One of the things that I love about our house is the opportunity to do some cosmetic updates and DIY projects. I love to see the potential in outdated, not-my-style things and imagine what we can do to make them current and go with the aesthetic of the rest of our home. When we walked through our home on our first showing, there were a few major things that stuck out to me, like the kitchen and bathrooms, but there were also smaller, more manageable DIY projects that I got excited for. The biggest one was doing an overhaul on the fireplaces! We have two gas fireplaces – one on the lower level where my office is, and one in our living space. Here’s a look at what they looked like:
They’re pretty basic – dark wood mantle, black lannon stone or slate surround. I didn’t like that it was this dark pit in the middle of the room. Add the black screen TV above it, and it was the first thing your eye went to. Mike was hesitant to do anything to the fireplaces when we first moved in because he liked that they were original. Had they been in nicer condition, I would’ve considered keeping it. However, you could see the years of wear and it just didn’t look good. I knew that a little bit of paint and some stone or tile around the fireplace itself would make a world of a difference! For the record, once he saw it painted just with the primer, he agreed that it looked so much better. We’re so happy with how it turned out – it’s completely transformed the room!
Before I show you what we did, let me preface it with a little explanation. Long story short, we found out that the living room fireplace wasn’t functional without putting more money into it than we’re interested in putting into it. We don’t plan on living in this house forever, so we’re picking and choosing what we’re spending our money on while we live here. That said, the tile that we chose may not work if you have a functional fireplace where the surround will get very hot. Our fireplace will never be on, so it will never get hot and cause potential problems with the tile. Just keep that in mind!
My mom did the bulk of the work on this project. She loves a project, so she was all in for it! She sanded down the wood, primed it, and painted two coats of Behr Marquee Interior Paint Flannel Grey in Satin.
Once the paint dried for a bit, we were ready to attach the tiles! Because of the non-functioning fireplace, we chose to go the simplest route and do sticky tiles. We went with Calacatta Marbella Mosaic Tile. We simply measured out the tile, cut (if necessary), and stuck it to the existing surround. It couldn’t have been easier. The only place it got a little bit tricky was going down the sides, but once we determined the right measurements, we just cut the tile with nippers, filed the sides to clean them up a bit, and stuck them on.
All in, we spent less than $300 to complete the project, which is well worth it!We didn’t do any tile on the lower level fireplace, just painted the wood mantle the same grey color. It was a one-day project, too! My mom started with sanding and painting in the morning, and we had the tile hung before we went to bed that night. I love how it brightened up the space, modernized the fireplace, and complements the rest of our home so well.