Thursday, May 21, 2015

chalk painted 1970's stone fireplace

hi there!
 my lil ol seventies fireplace sure gets a lot of attention,
 thanks to Pinterest!!
i wrote a post about this makeover here
if you click on the link you will find photos of the painting process. at the end of this post i will go into more detail and answer some questions….rest assured this is super easy to do.

i painted the old brown stone of my fireplace with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

before i go into detail about how i painted it,

here are some more images of the 





wayyyyy before…i mean like seven years ago…before I even painted the brown mantel.
man oh man, the seventies were dark.
and after….
can you hear the choir of angels singing?

here it is today.
fresh and gray and subtle and oh so neutral.

so, i want to answer some questions that i am often asked about  how to get this effect….

the original 1970's stone and mortar was simply dusted off before i painted.

i did NOT prime.
i did NOT sand.
or even clean the stone.
i just dusted.

i applied a 
of Annie Sloan Paris Gray Chalk Paint

a "wash"
is simply a paint that has been diluted with water.
i used very little, i mean very little paint.
i did not measure but i am guessing it was about

1/4 cup of paint to 3/4 cup of water.

i used an old paint brush to wash this over the stone and the mortar….letting it soak into the stone.

i let this first layer dry…but believe me it did not take long…perhaps 15 minutes…
and then i applied another wash to get rid of more brown tones that were peaking through.

next, I added more dimension and depth to the stones by
using a 
dry brush technique.

i used the same Paris Gray paint mixed with some ordinary white house paint that i had on hand…any latex house paint will work.

"dry brush"
means to work your paint down into the brush
and then wipe off most of the paint onto a newspaper or rag…
so that there is very little paint on the ends of the brush. 
your brush will be rather well, dry.

use the side of this "dry brush" to lightly hit the raised parts of the stone…so as to highlight parts of the stone….i used a rag to wipe and dab off any visible brush strokes as i went.

that's it.

i painted my fireplace over two years ago and it has held up fine even with occasional use of the fireplace. the heat from the fire has not affected the paint at all.

i have no regrets.
regrets are a waste of time.

i sure hope this helps.

be brave.
paint your fireplace !

p.s. i am so much more than just my fireplace make over.  while you are here, won't you please take a gander at my other pages? i have lots of goodies and eye candy to share with you.

thank you,


Debra@CommonGround said...

Hey Erin, so great to see you post here! I've missed your wonderful creativity. Amazing the difference of the feel. so much more cottage-y with a light look!

vintage girl at heart said...

You have been missed!! Love your mantle through the months and the wash you did on it!! I've been wanting to do mine and now maybe I will!
Have a great weekend.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Good to see you post again.
You did a great job and it probably lightens the room up also.

Cartoon Characters said...

I did my fireplace in the same way you did yours, but mixed even less paint with the water and just used a flat latex paint. I thought I needed something else to pick up the dark grey, went looking and found your blog! I think I will try the white wash over it because you are right - just the plain grey is too flat. Love the lighter look!

Gerry Snape said... usual...just stunning!! the inspiration that you pour out towards us!!

Tonita said...

Just found your blog by way of a search to help my fireplace on Pinterest. I was shocked to see your fireplace, - we have sister fireplaces. I am going to attempt to do what you did and hope I have as great as results as you did. I can not wait to get rid of my dark orange rocks. Thanks for such a great post.
Oh,,, and I did peek around your blog. Nice home and wonderful inspiring blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! Your work and post is so inspiring!! We have a similar 70s living room that has been depressing us for 9 years! I'm ready to tackle it now--the knotty pine walls and dark fireplace!! Thank you again! Blessings!

ShazC said...

I'm so glad i found you on Pinterest. We have been in our house 22 years with this disgusting brown stone fireplace. I went on an Annie sloan course and the first thing I decide to tackle is the fireplace. Nothing small for me..... Anyway what I want to know is did you use the clear wax once you had finished painting?

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Unknown said...

HI Erin would the same process work on a 300 yr old grey stone fireplace, it definately requires a brightening up as my lounge is so small,

appreciate your'e comments

Unknown said...

I'm sure with such works as you did you had the most wonderful Christmas ever. I'm so happy to see all the other things on Pinterest too. I've been busy with it lately, but I found some time to pay attention to your lovely creations. Hope you'll like my works at They were awarded the second prize.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful home and spectacular fireplace! This really inspired me to take care of business with my own fireplace, an exact twin of your "before." Thanks for posting this!

Bobbie said...

