DIY Fireplace Transformation


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 I love to see the potential in outdated, not-my-style things and imagine what we can do to make them current and go with the aesthetic of the rest of our home.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.

Behr Flannel Grey | Mosaic Tiles | Eucalyptus PlantWoven Basket | Knit Blanket | Area Rug | LED Candles with Remote

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17 Comments

  1. Sandra Woolard wrote:

    That’s an amazing transformation! So impressed with your taste and with your Mom’s abilities and taste! I absolutely love this!!

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  2. Lori W wrote:

    What a breath of fresh air! Love this transformation. Great job to you and mom!

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  3. Gwen wrote:

    Wow! That looks SO much better. Love it.

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  4. Katie wrote:

    I always told myself I would never do this to a blogger but. . .do you have a link for that bookcase in the background? I’ve been looking for something similar for a while!

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      I got it from Sam’s Club 5 years ago or so!

      Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  5. Lynn wrote:

    What a pretty transformation! It makes a huge difference! Good job!

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  6. A.C. wrote:

    LOVE the outcome of your fireplace!

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  7. Jennifer Hodorowicz wrote:

    About how many tile sheets did it take? I’ve been wanting to do this to my fireplace for a long time.

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      6-8? I don’t know for sure because I already returned what we didn’t use, but it wasn’t too many!

      Posted 2.5.19 Reply
    • Nina wrote:

      You inspired me! I painted my gold fireplace black. I have brick around the gate. Do you think the tiles would stick on brick? And what do you mean nippers? Like nail nippers ?

      Posted 6.14.19 Reply
      • Lauren wrote:

        The nippers are just tile nippers. I’m certainly no expert, but think the sticky tiles need a fairly flat, even surface to adhere to, so I’m not sure if brick would work! Someone at the home improvement store may know more!

        Posted 6.16.19 Reply
  8. Dee wrote:

    This turned out wonderful. I love the colors.

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  9. Carolina wrote:

    Looks lovely!! Can you share what type of brush did your mom use for the paint? And do you think this tile will work in the kitchen for backsplash?

    Posted 2.6.19 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      She just used a regular paint brush. It should work in a kitchen, but I would look into the brand and do a little research to make sure!

      Posted 2.6.19 Reply
  10. Kay R.D. wrote:

    What a quick and easy way to refresh your space. It looks really good!

    Posted 2.6.19 Reply

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