DIY Quick Fireplace Makeover

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.

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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.

 

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This tile cuter is easy to use and fast

Use tile spacers if working on a vertical wall.  Here are the tiles going up..

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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.

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Tiles before they are grouted

THE END RESULT…

 

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Most Hit Posts of 2016

Today I have been looking back at last years blogging, sometimes done a bit intermittently I must admit, and noticed that the most popular posts always seem to be the DIY ones, so here is a round up of the ones that still get the most hits, and I only hope that as a result there are many Ikea hacks, Plaster Flowers and No-sew curtain pelmets floating out there now!  More DIY ideas coming soon as I tackle a spare bedroom in the coming  months.

Click on the photos to take you to the posts and tutorials…

DIY Plaster of Paris Flowers

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No-Sew Curtain pelmets

finished wide

Ikea Hack Bookcase

 

 

Slate Effect Painted Fireplace

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Moppe Drawer Makeovers

 

 

Fireplace Makeover – Slate paint effect

Musings occured over the weekend over how to attack the reproduction pine fireplace surround in our dining room, see last week’s post, and I finally stopped procrastinating today and got on with the job.

I used chalk paint as it is really easy to manipulate when watered down in a dark grey and a white, and by wetting it with a damp brush you can work the colour and tones until you are happy with the results, plus I use a clear wax to finish and protect the surface.  Here is the before and after picture:

Slide1The process is really simple, and you can always go back and paint over bits if you are not happy with them.  The gallery here shows you how to paint this slate effect.

  • You will need dark grey chalk paint, white paint, brushes, water and finishing wax.
  • I keyed my mantlepiece top before painting as this will be a heavily used area.
  • Paint the whole mantlepiece in a dark grey.
  • While this dried I had time for a very nice Cappuccino, delicious!
  • I then used a plate as a palette, and put some white and grey either side.  I then dropped water in the centre, and started to work on the mantlepiece using a brush and dabbing/splodging grey, white and water to create a cloudy effect on top of the base coat.  This paint can dry out really quickly on the plate, so keep adding water to keep it liquid.  It should look like mottled, cloudy grey tones, and work the paint in well to avoid brush marks.
  • You can also use a sponge if you want to dab on the paint, again as it dries so fast use small circular movements to blend and hide the initial sponge marks.
  • Cover all areas in this cloudy effect and leave to dry.  It will look quite pale and dusty when it is dry, but do not worry as adding the wax at the end darkens it back down.  Check you have covered all areas, and if you need to touch up do it now.  Leave for an hour or so so the paint really is dry for the next stage.
  • Finally using a brush or old cloth, work clear wax into all areas you have painted.  Brushes are good for getting the wax into nooks and crannies, and I prefer a cloth for large flat areas..  Leave to harden off for 20 minutes, and then buff to a smooth sheen.  I used two coats on the top of the mantlepiece for added protection.

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I am really pleased with the results which are much punchier to the eye, and wonder why I did not do it earlier.  I was not sure about the all gold mirror above when it was finished, so slapped some black acrylic paint on parts of it to bring it into line with the slate look fireplace.  Much better….

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Raring to go… next projects plans

My over excitement at recent transformations knows no bounds, and I am planning new makeovers, (and trying to work out which one I should do first and stop procrastinating and just get on with them…).

The Fireplace:

I have a working fireplace in the dining room which has a lovely cast iron insert, but a really uninspiring reproduction wooden surround.  I am planning to modify it with paint to look like slate.  The room is very neutral, with handpainted pale furniture so I think the surround needs a bit of darkness to create oomph.  I read once somewhere that Nicky Haslam, (genius), always has black somewhere in a room to ground the eye, and it is a great tip that I have followed ever since.

photoI have been looking for various ways to create slate trompe l’oeil via paint effect books, but most just have marble and sandstone effects, so I think I am just going to grab a slate tile and use it as my inspiration.  I did use once the textured stone paint on a fireplace, and although it looked great it is really hard to clean the mantlepiece shelf as it becomes rough and a magnet for dust.  So slate it shall be, and I can always try another effect if it does not work, such is the beauty of paint!

Wardrobe:

I picked up, nearly 18 months ago, a wardrobe in a junk store for £40 as it has potential and nice carvings.  The veneer has started to bubble in a couple of places, so it needs some TLC and is begging for a makeover.  It has been sitting in a friend’s garage since I bought it, and I have finally got it into the house ready to begin its transformation.  I think I shall be going for a wallpapered and painted effect again, and found some great bargain wallpapers down in Cornwall at Trago Mills last weekend.

Progress will be shared… procrastination must end!