Thursday, September 4, 2014

A painted fireplace

Well HELLO all! I’ve been working my butt off on the fireplace this week! I don’t have a totally finished product to show you but I’m SO excited about the direction it’s going so I wanted to share. I went a little out of my comfort zone and I love it.

Sunday I had had enough with the unfinished mess and started tackling the fireplace and built ins. I thought it would take me a couple days max – HA! I’m on day five and have a good four days of work left. I way underestimated how much needed to be done.

It’s a beast – the fireplace is massive and the built ins have a lot of surface area to paint as well. On Sunday this is how the one holding our TV components looked:

built ins by TV

Hot mess. I’ve had guests and friends over for weeks with it looking like that and I could have cared less. All the sudden on Sunday I couldn’t take it one more minute. It’s how I roll.

And yes, I was equipped with a cherry icee. Ignore the poor plant that has become a snack for the cats.

My first order of business was to fill alllllllll the holes:

trim on built ins

I didn’t worry about all the cracks because those were getting covered later. But I filled and sanded, then caulked the whole thing top to bottom.

THEN came the priming:

short built ins by fireplace

I got all that done in the first day – by the second day I had my white semi gloss paint in hand and started painting the first coat…but stopped myself. You can’t tell from the pic above because the board and batten isn’t done over there – but it was a whole lotta WHITE. I love white trim as much as anybody (well, more than anybody), but the white built ins against the white board and batten was feeling a little blah.

I had been playing with the idea of painting the whole thing out in a light gray all along. Somewhere along the line I talked myself out of it – I didn’t feel like it would look right without enough contrast. But I had that white paint in my hand and couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I wanted this area to really pop and as it was it wasn’t happening.

I had an idea percolating in my head and looked back through some pictures I had saved to get up the guts to follow through. When I saw this photo I had bookmarked the decision was made:

19mebeckdesign (source)

GoodNESS people. That is stunning! I’m so obsessed with contrast anyway – white trim against a dark wood floor, black door against white trim…so this is right up my alley.

I was sold. The bonus was that I already had the paint – I LOVE the Peppercorn color I used on our master bedroom wall: IMG_8768And it looks identical to the gray in that photo!

This family room gets LOADS of light now that the wall is down. It’s glorious. I’m not worried about the room feeling dark with all the natural light and especially not with the mostly white walls throughout the whole space:

board and batten

So I put a coat of the gray on – and I was a little nervous but loved it. I started installing the decorative trim and fell in love a little more:

trim on fireplace

And then with another coat I was head over heels:

gray fireplace

Oh my goodness – it is a step out of my norm but I’m loving it.  I think doing something that feels a little uncomfortable at first is so important to do in your home as well as in life. At least once and a while. :)

It still needs another coat – the paint I had is an eggshell finish so I’m grabbing a quart of the same color in semi gloss to finish it up. After all this work I don’t want to worry about scuffs (which are a lot more noticeable on a darker paint):

gray fireplace

The past couple of days I’ve been working on the cabinet doors – can’t wait to show you those too! And I still need to paint the inside of the cabinets but that may just happen later (cause my hands and wrists are screaming uncle):

gray fireplace with built ins

Today I’m finishing up the doors and then I’m hoping to get started on the tile for the surround. I’ve been trying to decide on one of these for weeks:

gray and white marble tiles

The first and third from the left have been around the whole time – the subway and the hexagon were later additions. :)

It’s now down to the the subway:

marble subway tile

Or the herringbone:

marble herringbone tile

The herringbone has always been my favorite but I’ve been intimidated by the small cuts I’d have to do. But as I was holding it up to take this picture I realized I could just cut it down so it fits centered – I can just cut each side off evenly and installed it that way. No small cuts needed to fill in all those spots. I could do the same for the top as well so I don’t risk losing a finger. ;)

So…now that I realized that I think I’m going for the herringbone. Ugh, I’m pretty sure. They are both classic designs so it’s a hard decision.

There you go! More progress – and I went dark! After the I finish up the doors and the tile (over the next few days), then I’ll focus on the wall treatment above the fireplace and around the TV. Then I’ll give everything one final coat…and I’ll be done! I’m not stopping till I get there – but it will probably be next week. I’ve got my 20 year reunion this weekend so I’ll be taking some time out to party. :)

Could you do a color other than white on built ins or a fireplace? It’s not for everyone – but it does give it some drama and certainly makes it the centerpiece of the room. I don’t know if I could do a whole room in such a dark color but little bits of it make me giddy.

