Monday, March 30, 2009

Fireplace Before and After

Here is the really ugly (weird color brown) mantle with white 4" bathroom wall tile that was the face of our fireplace.

Not a pretty look.


And here is the much easier on the eye after.

My husband is a contractor and this tile was leftover from a previous job. It was exactly what I would have picked if I had gone to pick it out myself. He did all of the the demo and tile work.

I used a liquid de-glosser on the mantle. There was already enough dust from the tile demo that I didn't want to add to the mess by sanding. After it was prepped for painting I painted it with 3 coats of black premixed Rustoleum satin paint. I knew this paint would give me a true black and be very durable. I did have to thin it out to make it easier to work with. I distressed all of the edges with a nail file and then rubbed the distressed spots with a walnut stain that was leftover from another project to darken them. The sanded spots were white not bare wood before I applied the stain because apparently this mantle had been white at a previous time. I couldn't sand it enough to get to the wood for the distressed look that I wanted, so I improvised. At first I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but once it was all done it looked great.

This has been one of my favorite projects in this house. Since the tile was free we really only had to buy black paint and spend a few hours here and there to complete this project. I think that the landlords will approve.


  1. Looks beautiful! Would you want to hire you husband out?hehe. I wish mine would want to to home projects but he is just not that into it. Guess thats why I always bug my son~

  2. nikki~
    it turned out just great. i love it. i also have a really ugly fireplace. i wish i could get my hubby to allow me to do something with it. it's terrible. i just may have to show him what you did to yours!!
    thanks for sharing and the pics turned out great!

  3. What a great improvement. I need a mantle on my fireplace, but not sure what I want.

  4. That looks really so much better black!


  5. Nikki, it looks totally fab!! A really awesome transformation!! :) P.S. Thanks so much for your comment about my house on This Young House!!

  6. wow! your project turned out great. i know you will enjoy looking at it each day.

  7. WOW...that is an awesome transformation! I am a sucker for almost anything painted black...and distressed! It looks great.

  8. Wow, that looks fantastic!! Love the black and the tile is perfect.

  9. This looks great! We are going to be "gutting" our fireplace this summer and this gives me a great idea on replacing the fake marble that surrounds the fireplace.

    Thanks for sharing the picture.

  10. Excellent Idea! I will also try it with my fireplace but with different color.
    I Buy Wood Stoves

  11. Wow! It looks great!
    I bet you are loving, loving, loving the redo girl!

  12. What a gorgeous transformation! Great job :)

  13. It looks fantastic~it's amazing what little changes can make such a big impact. I love the black!

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