Updated: Jul 8, 2021
A beautifully lit fireplace can make just about any room feel cozy. During the winter months, I love nothing more than to curl up with a blanket while having my coffee by the fireplace. I never thought living in Florida that I would be looking for ways to spruce up my fireplace however, our home was built in the 80's and while I am oh, so glad that it came with one, it was 100% not for us. The dark stone, dark brown tongue and groove, and to top it all off, the brown tile that occupied the space made it dark and dreary. This is our family room, where the kids play, and where the Christmas tree goes so I was going for a little more bright and dreamy!
I researched so many different ways to remodel a fireplace. Remove the stone, shiplap, re-tile, etc. I really wanted to do something easy, and simple. Especially since we were remodeling practically the entire house at the same time. So in the end, we decided to go ahead and paint the stone and retile over the brown tile with some tile we had left over from our bathroom remodel. Here are some of the inspiration photos that motivated me to do so:
The far left is more of a white washed look. Which is initially began doing, but ultimately decided I preferred it to be all white with no gray tones. I purchased Sherwin Williams Pure White, a 3 inch brush, and a paint bucket. I had to play around with the dilution. 1:1 water/paint ratio seemed to work the best for the whitewash look I thought I wanted to accomplish and with this solution, a gallon could've been enough. However once I decided to paint it all white, I ended up going through just about 2 gallons. The stone absorbs a lot more brick than I anticipated, especially the spaces in-between the bricks. Once I committed to all white, I used a roller and only a brush for the creases and hard-to-get areas between the rocks. This is time consuming, so prepare for 2 full days (depending on how much stone you have). It really isn't complicated, it's just a matter of committing a day or two to your fireplace and the look of the room will forever be changed!
An important thing to consider is that you likely will never get the natural stone back. Same as when we painted the dark brown wood ceiling, there's no going back. Ultimately, I knew the natural stone look wasn't for us, so the inability to go back to stone was fine by me! Natural stone is absolutely beautiful however depending on the space it can really be an eyesore and darken the room. If going for a more rustic look, keeping the stone intact may suit your style a little better. If you are on a budget, unsatisfied with your dark brick or stone, then this option is definitely for you!
Melissa Labelle Designs