Fireplace Makeover Reveal

I’ve mentioned in several of my recent posts that I’ve been working on a fireplace makeover project…Well, I am thrilled to finally report that a month after I started this project, it is DONE. I will be sharing in detail about all the aspects of this makeover with information about how I did each part and tips of what I’ve learned along the way. But for now, I just wanted to share an image of how it turned out! So, just as a reminder, here’s an image of what my fireplace used to look like last year when it was decorated for fall:

The basic design of the fireplace was fine—I liked the simple wood mantel and the tile fireplace surround was ok, but I just really disliked the color of the tiles and I wasn’t crazy about the stain on the mantel either. It looked really dated to me, and none of it fit very well with my living room decor. It felt like no matter how nicely I decorated the rest of the living room, the fireplace still stuck out like a sore thumb, and it was dragging the rest of the room down with it.

I didn’t want to0 spend much money on this project, so I decided to see what we could do to change it ourselves on a budget. And here’s how it turned out:

Such a huge difference, right?? Like I said earlier, I will be posting in detail about each aspect of this makeover, but in case you want a brief summary of the project, here’s what I did:

1) I stripped, sanded, and re-stained the original wood mantel. I used about three coats of Citristrip to strip the old finish, and I stained the mantel with one coat of Varathane Dark Walnut stain. I also applied two coats of a wipe-on Polyurethane to finish and protect the mantel.

2) Next I throughly cleaned the tiles with soap and water and primed them with one coat of STIX Waterborne Bonding Primer, which is what my local paint store recommended for use on fireplace tiles.

3) I then painted two coats of acrylic latex paint on the entire tile area using a roller. The color I chose is Iron Gate by Benjamin Moore, and I really love it! It’s a nice medium-dark warm neutral gray, with a subtle green undertone.

4) Because I wanted a more authentic tile look, I also chose to paint the grout a different color. I didn’t want the grout to contrast too much with the tile color, so I picked Ashley Gray also by Benjamin Moore which was just slightly lighter than Iron Gate. I used a fairly small brush and just freehanded the grout.

And there you have it! In my next post, I’ll be sharing more close-up photos of the hearth and mantel along with details about how I decorated it for fall, so please check back for more updates later this week!