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fireplace makeover {part two}

    Last time we left off with the fireplace makeover progress looking like this:


    Cedar shingles along the top portion of the fireplace, a new chunkier mantle, decisions to be made for the fireplace surround.

    What probably would have looked best is something really simple and flat to balance out the texture up top, something like concrete, which would have looked really modern and sleek. But that’s not what we chose.

    Instead, we went with more neutral texture in the form of stone.


    Again, we did the work ourselves {actually Ryan and two of our very wonderful friends} and it was surprisingly DIYable.

    We bought our manufactured stone product and all of the supplies at a local stone supplier.


    There were many different colors and textures to choose from, but we went with a manufactured stone veneer called Country Ledgestone in Echo Ridge by Boral.


    To prep the fireplace surround, first Ryan installed cement board, then stapled on a special wire mesh for the stone veneer. He then covered the wire with a thin coat of mortar, let it dry and then started placing stones using more mortar as glue.


    The stones came with corner pieces and lots of varying sizes of straight pieces. Putting the pieces together was like one gigantic puzzle. Lots of picking and choosing through the stones, breaking them into the right sizes and trying to get a good mix of sizes, colors and seam placement.




    Didn’t they do a fabulous job! We were so excited with how it all came together.

    Next came my part: painting. I repainted the lower portion of the living room walls a lighter gray/white called wind’s breath {behr paint from home depot}. We loved the dark slate color that has been there for a few years, but it was time to lighten up.  The mantle and bookshelves received several coats of a custom-matched oil-based white.


    And this is where the fireplace has stayed for the past six months. 90% done. The shingles were great in their natural state, but with the gray stone, they appeared especially orangy/brown. There is so much texture and something about it just wasn’t sitting well with me. We talked about a few different options for the shingles and what we wanted was for them to look like the naturally weathered gray shingles we love.  So I grabbed some sample pots of stain and tested them on a few spare shingles to see what would look best.


    All three were fine, but {of course} Ryan and I had different favorites and our friends were all pretty mixed in their votes, too.

    The one of the left was out, the dark was too dark, the light too opaque, but then Ryan had the genius idea to mix the two together and see what happened.


    Thankfully, we were both sold.

    So this past weekend, I climbed up very high on a ladder and stained those shingles.


    {via my instagram}

    It was stinky, it took forever, I messed up once and had to go to the hardware store twice mid-project, but it is now DONE!

    Come back friday for our fireplace reveal with a tour of the current living room arrangement. I’m so so happy with how it has turned out.

    29 thoughts on “fireplace makeover {part two}”

    1. I just came across this fireplace makeover – I love it! Looks like this was done a few years ago…do you still love it? Any issues with it over the past few years? Do you think it would look as good with a standard 8-foot ceiling?

    2. What color of stains did you pick out? I’m in the middle of a fireplace makeover as well and love the grey tones!! Way to be gutsy and not do something “cookie cutter”. I admire those who ate brave with their decorating!! Love it!!!!

    3. Love It!!! I love that it is different than anything I’ve seen out there! You have your own unique style that says YOU! way to go!

    4. I can’t wait to see the finished product! So creative! I would be curious to know the mess ups as I am sure many others including myself would make the same mistakes.

      1. My mess up was this: I mixed half of one stain color and half of the other in a bucket. When that ran out, I poured in the remaining half from each stain and the color turned out completely different – much more opaque. I’m guessing much of the pigment lives in the bottom of the stain container {even with thorough mixing}. So a chunk of the shingles are way more solid gray than I like. I ended up just buying two new containers of stain and mixing the top halves to get the right color. We’ll probably just pop off the shingles that are the wrong color and re-stain those. Looking back, I should have mixed up the full containers of stain so that the color was consistent.

    5. This has turned out absolutely wow n stunning! Can’t wait to see the overall, final pic of the room. You guys not only have a great sense of design, but are also extremely hard-working and passionate. Kudos to the whole team who put in their effort to get this done. Congratulations!

    6. It looks great! I’m with you…the shingles looked a little too bright next to the neutral stone. Can’t wait to see it all stained and done! Also, we have Windsbreath in our whole house. It’s such a great neutral. It really makes your fireplace be the focal. *thumbs up!*

    7. Looks great! Did you know you could have weathered them with vinegar and steel wool? Break off a piece of steel wool and place it in a mason jar. . .pour vinegar over the top completely covering the steel wool. Let sit overnight. In the morning, pour in about a cup of water. Paint it on your wood. It will weather it to a natural grey! We did this on all of the cedar on the outside of the house and it turned out great!


    8. This is why I love your blog – lots of inspiration and big undertakings with realistic depictions and in-process shots. I have a feeling what we see on Friday is going to be so amazing. Can’t wait. Cheers – CT

    9. There are no mess ups – just alternations in the original plan. If you ask me that’s what makes a perfect ending to any project :) And it’s what makes us great project doers, crafters, bloggers, DIYers, and real people. I LOVE your choices and can’t wait for Friday to see how it all comes together!

    10. This is great! Love the rustic touch and I had to smile when you said you messed up and had to go to the store. Sometimes us bloggers forget that projects are far from perfect and we beat ourselves up about it. Thanks for keeping it real and letting us readers know it happens to the best of us.

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