Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Whitewash Fireplace Stone

In my last post I shared how I updated the brass on my fireplace and in this post I'm going to share the second part of my "fireplace makeover" where I used a whitewash technique with chalk paint to transform the stones of my fireplace.

Now this whole makeover started when I began planning to tear out our dated and worn carpets for dark, hardwood floors. With that in mind, I knew we would need to brighten up some areas of our living room, the fireplace being one of them.

In dream world, I would have removed all the old stone, gone with a cool, modern stone and called it good. But since my budget didn't have room for that one, I decided to use what I had already and spruce it up a bit.
A before shote of the living room with the dated fireplace.

I found a variety of painting techniques online, but none really clicked with me until I discovered a whitewashing technique. The best tutorial I found for this is in a youtube video titled, "DIY: Fireplace Refinishing" by the channel BYOT or "Bring Your Own Tools" in which we learn how to use chalk paint to update fireplace stone.
Click here for a link to the video. 

The stone featured in the video was similar to mine, and it looked great with the whitewash, so I figured the least I could do was give it a try and if it was horrible then I could go with plan B...start saving for new fireplace stone. Luckily the whitewash look worked great and I love how it turned out. Let me share with you how to do it, since it really is very simple.

Supplies needed for this project:

This was my first time using chalk paint, and the Chalkworthy Antiquing Paint company was kind enough to send me some samples to use in this project and I've been more than happy with them. Read more about how to use chalk paint on their website here, or stay tuned on my blog to see another post coming soon where I share how I paint furniture with chalk paint.

How I did the project in this week's video...


Steps of the project:
1. Tape off your fireplace. Anything you don't want to get painted on, you'll want to cover. I used some painter's tape and an old plastic drop cloth.

Now since we were going to be ripping out our carpet and replacing it with hardwood floors in a week or two after I did this project, we decided to just rip the carpet a bit now so we could pull it back, allowing me to paint the tiles in front of the fireplace with ease.

But if you're not replacing the flooring in front of your fireplace, you'll want to tape/cover that area too.

 2. Start to mix up and prepare your paint. For the first coat of the whitewash, we're going to use the light gray chalk paint called, "Mockingbird."  First you're going to shake the paint well to make sure it's all mixed up. Then you'll open the can and stir it up with a paint stick.

Next we'll measure out what we need for the first coat on the fireplace. For this specific look, we're going to be watering down the paint using the following ratio: 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup chalk paint.

I then mixed the water and chalk paint into my paint cup and now I was ready to apply the first coat to the fireplace.

3. First coat. To apply the watered down paint to the fireplace you're going to use your paint brush and go in swirling motions, or poking motions just to make sure you're getting all the little nooks and crannies of the stone. You can watch the video to see the specific technique I used.

After completing a section with my larger brush, I went back through with a small paintbrush to get in between the rocks so that none of the previous color was still visible.

And here is what it looked like once I was done with the gray.

4. Next step: white. Now I let that gray coat dry for 2-3 hours, just because I had to get lunch for my girls and put them down for a nap, but then it was time for the next step: painting the final white coat. To do this I did the same paint prep steps above of mixing the can, stirring it up....

And then measuring it out: 1/2 cup chalk paint + 1/2 cup water. 

Then I stirred that all up until it was combined.

5. Time to paint. From here I followed the same steps I did with the gray paint and began applying the white paint to the fireplace stone using the same combo of swirling and poking techniques. 

A technique I liked to do as well was to paint an entire section with the big brush, come back through with the small brush, and then go through it one last time again with the large brush. This helped to make the stone the bright white I was looking for.

Moving onto the floor tiles...
My two little helpers that were so excited to do something to help.
Here's what it looked like once we were all done...

6. Let it dry and then remove the tape. As I did with the first coat, I let it dry for 2-3 hours. After that I removed the tape.

As with some painting projects, there may be some spots where the paint seeped through the tape, but I was easily able to clean them with warm water and a mild soap.

Then it was time for the big reveal...after the new hardwood floors were installed!

Ta da! Whitewash and no brass=one happy updated fireplace.

I love how much brighter and more modern it looks now. So what do you think, is it a project you could see yourself doing in your home? Have you ever tried painting your fireplace before? Or have you ever used chalk paint? Share below or post any questions you may have. 

A big thanks to Chalkworthy Antiquing Paint for sending me the free samples I used for this project, all opinions expressed are my own. Look for another chalk painting furniture video to come soon.

Happy painting greenies!

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