Friday, 26 September 2014

Fireplace makeover

...with a Scandinavian twist!

OK! The fireplace!
What can I say, I know it's a matter of tastes, but I've always hated the fireplace in our living room!
It's one of the reasons why you will not find many photo's of this room here on the blog!!
I know a lot of my friends like it, but to me it just screams quasi-Victorian from the 80's!
The horribly dated tiles and the awful fake wood effect laminate mantle makes me shiver with dread!! And don't get me started on the electrical fireplace itself!!

So imagine my joy when earlier this year when , after removing the old back-boiler behind it, we decided to get a wood burner installed!! I was practically dancing with joy!!
But oh had other plans for us, and we had to abandon the plans one week before the installation of the wood burner was due to start!! (insert uber-sad emoticon here!!)
So it seemed I was stuck with the monstrosity!!

But I was determined to make the best of the situation, and decided to give the old fireplace a makeover!! I could't do a lot about the electrical fire place itself, but I could definitely work with the surround!!

So I painted the mantle (See my post here on how to paint Laminate "wood")... and the tiles ...and I made my own Norwegian style tile stencil!

So with my mantle painted and drying outside, I set to work on:


When painting tiles, there are two important things to remember:
#1: Preparation is key
#2: Use the right paint for the job

So first I lightly key'd up the surface of the tiles with sandpaper...I used 20 grit and some serious elbow grease! It didn't seem to do much, but I stuck with it!
Then as an extra precaution, I also painted on some of my LIQUID SANDPAPER.... 

I left it on whilst I had a coffee break (breaks are almost as important as my opinion!)
Then wiped it off with an old tea-towel.
This left the surface of the tiles slightly rough to the touch...the perfect base for painting!!

So with the tiles prepped for painting, I set about masking off the surrounding area with paper:

Because I decided to use tile spray-paint, as opposed to usual tile paint...Mainly because I didn't want any brush marks on my tiles!

When using spray paint in your home there are a few things you MUST do:
Close/seal all doors leading to the rest of the house, and remove all soft furnishings to prevent the smell of the spray paint from setting in textiles and saturating your home.
Open all windows in the room you will be spray painting in...good ventilation is a MUST!
And lastly, but most importantly:  wear a mask!

When spray painting, several lighter layers is best...Leave about 15-20 minutes between each coat.
Do not underestimate the amount of paint-particles flying through the air (known as over-spray), it will get everywhere! 
TOP TIP: Start spraying the top of whatever you are spray-painting first and lay down some paper/a dust sheet on the ground: This will prevent the over-spray from settling below the area you are painting(creating rough areas of spray paint)! Then, when you have finished spray-painting the top areas, remove the dustsheet and spray the bottom areas...(In my case, I sprayed the tiles on the wall before moving on to the tiles on the floor)

When I was satisfied with the coverage of the spray paint, I left the room (and went to work on my stencils)..., all windows wide open, for 3-4 hours, letting the paint fully cure and the fumes fully evaporate!!

The nest day, I printed out the pattern I designed, and set to work on making my stencil..
My Norwegian Star pattern is based on traditional Norwegian knitting patterns.

You can download my "norwegian star" stencil pattern here.

First I "laminated" my printed pattern by putting sticky back plastic on both sides of the paper.
(I did want to print it out on acetate paper, to save doing this, but could not get hold of any anywhere)
I did this twice with each pattern.

Then, using a scalpel I carefully cut out alternate "leaves" of the pattern...On my second copy, I cut out the opposite set of "leaves".
Then I trimmed the pattern down, leaving a small edge all around..

I used Rust-Oleum painters touch gloss pots, mixed up the colors I wanted:
I chose a grey and aqua combination.

Then, taping the stencil in place, I used a stencil sponge to dab on the colour on my tiles...
The other "opposite" stencil is for the grey (Wait until your first color has dried before going over with color number 2)

When I had stenciled all my tiles, I used a fine pointed paintbrush to touch up any areas where the stencil pattern did not meet up properly, or where the paint had bled a little...

Finally I sealed it all off with a coat of clear lacquer..

I am so pleased with how it turned out...

It may not be the wood burner of my dreams, but at least it's now to my taste...

...and actually goes with my interior!!

And it didn't cost me more that £30 in spray paint etc...
And  I love it!!

What do you think??

Please vote for me for best DIY blog


Barb Warren said...

Absolutely love the colours and it looks really pretty now. Well done!!

june olsen said...

Thank you Barb!!Thanks for popping by!!

Rachel @ Fresh Design said...

It looks brilliant, well done! We've also got a fireplace with hideous tiles, so your post is very inspiring.

june olsen said...

Thank you Rachel! Glad I could inspire!!

Alexis Middleton said...

What an amazing transformation! I love the way it turned out, June!

june olsen said...

Thank you so much Alexis!!:)

Lindsey Mckenzie said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the pattern. I wouldn't have guessed that it was hand worked, because it's so perfect. Thank you so much for sharing that lovely DIY feat with us. Wishing everyone the best of health this season!

Lindsey Mckenzie @ Buchanan Fire and Outdoor

june olsen said...

Thanks Lindsay!

Brett Rogers said...

I love the work you did on those stencils! The new design seems more integrated to your interior, so well done! Though I have to agree that the old boiler doesn’t fit that much – they are just too different in terms of aesthetic. But the way I see it, you could get a smaller furnace with a neat finish to install, if you really want things to mesh with the rest of your interior. Good luck!

Brett Rogers @ Flame Furnace

Wilfred Andrews said...

You certainly pulled out all the stops with your creative thinking to change the dreaded fireplace into something you really like. It looks fresh and modern and I can imagine it's a real feature in your sitting room now. What do your friends think of it (those who liked the old one)? Curious to know why the wood burner didn't happen?

Wilfred Andrews @ LB Plumbing and Heating

Mia said...

Wow what a transformation, you have an artistic flare June love it! The stencil technique is very clever, something we need to incorporate with our work. Good job June!

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Anonymous said...

Wow! That looks really classy! Now, I'm inspired to redo my fireplace, too. I wish it would look good like yours. If not, I can always call to help me. hahaha.

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Steve Berke said...

I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

Keep up the good work :) from, Home Buys Plus

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Michael Fox said...

Now this is ART! Fantastic end result. Now you have a clean fireplace; white, simple but modern! Thanks June for the inspiring fireplace conversion.

Michael from Antique fireplaces