Friday, September 16, 2011

My Free Fireplace Makeover

 If there was one thing I could change about my house, it would be the tile...oh and the carpet. But first things first, the tile. I love what we have in our kitchen, dining room and bathrooms. Hate what we have in our entry way...although I'll live with it. But I absolutely, whole heartily, completely LOATHE the tile that surrounds our fireplace. Its not even a real color. I mean, what goes with a pinky/salmony/not-quite-brownish color anyway? Black, and white. That is it. And as much as I love black and white, I wouldn't constitute those as this case. Anyway. My fireplace has been the one eyesore I have had for awhile.
Finally...finally! I have a solution :)
See, told ya. Beautiful, isn't she? In all her 'what the heck color is that' glory?? You know the worst part of this whole thing. My husband actually LIKES this! Good thing I didn't know this before I married him. lol. I'm totally kidding....maybe I'm not. I'll just give him the benefit of the doubt that he's a boy and wouldn't know any better anyway.
 Big difference huh? Worst thing, the hubs still likes the tile better. Yup. I'm telling you....if I had only known.....haha. I think the real reason is that he's just complaining about me turning everything white. Either way...if my whole house was black I would HAVE to change this surround. So, it doesn't matter. That's why I put him in charge of the outside of the house, so I can have full control of the inside and can discredit his opinions of what I do :)

So, here's how I got from...crazy anxiety everytime I look at complete zen :)
 This project was done with complete wood scraps...I wanted to make a little more rustic, and having disconnects in the wood gave it the feel. So, first off, I took my measurements of the fireplace surround and added about an inch to each side, making sure to cover the hideous tiles.

Next, I started building from one corner, lining up the wood, trying not to make it look too uniform. Luckily, 4 pieces of 1x3 was enough to cover each side, and 2 1x3, 2 1x2 and a 1x4 covered the top. The different widths of wood also help with the un-uniformity.
 As for the next side, since I was using scrap pieces, I didn't have a definite length to go off of before laying it all out. So, since I knew that it needed to be 59 inches, I marked the 59 inch mark on every row of the top. Then used some more scrap wood to measure where the cut length would be. So for the row closest to the middle, I knew that there was going to be 3 1x3s on the outside of it. So I measured from the 59" mark in by 3 1x3 lengths to get my cut mark. I did this same thing for the rest of the rows.

Once that was done with the top, I add more 1x3s to the other side. Measured each side at 45 inches, marked it, and cut the pieces from there.

 Once I had all your pieces cut and laid out, I put it on a flat surface. I made sure the corners and the top were square. I then used a piece of hard cardboard (???) I'm not sure what it is, but it was the thinnest sturdy thing I had in my house at the time. I got it off of the back of an old frame and then cut it to size to fit the corner joints. I then wood glued all the pieces to it from there.
Now, since I also had so many lengths in the wood, I secured each piece to each other with some wood glue, and then for extra sturdiness, took some more scrap frame cardboard stuff, cut it to the length and width I needed and secured the two pieces to it also.

Now when I say cardboard....this really isn't. Its like super hard stuff, as strong as wood, I even had to cut it with my saw. Just an fyi :) I don't want you guys thinking I'm trusting in just plain old cardboard to hold this thing have to give me more credit than that :) haha
 Next was to paint it. Now I didn't want it completely white. I wanted to white-wash it though. So I got a bowl and filled it a tiny bit with water. Then took my paint brush, dipped it into the paint, then into the water (not visa versa, or you'll ruin your leftover paint), I tried to take a little of the paint off the brush while it was in the water, but left enough on to add the color.
Then, apply! What I love about that is that you can see the wood grain and imperfections in the wood, yet still get a uniform color.
I then just put it against my fireplace. I haven't attached it yet, but it has yet to fall down. But! If the hubs agrees to leave it up there, I'll simply put two nails in the wall under the top section of wood, and 'hang' the surround off of them with something like this:
So, all in all, this whole project was completely free!
The best thing about this is how much more cozy the room seems. I wouldn't have thought complete opposite considering it's white. But nope, totally warmer :)

You can see the white-wash and imperfections the closer you get...which I totally love :)
Now, I'm not condoning putting a wood surround around your fireplace, in fact, I'm not so sure if its even safe, so if you decide to do this project, it's completely your choice on the 'safetiness' of the matter. But the way I figure, is that I have no open flame, its all enclosed, and if that candle in the lantern has yet to melt being that close to it for two years, then I think the wood will be fine.
Since I started redoing this room, I wanted to bring more and more textures into it. I attempted to do this in the form of my burlap curtains, but didn't like the look. The tree stump coffee table brought in a lot of texture, and adding this new surround seems like the perfect extra.
Thank goodness that monstrosity is gone (well not gone....just hidden). This is a before picture....before the DIY built in shelves, before the tree stumps....and of course, before the new surround.

And the after :) This was one of the easiest most cost efficient (free) projects I have done that has given me the biggest impact. Love it!...adios thorn in my side...ugly..hideous tile :)

Now with all of the makes me wonder how my mantel would look in a different color. No?

haha. The hubs would TOTALLY kill me. ..but a girl can only dream? Of course, now this photo looks black and white..that was like the only color in the room besides the splashes of green...maybe I should be adding more color into this room..hmmm.