54 comments:

  1. It's looking great! I think the dark colour was a good choice.

    I say go for the herringbone tile :)

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  2. Love, love, love it all !!!! I painted an accent wall in my craft room in Peppercorn. I think every day about painting the other 3 walls in the room Peppercorn, too. It looks awesome....and is definitely true to the sample. My favorites in your tile choices.......herringbone and subway. :-)))) Great job !!!!!

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  3. Love that dark color, it looks awesome! I think all the tile options will look great with the gray. (The subway tile for the surround is my favorite). Can't wait to see it all finished up, great job!

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  4. Looks great ~ love the color.

    FYI ~ John & Sherri @ Young House Love just tiled their laundry room with herringbone ~ with tips on cutting it. :)

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  5. I LOVE how it looks with the dark color! The herringbone tile looks awesome too!

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  6. love the direction your going!! the peppercorn color is stunning!! can't wait to see the finish project!

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  7. The peppercorn was definitely the right call. It's gorgeous. I'm partial to the herringbone tile and would love to see your instructions on installing it.

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  8. Love the color and the herringbone. Obviously you will want to have it centered on both sides so just make sure it will all line up across the top! can't wait to see the finished product!

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  9. It looks AMAZING!!! Great eye and fabulous execution!

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  10. It's beautiful!! I am really hoping you do a tutorial on how to do the tile because I have a similar project coming up. :) I'm excited to see how it turns out!!

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  11. I definitely think you made the right decision going darker. I love the contrast, especially with the light tile. And my vote is for the herringbone. Can't wait to see the finished product. It already looks amazing!

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  12. I love the color you chose for the fireplace. It looks great....adds just the right amount of drama for your space. Our entertainment center is very large and black with a faux finish. It adds so much drama to our family room. Definitely a show stopper! Great job!

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  13. Herringbone for sure! It may be an "in" pattern right now, but it's one that never really went out of style. John and Sherry over at Young House Love just installed really similar herringbone tile in their laundry room and posted great instructions and tips on how to do it. LOVE the grey on the fireplace! Definitely a good choice!

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  14. Looks fab. Great call on the color. The color choice makes it the true focal point it deserves to be!

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  15. You're right, it looks great. I don't think I could do it for my house but it does look great in your room.

    Will you pretty please show us how the tile install goes -- I'm about to attempt my first tiling job and it's the exact same location -- fireplace surround. I'm using mosaic Travertine to go with my Old Chicago brick fireplace. I haven't a clue what I'm doing with the tiling though! I'm especially uncertain about the edges, how to finish them off nicely and join up with the metal insert and the outer mantel area. Thanks!

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  16. Your post made me laugh about you being a little nervous about using gray for your built-ins. We've been out of our home for 6 months (3 months in a motel, 3 months living with relatives) and on September 20th we'll be moving back home to a TOTALLY renovated home and I still cannot believe how I went outside my comfort zone with the addition of 800 sq. ft. to a 912 sq. ft. house that I've lived in for 21 years. My new kitchen cabinets are Flint Gray (a medium to dark gray) which was a BOLD move for me. But then my decorator convinced me to go with the same gray on ALL crown molding, door trim, baseboard, window trim and interior doors and I'm head over heels in love with it. The only room that does not have the gray crown molding is the family room/dining room (most of the new addition) which has coffered ceilings with a copper color on the ceiling and Swedish Coffee (which is a shade of WHITE) on the coffers. Can't wait to get moved back in because I'm in love with the look of the gray trim.
    Bertie DeWane

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  17. It already looks amazing! Can't wait to see the tile too.

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  18. Wow, it looks fabulous! You have such a great vision for your space (s)!!!
    Kim ~

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  19. I've read that you should do something every day that scares you, so this fits the bill. :-). I love the gray! Paired with that herringbone tile - perfection!!

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  20. I think the gray looks great!

    By the way I just starting reading your blog within the last week and you have truly inspired me! We've been working on a full renovation on our house that we bought 3 months ago and I've gotten some great ideas from your blog. This weekend I'm going to start making a mudroom corner and I'm starting with a DIY bench very similar to yours!

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  21. I would have played it safe with the white (I guess because I am a tan girl and that would have not looked good :) ) but can totally see why you did the gray--looks so darn good! I was a definite on the first two tiles. I would lean toward the herringbone--so classy! It will really look awesome with what you are doing. Subway just a bit to plain. As for the other two I would always think of a bathroom floor with the hexagon!

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  22. Ooooh love love love the dark! I think you could totally do the herringbone tile. I have faith in you. :) I just saw John and Sherry at Young House Love installed some and gave a great tutorial. It's going to be a total showstopper! Can't wait for the reveal!

