Fireplace Makeover || In-Progress

January 14, 2021

 The progress of a budget-friendly DIY fireplace revamp in our home.

Welcome to the blog in 2021! It should come as no surprise that we kicked off the new year with a handful of new DIY projects. We just can't help ourselves! And personally, I'm always seeing a fresh take on something old. In this particular case, I've had a design itch that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I've mulled it over and over, and it finally struck me; I wanted to revamp our fireplace and give our family room new life. 

If you've been a blog reader since we bought our home or are new here (hi there!), take a look down memory lane to see what our fireplace looked like when we bought our house. We took it from its original state to a more prominent focal point in the room with white-washed stone, a bigger mantle, and added trim work. But, like most, my style has evolved over the years and I began craving an aesthetic that better fits my design preferences today. I wanted more of a contrast feature in our space. One that not only broke up the white walls, but also the flat plane of the wall in which the fireplace sits. That meant pulling the fireplace out from the wall and building it upward. 

My concept for the addition to the fireplace (building it up from the mantle to the ceiling) started with the notion that I wanted to break up all the the 90° angles in our current designs - from the board and batten to the trim work. Creating an a-frame really intrigued me, and after working with Pete to figure out the right angle, I was sold on the vision. We ended up with a 78° angle - yes I'm that particular! - and are currently in the process of applying putty and prepping it for black paint. 

So our project isn't quite finished, but it is really close, and I'm eagerly anticipating the final outcome! Scroll for our before and current photos, as well as how we're making this DIY happen on a budget!

Since this DIY was more on a whim, we wanted to utilize the materials we already had: paint; drywall (leftover from our wall project); putty; etc. Since we hadn't budgeted for a project, this part was key, and here is how we're making it happen...
  • When it came to creating contrast, I knew I wanted to paint the existing fireplace black. We used Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black in Satin to paint the wood and watered it down to wash the stone. Watering down the paint allowed the texture of the stone to remain, without necessarily looking painted. Not to mention, it's so much easier to brush on than it is to apply thick paint. 
  • The mantle stain was much darker than I wanted. And because I didn't want to have to pull the entire mantel up - that would be a whole lot more work - we figured a way to work with what we had. Using underlayment, we wrapped the mantle and gave it a new coat of stain. Our stain concoction was 1 part Weathered Oak + 2 parts Golden Oak (we stirred them together). At this point in the project, I can't decide if I like the mantle as a source of contrast or if I want to stain it black to be one solid unit. I'll make that call once the top of the fireplace is complete.  
  • We are using the leftover drywall from our wall project to construct the a-frame section. Using 2x4's nailed into the ceiling joists and securely anchored, Pete has built a strong addition to our fireplace. Since our TV will still hang above our fireplace, it was important that the wall was well-built and sturdy. In building this add-on, Pete also created a trimmed-out hole to feed the television wires through to hide them from sight. We will be able to access all of the cords from the left side of the fireplace a-frame through a small camouflaged door that Pete incorporated into the construction. 

Once all of the construction is complete, we will paint the inside of the fireplace with a fire-safe paint and repaint the hearth tile. 

p.s. you can see the whole process to-date HERE!