I have to say, I like this! I have a HUGE stone fireplace surround, literally taking up the entire corner of the large living room. Probably ten feet wide! My husband has wanted to white wash the stone but I've not liked any pictures of projects I've seen, until now! One concern I have though is that I have dark stained beams, almost like a coffered ceiling, that I wonder if would stand out too much if the stone was lightened...any opinions?

Marie wallis Interiors said...

Erin thank you so much for this post. I am helping a friend paint her fireplace next week so I'm here collecting as much info from the net as possible and yours was very helpful thank you so much again:-)

Unknown said...

Very nice job. It would be a natural way to go considering the painted mantle and the white washed type decor, etc. Love your decorating! I have the same stone type, but I think it works ok for us (although, yes would like a higher end stone fireplace..and house to go with it;) But, anyway, I kept the brown stained mouldings, and pulled wall paint colors from the fireplace to make it work, like yellow, tan, grey. I will still be thinking about your look though!

craftist reggie said...

My fireplace looked exactly like your "before" photo. I "light grey'washed" it and it is amazing. Thanks for your advice. I'd like to white wash all of the naked pine trim (base moldings, door and window casings) in my home. I can't get my mind wrapped around how I would do that. yes, unfortunately they are already installed. Do you have any advice?

Unknown said...

Amazing what a beautiful home.This really inspired me,thank you so much for this post

YourGlamWonderland said...

Do you have a blog on how you did your mantel? I just did my fireplace per your instructions and it's turning out great. I feel like it's missing something still. But maybe after the mantel is done it will tie everything together. Please tell us how you did the mantel!!! Thanks so much in advance!! Your fireplace is the inspiration for thousands of people to paint theirs! What an amazing thing!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi Erin! I loved your result and so I also am doing this using a creamy color instead of gray. I changed dark wood beams to gray/white driftwood look and want slightly different for the fireplace. I want light gray grout and creamy white for the stone. I'm stuck at the point of dry brushing and it's just scary to keep going but I will bc you took the plunge and it looks beautiful.

Unknown said...

Question! So use your fireplace? I'd like to know about keeping it clean when using. What cleanup is required?

Unknown said...

Sorry for the typos. Do you use your fireplace? Need cleanup info.

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sunny said...

I have the same rock on the outside of my house. Would this technique work on the exterior rock as well?

Unknown said...

Sunny, they paint brick all the time, so why not rock!? I would guess clean rock, use Exterior paint....would love to see before and after pics. We have it too on our outside but like it. Esp. the stone two story fireplace. Looks so great on the back of the house with our craftsman/mountain lodge feeling covered deck. We used cedar shake shingles around it, really cool.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Unknown said...

Hey! did you paint the grout as well?

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this. My ugly 80s stone fireplace looks updated. I did not wash the stone. I just applied the mixture with a brush. I sealed the stone a few years before I tried this and it did bead up a bit, so I worked in a circular motion then brushed as usual. I had no issues whatsoever. I was nervous at first, but it really does make a difference!

Juney said...

How would you do a section of outside rock? Would you seal it? I love this look!

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Unknown said...

Hi Erin -- getting ready to try chalk painting our 1970's stone fireplace. Did you put any type of sealer at the end?

Unknown said...

You could paint the beams in one of the similar tones as your new fireplace colors, then lightly sand the edges for a distressed look.

Unknown said...

Love, love what you did with your stone fireplace. We just bought a 1986 build and have been painting the entire was all GOLD!!
Went with walls of Sea Salt, Window Pane, Rainwashed, Rice Pudding, a light coffe e brown and a light blue...I have nearly the exact same stone fireplace you have!. I really think the colors you chose would be perfect for ours too in the living room where the walls are Window Pane and the trim is a slightly bone/yellow color. Thank you for posting your ideas...I don't have time to reinvent the wheel, but do have time to learn from others!
Thanks again...will try to post before and after pics if able.
Terry Ann :)

Kathie Waldron, MS RNC said...

Wish I could post you my pictures or before and after!! Mine came out gorgeous!

Liz said...

Mine came out so great!! However mine was an entire wall of rock. As I was painting the paint sank to the bottom and water on top... As I used up the water on top (I want dipping my brush in very far) the paint got thicker and thicker on the wall. (I used white bc my rock was already grey) I ended up with a white washed look. Thank goodness for the dry brushing!!!!! I used a color I already had, like a grey/taupe color.. it made such a difference. Even more so when I painted the mantle that same color. 👏👏👏👏

Derick&Breanne said...

Did you only paint the stone or did you do the stone and mortar? It looks like the mortar is still the original color.
Love it!

Liz said...

Beautiful finish and inspiring- did you paint the mortar or just the stone?

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