Home » Home Improvement » Interior Design

Changing The Look Of A Fireplace

Jun 8, 2008
A fireplace is meant to be the centerpiece of your living space, the heart of your home. Sometimes, however, this focal point is less than impressive and more than lacking in the drama factor. If your fireplace is bland, plain or simply unattractive, a quick color change can do wonders. The secret is using multiple coats to build up depth and create a faux finish, rather than just painting on one flat color.

You will need three complimentary colors for this project in progressively darker shades. Natural stone and earthy colors, such as grays and browns, are ideal. A quart of each color will be more than enough to complete your fireplace. Flat exterior paint works best, providing better resistance and more clemency for the hot environment of the fireplace surround than interior glossy paint.

First, choose a color for your base coat. This should be the lightest color of the three. For instance, if you are going for a stone look, choose a medium gray.

The next color will be used for ragging over the top of your base. This color should be several shades darker than the base color and will provide dimension to your finish.

Finally, choose an accent color. This color will be used in moderation, to highlight and further enhance the finish. It can be a varying color from the first two, as long as it is natural and complimentary.

Begin by protecting all surfaces you don't wish to be painted with drop cloths and painters tape. Apply an even coat of your base color with a paint roller or large paintbrush. A second coat may be needed, depending on the surface and color being painted.

Once the base has completely dried, you can begin applying the next color. Working in one small area (for instance, if your fireplace is brick, do one brick at a time), daub several uneven streaks of paint on the surface. Using a rag, rub the paint, spreading it and pulling it randomly. Continue with another small area until the entire fireplace is complete. A spray bottle of water can be used to dilute the paint while you're working, making it easier to spread and thinning out some areas, creating a more authentic look.

After you have ragged the fireplace to your satisfaction, use the third color to highlight some crevices, corners and other key areas (It is not necessary to rag this color on the entire fireplace). Use the same technique with the rag and spray bottle to soften the edges of the paint.

In addition to painting, you can enhance the look of your fireplace with a few tiles, appliques, onlays or other architectural elements. In no time and with just a little paint and a few decorative touches, it can be simple to change a plain, ordinary fireplace into a showstopper.
About the Author
Ki is a realtor in Austin. He helps buyers and sellers interested in the Austin real estate market. His site has a free graphical search of the Austin MLS along with updated information on his Austin Real Estate Blog
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