Fireplace Facelift! How we transformed our dated fireplace for under $150!

Eeeek! You guys! I’m so freakin’ excited about this post! Ever since I shared these before and after photos of our fireplace, I’ve been getting TONS of emails and questions about how we gave our fireplace a facelift!

I honestly think you’re going to be shocked when I tell you how we did it, and just how easy it all was! So snuggle in with a cup of coffee and get ready to screenshot! You’re going to want to redo your fireplace before the holidays… I just know it!

When we first bought our home, our den looked like this!

The fireplace was surrounded in outdated tile and dark wood, and there were mirrors EVERYWHERE. I’d always dreamed of having a fireplace in my home someday, however, this fireplace was not what I had pictured.

I envisioned a brighter space, with the original built ins restored, a pretty patterned tile, white washed brick, and no mirrors.

And with a lot of patience, and a little bit of elbow grease, we have the fireplace of my dreams!

Like what you see? I’m about to share everything we did, step by step! (Including our built ins!) So lucky for you, you’re getting a sneak peak of our un-finished den. (So please excuse the mess and not totally styled shelves yet! They are still a work in progress!)

We began our renovation by removing everything we didn’t want. This included the mirrors, the mirrored shelves, and the moulding around the shelves.

Removing the mirrors STUNK. We tried every single trick that YouTube and Pinterest had to offer. Turns out none of them worked because they were stuck on with LIQUID NAILS. And no matter what we did, we couldn’t get the spots off.

It took us awhile to figure out where we would go from here. We didn’t want to start tearing down the paneling because we had no idea what was behind it and didn’t want to uncover a bigger mess than we needed to. Ultimately, we decided to buy 1/4 inch sanded plywood to put over the exisiting paneling.

We used liquid nails to put it up (to try to even out the existing clumps that we were trying to cover) and a few wood screws to keep them in place.

Then, we sanded the dark wood on everything but the detailed part of the mantle to help our paint go on smoothly!

Next, we primed and painted the soon to be built ins and mantle!Because of the details on the mantel, this took forever. Thank God my mom is super patient and used a teeny little paint brush to get in all the grooves! We used a Behr Primer and the Behr Premium Plus Semi Gloss paint in Ultra Pure White. (We painted above our mantel our wall color, Behr Marquee in Crisp Linen!)

Once it was painted, it was time to tackle the brick! I had originally planned to use the Romabio Limewash like one of my favorite Instagrammers, Our Faux Farmhouse did on her fireplace and house.

But once I saw how bright the white paint made the den, I decided that a harsh whitewash might be TOO much white. (I know. I can’t believe I saying that either.) I ended up grabbing this Limewash Glaze from Lowe’s and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! (I only needed one pint!)

I liked this because I could build it up to cover my brick as much as I wanted, and I felt like I had total control over the color my brick was turning out since it was just a light glaze. I ended up doing on light cover over my brick.

It was perfect for me because I had been really conflicted about painting my brick in the first place. I loved the original color, but it felt too orange for the look I was going for. This glaze gave me the perfect happy medium!

I just used a clean rag and smeared it across the bricks until I was happy with how it looked!

Happy Dance because it’s all painted!

Next, we painted the front of the fireplace. (I honestly have no idea what it’s called! haha) The front of our fireplace was gold with a checkerboard like pattern etched into the glass. It was super dated, and I knew that I couldn’t leave it the way it was if I wanted to transform my fireplace.

This is where a little painters tape and a can of spray paint came in handy!

We grabbed this super cheap can of spray paint from Rust-oleum and it covered like a dream!

Two coats later and it was ready to go!

After ALL the painting was done, it was time to scrub the brick at the bottom of our fireplace. We did tons of research on removing paint from brick. Some of the paint was from us, but there was paint from the previous owners as well. We tried so many different methods, but nothing seemed to work as well as good old fashioned hot soapy water and a Scrub Daddy!

My mom spent almost an entire day scrubbing the paint with the soapy water and scrub daddy, and then using a putty knife to lift the paint away from the brick.

Once it was all clean, it was time to get rid of the tile! We would have loved to replace the tile with real tile, however, it just wasn’t in our budget right now. I started thinking about what we could do to make the tile fit our style more. I originally planned to buy stick on tiles for over the tile. However, it looked like it would still be hard, messy, time consuming and expensive.

Then one day, while trolling Amazon Prime, I came across Floor Pops. I clicked on it and read about how they are literally stickers to put over your tile to give existing tile a new look. I LOVED this idea, but didn’t see any prints that I really liked. So I turned to Etsy. And as always, Etsy didn’t let me down 🙂

I found the shop BleUcoin! They have SO many different styles and designs and I found this one that I fell in love with! I especially loved that I could choose the size of my stickers! We ended up picking the 6×6 inch pieces. I thought I ordered the “with grout lines” but I accidentally ordered without. Which is fine, I still love how it turned out!

Applying them is SUPER EASY. However, the process it took for us to get to the point of peeling and sticking was a b*tch. (Sorry. But it was really the worst.)

It turns out that our fireplace isn’t symmetrical. So it took a lot of playing around with the tiles to figure out exactly which way we needed to apply them so it looked even, so everything lined up, and so that everything was covered correctly.

The best advice I can give is to grab some painters tape and tape up the stickers before you actually apply them. The stickers peel right off if you make a mistake, but we ended up having to cut a lot of the stickers so the would fit around our fireplace correctly. (We found that a little paper cutter like you would use for scrapbooking worked best!)

Attempt number 347…

My mom and I spent and entire afternoon arranging and rearranging before finding the pattern that best worked for us! It ended up being that we put full squares but the middle of each side and across the top, then cut squares for each side.

Once we had it set up how we wanted, we began to peel and stick them! Trevor measured and cut for us so all we had to do was stick them on. If there was a little bubble, we’d just pull it up and relay it. This part was super easy! Just time consuming.

We couldn’t believe what a huge difference the tile made! It completely transformed the fireplace!

When the tile was finished, we added new shelves to our built ins that we just cut out of 1x10s and painted.

And guys… that was it! That’s all it took for us to go from this…

to this!

So crazy that some paint and some stickers could make that big of an impact right?!

Once the fireplace was finished, it was time to restore our built ins! We simply used 1×10 boards, cut them to size, installed with a small bracket and painted them.

Please forgive the not completely styled shelves! They are still works in progress! Also, the weird gaps around the ceiling and side of the built ins! We still have to paint our trim
and hang it 🙂

Overall, this project rolled in at just under $150! That price includes wood for our built ins, the stickers, and all the paint with the exception of our wall paint!

And since I love how it turned out so much, I’ll give you a sneak peak of the before and after of our unfinished den!

LOL forgive the extra transition strips and old tv stand laying in the background!
As I said… it’s still a work in progress!

Eeeek! I’m so happy with how it’s starting to look! I’ll fill you in on what still needs to be done with our next House Update / Fall Home Tour in a few weeks!

Alright my loves. I’m off to try to do a billion things before tomorrow! Thank goodness it’s almost the weekend. I’m in need of some R&R!

Hope you all have the best weekends! I’ll talk to you on Sunday!


3 thoughts on “Fireplace Facelift! How we transformed our dated fireplace for under $150!

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