Do you have a fireplace? Are you happy with the way it looks? Did you know you can refinish a fireplace pretty easily?
It’s true! This is the 2nd time I refinished this fireplace.
This is how it looked for the past 15 years. A light color wash. Before this it was stark white and the homeowner asked me to finish it to tie in with their porcelain tiles.
Last month I got an email from Gayle, the homeowner, asking me to call her. I kinda figured she must have some project in mind since I hadn’t heard from her since the hubs died.
I adore Gayle.
She has become a dear friend since my craft store days when I helped her with flowers for her daughter’s wedding. I wound up even making Lisa’s bridal bouquet.
It was right around the time I started painting and Gayle had floorplans for her new house and had some ideas.
I love when she has ideas.
Over the next decade her house became my art gallery. Don’t believe it? Check out all the rooms that I painted for her. My Art Gallery Tour. There are so many I couldn’t fit them all into one post!
Anyway, I was thrilled to hear from her, couldn’t wait to see her and her husband and see what project we were going to do.
When she told me she wanted the top of her fireplace to look like her alder built-in cabinets I was more than a little intimidated. One the one hand, I knew I could do it – or felt fairly certain- but on the other hand I hadn’t done any faux finishing for a number of years. Certainly not any faux wood.
But Gayle was sure I could do it and I was excited about it, although filled with anxiety the first morning on the job. As I was taping and protecting the plaster surround I told them that the first couple of coats would be pretty scary looking.
This I remembered from all the work I’d done when I was painting murals and the underpainting was always, um, unattractive on the first day.
After a light sanding to dull the finish, here’s the first coat. I’ve listed my materials and supplies at the end of this post. This is a combination of a brown sugar, honeycomb and raw sienna. I wanted a mottled look to match the basecoat appearance of the wood.
Basically you want a golden honey look, depending on the type of wood you’re mimicking.
Next I applied a burnt umber with extra red.
I just mixed the topcoat/stain to match the alder wood.
Even though I was using craft acrylics I used them like I would a stain or antiquing. I applied with a chip brush then wiped off here and there for the basecoat to show through.
It came pretty darn close too.
After a thorough dry, I applied two coats of polyurethane in a semigloss finish. The wood built-ins have quite a sheen when the light hits them so I chose a semigloss over a satin or high gloss.
For some reason, sealers really help to show all the depth of colors. I find this in my artwork too. Once I seal something, all the undercoatings peek through and add dimension.
Really helpful when you do a faux finish.
Next I worked on the fireplace surround. We chose to warm it up a bit with both the brown sugar and honeycomb tones. I simply added a bit of glaze to the paints, brushed it on and wiped parts off with rags.
Now the fireplace is more of a showpiece instead of fading into the background!
Even if you have a brick fireplace, you can paint it. Check with your paint stores for proper paint. I used acrylics here because the heat does not affect the finishes.
What do you think? Would you refinish your fireplace? Or have you already refinished yours? I’d love to see!
- plastic dropcloths
- chip brushes
- painter’s tape
- Folk Art Honeycomb
- Americana Brown Sugar
- Folk Art Raw Sienna
- Folk Art Burnt Umber
- Folk Art Engine Red
- SemiGloss Polyurethane
Marble inlay in India says
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