Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fireplace Fiasco

It is HOT as a FURNACE here in Central PA and, without central air (at least I have window units) I'm absolutely melting! We're planning to have central air installed in time for next summer though.

But since I've got heat on my mind, I figured I'd blog bout something heat-related. I don't think I've done a post yet about our living room fireplace.

Last year around springtime it looked like this:

Do you see all that brassiness and the ugly hearth tile?

From the paper and tape in the pics above, I suppose you can guess what was about to go down :)

Yup, I ORB'd (oil-rubbed bronzed) that bad boy with spray paint. Ain't she perty now? :)

But wait! I still had the red-tiled hearth to contend with :(

I'd eventually like to install large slate or some other type of dark gray stone tiles as an overlay, but until we have the disposable income for it (disposable income? what's that? :)  ), I went with this as a temporary cosmetic fix:

In theory, I thought it'd be a great solution to my can't-afford-real-stone-tile-right-now-dilemma. I say 'in theory' because in real life, it wasn't as aesthetically pleasing as I'd hoped...more on that later.

But here's what it looked like after coat 1:

And here it is after coat two with all the tape pulled off:


I didn't like it (I probably should've just sprayed right over the grout lines instead of taping them off) because the grout looked gray and dirty compared to the lighter stone color I'd just sprayed on the tiles.

But I lived with it...for more than a year! Here's what it looked like more than a year later:

No better :(

Finally I (and my husband) had had enough of it. It was a constant dust bunny attractor (Due to the texture of the finish) and it never wiped clean thoroughly.


Chalk this project up to 'you win some you lose some.' :)

But after a year of it looking constantly dirty, I took a cue from YHL and their fireplace hearth makeover and painted out the hearth in semi-gloss white. Here's their before and after (note, they also painted their brick white. I did not):


So I got out my spackle tool since it had the sharp, flat scraping edge I needed, and went to work scraping off the majority of the textured paint:

Even though I didn't get all the paint off (that would've taken days!) I made sure to get a smooth surface so my finished product wouldn't be bumpy or look sloppy.

Here's what it looked like after all the scraping, a good sanding with medium-grit sandpaper, and then vaccuming up and wiping down the entire surface so there was no debris:

Then came a coat of Olympic, No-VOC primer:

Wow. What an immediate change for the better, even after just the primer.

Then I did two coats of Olympic, No-VOC, white semi-gloss paint:

MUCH better!

But I still needed to find a fix for one little detail - the gap between the front of the tiles and the wood flooring (there used to be pink carpet on our floor from the previous owners and it hid this gap before we ripped the pink monster out):

So I sorted through our little stash of trim pieces we have left over from other various projects we've done and found this perfectly-sized (in width and length) piece of trim:

Then I used a thin line of Liquid Nails to adhere it to the floor/tile, hiding the gap perfectly!

What a difference from before to after! :)

Thanks to YHL for the 'A-HA!' moment.

Has anyone else re-vamped their fireplace or hearth with paint, or better yet beautiful stone? I can't wait to install some scrumptious slate down the road!!

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