Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fireplace Makeover

I am so excited about today's post.  From the minute that I walked into our home before we bought it I knew that this fireplace could be something amazing.  Today I am excited to tell you that I made it that way by using only paint (and a stencil)!

The living room started like this.  The purple walls and the dark wood trim made the room so dark (it is dark anyway since there is no overhead lighting. When we first saw this room before we bought the house the previous owners had a giant entertainment center in the corner where the piano is now that was blocking that window by the fireplace so it was even darker! By just changing the wall color (I chose Behr Silver Drop for this room) and painting the trim white the room became dramatically lighter.  We just got an overhead light fixture installed so I can't wait to share how that changes things too.
The walls and trim made the room look so much more modern but the fireplace was a giant dated piece in the room.  Originally I wanted to rip all of that stone off and do something like shiplap but that would be messy and time consuming.  Plus using the existing materials is so much less wasteful.  So after a lot of Pinterest research I started to form a vision of what this fireplace could become.  I knew that I wanted the stone to be white.  I had played around with the idea of just white washing the stone but I know that bright white was what I really wanted it.
I started by cleaning the stone with vinegar and water and a scrub brush.
Then I primed the stone using Kilz 2 latex primer.  I have never used this primer before but I liked how thick it was. I used the fluffiest roller insert that I could find to get in all of the crevices on the stones.  I had to use a brush to get in the the cracks between the stones and it was a huge pain in the butt.
I used a cheap brush at first and totally destroyed it after priming just one side of the stone.  Later I used a 1.5" Purdy brush that I already had and it worked so much better and I was able to prime the other sides and paint the whole fireplace white before it was as bad as this brush was.
While I had the primer out I figured that it made sense to go ahead and prime the mantel piece too.  This primer worked great over the wood too.  I did give it a light sanding before priming.

Next I painted the stone and wood piece with Behr Ultra White in satin.
At this point you may have noticed that I removed that lovely brassy piece with the doors.  I wanted to get rid of the brass so I painted it with Rustoleum High Heat paint in BBQ Black.

This paint is oil based and smells very strong.  It took two coat to cover the metal.  In some lights it almost looks more like an oil rubbed bronze than a black.

After cleaning the tile I painted it with Rustoleum Chalked in Linen White.  I painted the grout as well.  It took two coats to cover.  This paint isn't really white at all.  It is almost more of a very light gray.
You can see the difference between this paint and Behr Ultra white where I accidentally painted a little bit of the wood piece.  I didn't really mind the contrast thankfully so I just went with it.  I'm glad it was this color instead of turning out to be a yellowy off white.  This is my first time using chalk paint (and probably the last) but it seemed to make the most sense for this application.
Next I used this lovely stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils called Santa Ana Tile Stencil.  It is the 12" size.  I taped over the grout because I wanted to make sure it stayed white.  This isn't my first stenciling project of course.  Stenciling is one of my favorite ways to add details and interest to a project.

Stenciling the walls in our dining room was one of the very first projects on this blog.  I loved that room!

I stenciled the tops of the night stands in our bedroom.
I made my own stencil with my Silhouette Portrait and stenciled the backs of these chairs.

And I stenciled these storage boxes.  You can find many other examples of stenciling throughout my blog.
 I used Rustoleum Chalked in Charcoal for the pattern.
This was probably the hardest stenciling project I've had because of all the partial tiles I had to do.

It was so hard to bend the stencil into some of these small spaces.
So I had to make my own mini stencils to finish the project.
After touching it up it all turned out pretty nice.  The last step was just to apply two coats of Minwax Polycrylic over the tile and the top of the mantel.  I put the polycrylic on top of the mantel because I knew it would get the most abuse with changing out the decor frequently with the seasons.
Then of I put the door piece back in.  Here's a reminder of what I started with again:
It is such a drastic difference!

Then I just pulled out some random decor and styled the mantel.
This is the view I now have from the dining room table!  Note the cute baby on the playmat in this shot.  Also that door looks like it is painted the same color as the walls but it is really just a very dingy white because I haven't painted it yet.  Here is the whole side of that room now:
 That skyline painting is on the floor because I don't know where I want it yet.  Eventually I want to get two accent chairs to put in front of the fireplace.
I am so glad that I got this project done before the Christmas season because I can just imagine the stockings hanging from the mantel!  

I'm not sure what will be next up on the blog but there will be two more big changes in this room in the near future and I have a big list of sewing projects that I want to finish.  I hope you like my new fireplace as much as I do!

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