation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below...