Easy Fireplace Makeover for Under $50

by Meghan Yost

In the next year, my husband and I are going to be putting our condo on the market, so we’ve been making some home improvements to help when it comes time to sell.

Last year we redid our kitchen Ikea style, saying goodbye to the unwelcome stock 1985 cabinets that donned our walls. I love the final product and highly recommend the Swedish superstore if you’re looking to do a not-crazy-expensive kitchen renovation. Also, thanks to my dad’s handy ways and an Ikea kitchen sale (which happens only a few times per year), we saved ourselves a lot of money.

So during our Christmas vacation, my husband and I started covering up the dated, sooty yellowy-peach (re: flesh colored) walls of our main living area (see above “before” shot) with a “greige” (re: warm gray) paint, and I decided I also wanted to tackle the fireplace.

It was something I had been eyeing since I moved into my husband’s condo more than three years ago (sorry hubs). With a little convincing, my husband gave me the green light.

Since I wasn’t feeling brave enough to take on retiling the fireplace surround on my own, I figured I’d keep it simple.

My next best option? Paint. Literally, just paint. White, latex, satin finish paint from Home Depot.

Before putting brush to canvas, I was thoroughly washed down the wood mantle and tiles with soapy water. I then took some sandpaper to both the tile and wood, in the hopes the paint would more easily stick.

I taped blue painters tape around the edge of the tile, covering our wood floor (see “before” shot) and then using a brush as well as a small roller, I applied about four coats of white paint to the mantle and tile (while watching numerous episodes of The Office).

A helpful tip: Be sure to let the paint dry in between coats so it doesn’t get tacky.

We decided to keep our mantle display pretty basic, so I’m using some old white candle pillars I bought at Ikea about a decade ago. I also put up there some old bottles that I dug up in the woods behind my parent’s house, cleaned and painted white. In the center of it all is a champagne colored mirror I got from Target a couple years ago.

The final product looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. While we deliberately didn’t make any fires this past winter), the end result is worth it. And at a price tag of under $50 for the paint and supplies, it’s not a bad day’s work.


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