Who is ready to see my fireplace makeover? This has been #1 on my project list forever and finally our fireplace makeover is complete!
Do you ever wake up with solid plans to start a project? If so, good for you, because that is not how it goes down here in the Griffith household.
Most projects start off with two glasses of wine and me ripping something off the wall and wah-lah, a project has officially started. And my husband is always
delighted horrified when I notify him of the damage and my forthcoming plans.
Ladies, it’s a solid technique to jumpstarting projects because you can just blame it on the wine.
For years I have been moaning in person and online about how much I LOATHE (said in my Grinch voice) my fireplace. Oh, let me count the ways in which I despise this focal point in my living room.
- The pickled wood. It has a pink tint and looks dated.
- The surrounding tile. Our home was built in 1999 and it was selected by the previous owners who custom built our home. But those days are gone but the tile is still here.
- The wooden appliqué. For heavens sake, it’s shaped like a shell. You know, like the ones your grandmother collected in her guest bathroom. God bless you Granny, I love ya, but shell no in this house.
See what I mean?
I’ve stared at this wooden appliqué for years and contemplated how I would be able to remove it.
Giving it the stink eye became a side hobby of mine. I had all sorts of strategies in mind but had tested none of them. I just sat on my butt and with hatred in my heart for my fireplace for years.
Super productive, Christ-like, and healthy behavior. I know.
So one day my neighbor and I were enjoying a few glasses of wine during a playdate and she was sweet enough to indulge me in yet another conversation about the enormity of absolute distaste I have for my fireplace. Without any thought I went into the laundry room, grabbed a scrapping tool, and walked right over to the appliqué to see if I could jimmy it off of the fireplace.
It popped right off.
The level of elation and joy that commenced after that is somewhat embarrassing. But it felt like Christmas all over again. Maybe even better than Christmas.
In addition, I feel as if the word “jimmy” is used for criminal purposes, such as breaking into cars. This is the only thing I’ve ever jimmied and will most likely be my last.
Finally the appliqué was out of the way, so now what?
We just got out of debt and I wanted to stick to a strict budget so I mentally gave myself around $300 to spend. This obviously meant we could not hire a contractor for all of the tile removal and installation.
Neither my husband or I have ever installed tile. Or used a wet saw. Or ever touched a project that involved tile.
I decided to give Peel & Stick Tile a whirl because it felt like a safe space to try it out. At first I ordered this version from Amazon. I stuck it to my fireplace surround and looked at it for a few days. Eventually I decided it was too plasticy and too shiny looking so I peeled it off.
I was still determined not to tear out the tile and I randomly stumbled on this real stone Carrara Marble peel & stick version at Lowe’s.
I also found this look-a-like marble porcelain tile for the bottom of the hearth for a sweet $1.68 for each 12×12 inch piece. Since we needed only about 14 pieces this was a definite win.
I LOVED this version of peek and stick way more than the previous one. It’s a little pricier but you save money on hiring a contractor so it was worth it. It adheres amazingly. I was also worried that the heat from our fireplace, which we use a lot, would make the tile unstick but it has held up perfectly.
So here is the full reveal! New artwork, painted built-ins, new tile, and a new fireplace screen.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It makes our entire open floor plan look so much more modern and put together.
In addition, it’s been uber cold and wet this winter so we have been burning our fireplace like our life depends on it. We have truly been enjoying the new space as a family and that, my friends, is what makes a house feel like a home.
Enjoying it together.
I added new artwork from Hobby Lobby with the gold burst and the abstract artwork. I took the blue paint from the built-ins and added some to the standard piece of art and then with the help of a friend, we did a resin pour over the top of it to make it look more high-end.
I would love to give you a tutorial on resin soon but 1. I’ve only done it once, so I am no expert.
If you can find a friend who knows how to do this hunt them down and be their bestie. It takes your artwork to the next level.
Our neighbor is also the handiest person I have ever met and lent us his wet saw and even gave Scott a helping hand installing the bottom tile. It takes a village to make dreams come true.
Before painting everything I chose paint samples so I could look at them for a couple of weeks before committing to one. Also, the flu struck our house, I was in a car accident, and well, life just happened. So instead of a quick weekend project this turned into a month long job.
Friends: Paint swatches on your surface and look at them for days, even weeks, before you make a decision on your paint colors. Or get the flu and a car wreck so you are forced to look at your paint choices for weeks on end. Do not paint a small swatch, paint a big one. This helps your eye see the color in different lighting during different times of the day so your are confident in your selection by the time you are ready to get your paint on.
I ended up choosing Pearly White for the builtins and Gale Force by Sherwin Williams in a Satin finish. I knew I couldn’t go bright white because my drapes and rug are more of a cream than white. I also loved Gale Force because it’s such a dark blue it almost looks black in some lighting. Just the little pop of drama I needed. If I get sick of it I can always paint over it but for now I am 100% infatuated with my decision.
Many people asked me why I chose a Satin sheen over Semi-Gloss or Gloss.
There are many reasons for this and I’ll explain it simply because this was the #1 question on my Instagram Stories DMs.
- Semi-Gloss and Gloss show imperfections in the wood more than Satin does. The wood was quite grainy and did have a few divots in the wood where I got a little too aggressive pulling the old appliqué off. I blame the wine. Satin is more forgiving yet still durable.
- Semi-Gloss and Gloss take FOREVER to cure. Don’t you even dare think about styling your bookshelves before you’ve given the entire project at least 30 days to cure and get hard. If you do, your accessories will literally stick to the shelf. And jack up all of your hard work. Satin still takes 30 days to fully cure (this is true for all paints, no matter the brand, finish, color, or type. They all need a good 30 days to get hard,) but the paint was not sticky after a week of cure time. I felt it was safe to style even though the 30 days had not past.
Also, besides a new fireplace I realllllly want a bulldog. A french bulldog or an English Bulldog will do. Our last dog died 3 years ago at the ripe old age of 19 so I am still enjoying living the dog free life. My rugs smell good and there are no pee stains to clean up. My clothes don’t have hair on them. I don’t have crazy vet bills. So a bust of a french bulldog will have to do in the meantime.
Her name is Gigi btw.
I kept all of the decor very monochromatic with gold, blues, white, and natural wood. I even only displayed books in those colors. It makes for a more simplistic and cleaner, more modern feel, than the previous more eclectic vibe I had before the fireplace makeover.
I also added a mid century modern chair in a chartreuse hue that I found on FB Marketplace for $20 and a Yucca Cane palm plant for some added greenery and to hide the cording from our builtins to the TV.
I can’t believe I spent soooooo much of my life thinking about this fireplace makeover instead of actually doing it.
My Jimmy Fallon Thank You Letter would read:
Dear Glass of Wine,
Thank you for the decorating decisions you force me to make when I would otherwise not be so brave.
Caution: Please only use liquid courage in the safety of your own home and do not involve any type of saw, ladder, or texting on your phone.
Plus my brass animal collection has a place to call home with my new fireplace makeover and decor. Even my beloved armadillo.