This is a really quick way to update a fireplace without having to rip out an existing one. This fireplace surround will eventually be replaced, but until then it is a fast makeover to make it less hideous! Some tiles and paint can transform it into a much better looking feature. I wanted to brighten it up and use some sort of patterned rustic moroccan style tiles in the inside area of the fireplace.
HOW TO DO IT:
This is the starting point; a pine surround with bricks inside and an insert real flame gas fire. The house is in a city with smoke control laws, so it is a practical feature and seemed silly to rip it out.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE:
Start by painting out the orange pine with a primer and then eggshell paint. I used a water-based version by Dulux in white which dries fast and is re-coatable in 2 hours. It took 3-4 coats to get rid of the orange wood.
Next, measure the area you want to tile. The side areas of brick were really slim, so I needed to find tiles that were quite small as cutting up large scale patterned ones would have jarred on the eye. I hunted high and low, but all the tiles I found were large scale patterns and I was beginning to give up when I wandered into a high street tile shop and found these 10x10cm tiles.
They come in a faded grey and green and are from a selection of about 7 patterns which mix well together. I went for these two colours mixed up. Even better, I managed to grab the sample tiles for just 50p each instead of having to buy them in the large amount they usually are sold in for £50. I only needed about 26 tiles, so it cost just £13. I LOVE a bargain!
I worked out a basic pattern, and started to cement the full sized centre tiles on first with tile adhesive. Once I needed to start cutting tiles I measured the size I would need and used a water-jet tile cutter. You can hire these if you don’t have your own. They are really easy to use, although quite noisy. Luckily I could cut tiles in half and use them down the sides and across the top and they fitted perfectly.
Use tile spacers if working on a vertical wall. Here are the tiles going up..
Once the whole area is tiled, leave it overnight to set hard. Then grout the tiles. I used a ready-mixed grout in white, and a grout spreader to fill it into the spaces in the main area. In tight corner areas I just pushed it into the gaps with my fingers. To get a neat finish you can use a plastic grout finishing tool, or just your forefinger to smooth the grout so it has a fine finish. Finally use a cloth to polish off any grout left on the tiles before it totally sets.
THE END RESULT…