Fabulous Fireplace Makeover

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Do you have an outdated fireplace or one that you just don’t love?….Well, I had one of those and over the past year it had at least 3 makeovers until I finally grabbed my vision and made it a reality. The fireplace is usually in the heart of the home where family and friends gather, so it ends up being the focal point in the room. So, why not make it fabulous? Come along as I share the many transformations and how we ended up with the final winner….

Here is what the fireplace originally looked like (This photo is from the real estate photos)

 

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As you can see, the fireplace mantle is an orangey oak wood and kind of small in relation to the chunky Austin stone. Since I was painting out all the wood, I decided to try a dark stain on it to make it look a little more rustic. This is how it turned out… still just kind of boring .

 

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So then I decided to paint it and chip it up a bit and then add some corbels for a more architectural appeal. You can see this post on the process I used to paint it How to distress & update a wood mantle.  Here is how it turned out.

 

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I loved the change and it made my decor during the holidays really pop. The corbels added a lot more personality to it. However, every time I looked at pictures, all I could see was how yellow the stone looked against the white mantle. We had also installed shiplap walls and painted them white next to where the fireplace is, so it really looked yellow.

After a little research, I decided to try doing a limestone wash to soften the color and tone down the yellow. Here are the steps to limewash…

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It has a paste like texture and I watered it down quite a bit to make it very thin. Then I brushed the product on the stone very lightly. One thing I did learn is that it dries even whiter so if you don’t want a complete whiteout, apply sparingly. The nice thing is that once applied, you can spray water on it to wash it off. It makes a mess so be sure to cover your floors.

 

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I also sprayed the stone with water first to allow the wash to go on lightly. I used a very light hand while brushing with a wide stiff paintbrush.

 

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You can see what a difference the limewash makes in toning down the yellow/orange tones. Applying it lightly allowed for there to still have some of the character of the stones varied colors without completely washing it out.

 

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Here it is all complete and I love the look with the mantle so much more now.

BUT, I still wasn’t loving the style of the mantle with the style and look I was trying to achieve for the room. I still felt that the mantle was too small for the chunky stone. So after perusing Pinterest for more rustic looking mantles I finally found the look and a vision for what I wanted. I love the look of a big rustic rough-hewn beam and that was the look I was going for. However, there was not way that mantle was coming down, at least I was not about to tell Mr. Hip and Humble to try to get it off!!

So we figured out a way to build around the existing mantle to achieve that look. We used 2″ x 12″ x 8′ knotty pine boards. And measured more than twice to ensure a snug fit.

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We removed the corbels, then built a u-shaped box to fit tightly around the existing mantle. Then we screwed the new mantle into the existing piece. Once that was installed we added a piece on the bottom.

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Here’s how it looked once installed (we hadn’t taken the old corbels off yet. ) Then I was on the hunt for some big chunky corbels that would look substantial enough next to our newly enlarged mantle. I found the perfect ones at the Canton First Monday Trade days and did the happy dance the whole way home!!

Once everything was installed, I took a chisel and chipped some of the sharp edges off and took a few chunks here and there on the front panel to make it look more aged and rough-hewn. After it was “beat up” a bit, I stained it with Minwax dark walnut.

I’m so thrilled with how it turned out and the wow factor it adds to the whole look of the room….It only took a year to make the vision finally visible, but hey all things come in good time!!

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So I’d love to know what you think…(I know some people thought I was crazy for changing it a million time )s, but we have to do what makes us happy when we have a look we are trying to go for. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a comment or ask if something seems confusing. I love to hear from my readers so come say hi!

Happy Decorating!!

August 13, 2018

  1. Michelle

    August 20th, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Love your fireplace. Great job! Just discovered your blog. Can’t wait to check out your home!

  2. txbittons@verizon.net

    September 3rd, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I appreciate the feedback and so glad your are here & hope you’ll come back often.
    ~Deborah

  3. Sarah Johnson

    October 6th, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Hi! I just came across your Instagram account! I LOVE your style & your house is gorgeous!!! I love your mantel makeover!! I’m remodeling my living room right now & your fireplace is just the inspiration I was looking for!! I love it! Great job!!😍

  4. txbittons@verizon.net

    October 16th, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    Yay welcome and I’m so happy you are here! You are so sweet and I really appreciate your feedback . That makes me so happy you got some inspiration on the fireplace makeover. I hope your remodel goes well, I’m so excited to hear you got some good ideas. That’s why I love to do this.
    Hope you’ll come back often, I really appreciate your kindness…
    ~Deborah

  5. Yenny

    October 14th, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Can you do a diy on the mantle step by step if you can please?? thank you so much is beautiful!!

  6. txbittons@verizon.net

    October 16th, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Yenny,

    Thank you and yes I will put together a more detailed post on how we made it.
    Thanks for following along and your feedback, I really appreciate it.
    ~Deborah xoxo

  7. Ashley

    November 15th, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Looks gorgeous!! Question: how did you initially stain the mantel from the orange, oak? That’s the current color of my mantel and I’m not sure how to prep it for a dark stain. Thank you and love your blog!

  8. txbittons@verizon.net

    November 18th, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    I just sanded it down as much as I could and added the darker stain. But it did take a long time to dry. I recommend stripping it then sanding.
    Thank you so much for the feedback, I’m so happy you like the blog and I hope you’ll come back often. Good luck with your mantle.
    ~Deborah

  9. NIcole

    January 14th, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you for the tag on your IG post and leading me to this blog post. Love it! Now just have to convince hubby to take on the project with me.
    Nicole

  10. txbittons@verizon.net

    January 15th, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Nicole!
    Yay I’m glad it was helpful for you. Hope you can get the hubs convinced!

    Take Care
    ~Deborah

  11. Susan

    May 2nd, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this fireplace and mantle and I’ve realized a chunky mantle is what’s missing on our fireplace so thank you so much for the instructions. You make everything so easy to follow. Thank you so much for sharing! 🤗

  12. txbittons@verizon.net

    May 14th, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Susan,

    Yay, you are so welcome and I love knowing the post is helpful and informative! I hope you’ll come back often, and stay tuned, theres a whole new look launching soon.
    ~Deborah

  13. Paula

    November 24th, 2019 at 3:05 am

    I loved the process. You knew what you were after and I love the results.

    I’d like to to try lime-washing the outside of our brick home. 😳. But I’m just a tiny bit scared. Lol

    Anyway, great job!

  14. txbittons@verizon.net

    November 27th, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Hi Paula,

    Thank You I’m glad you enjoyed the post. The lime wash is actually very flexible to work with and can be washed off easily within a certain amount of time. Good luck if you try it!
    Thanks for following, appreciate it so much.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    ~Deborah

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