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  23. The new paint color is great! I also vote for the herringbone :)

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  24. LOVE the grey color and LOVE the herringbone. Can't wait 'till you finish, I know it's going to be great!

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  25. Peppercorn ...by ?

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  26. Love love love the color and I'd say go for the herringbone! Adds just a little more than the subway. Although you can't go wrong either way!

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  27. WOW! Such a great color choice. I can't believe how much I love it! And I vote for the herringbone too.

    Also, awkward confession...if you ever leave and come home to find a squatter in your house, it will be me. I love everything you do and could seriously move right in without changing a thing!

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  28. It's looking so good! Love the paint choice. And the tiles are great - you really can't go wrong with those options!

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  29. I LOVE the gray on the built ins! I love how they really pop against the white molding! The herringbone tile is going to look amazing and I can't wait to see it on the fireplace!

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  30. LOVE IT!!! Awesome 11th hour choice. Can't wait to see it all finished now!

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  31. Love it all! But I was wondering if your electronics have enough air space in the cabinet? I was going to switch to a cabinet and was advised against it. Thank you! robin hiscott

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  32. I love the dark color! I can't wait to see the herringbone tile in. I'm planning on using it behind my mirrors in my master bathroom. I don't plan on doing it myself though. My skills aren't that great!

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  33. Love it. I'm glad you went bold with the gray. It looks amazing and will be even more amazing when that tile goes in. You honestly can't go wrong with any of the tiles you like.

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  34. Love x 1000 the Peppercorn. So striking. Herringbone is definitely the way to go. Can't wait to see the finished fireplace.

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  35. The color is awesome. You did well to venture to the "dark side" I may go darker on our fireplace as well, as soon as I decide a color for the wallls! Too many projects to decide!

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  36. Wow, that whole space is going to be so amazing. Can't wait to see everything.

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  37. I think it looks AMAZING! I do love how a darker color makes the white stand out even more. We actually installed the same herring bone tile on our fireplace. It turned out beautiful! My husband's suggestion is you'll need two people to get it up. He and our contractor layed the whole pattern out on the floor first. Then after you put it up on the wall, put a few tiny nails between the tiles to hold it on the wall to keep it from sagging. Unfortunately, the tile had a tendency to fall off the mesh after a cut. He suggests that you keep your hands on both sides of the blade while cutting because when you cut the tile they tend to pull into the blade. It was time consuming, but turns out beautiful! I can't wait to see your end result!

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  38. It's going to be beautiful. I love the herringbone but you should do whatever works best for you. I wouldn't think it would cost a fortune just to have it done, if necessary. Kristi @Addicted 2 Decorating did it herself in her kitchen and it looks gorgeous.

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  39. Wow, your painted fireplace is looking soo good. Most of people are looking for these types of valuable posts. Keep them coming in future too.

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  40. Wow! It looks amazing! I have to say, I felt nervous too when you mentioned you were going with the gray, but in the end I love it. I also love the herringbone. Great choices; it couldn't look any better! Keep up the good work. You are truly inspiring.

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  41. Wow!! I am speechless. I love what you're doing and the fireplace will look fantastic -- just think of the holidays. Oh my! Won't it be fun decorating it???! I must have missed the post - what did the fireplace look like before? I can't wait to see it finished.

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  42. it looks AMAZING!!

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  43. Awesome job - it looks beautiful! Have you seen this photo? Totally inspirational.
    \http://www.houzz.com/photos/298646/Project-in-Tiburon-traditional-family-room-san-francisco

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  44. I love the gray, Sarah. We are currently in negotiations on a foreclosure house, which has black built ins around the fireplace. I knew I didn't want to go with white this time because of the stone, but thought the black was too stark. This would be perfect- you may have just made me a bit more excited about going through with this scary deal! :)

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  45. I also love the dark gray on the painted cabinets, and even though I don't recall you asking for our opinions, I can't help but join the crowd and vote for the herringbone tile around your fireplace. In addition to several other blogs showing the installation of this type of tile, don't forget to hop over to read Miss Mustard Seed's blog post where she and her dad put that tile on the kitchen backsplash. She has lots to say about it, and might be worth your time to read. You are doing a great job, but remember...you only have two hands, two wrists, and all the muscles and ligaments that support those hands. Don't kill yourself off and then have to give up future projects because you overdid on this one. Sometimes it doesn't hurt to say "Uncle" and pay a professional to do those projects. Ask me how I know these wonderful tidbits!!

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  46. Love the color, now just go ahead with the herringbone!
    The subway is pretty, but it will just mimic the perpendicular lines you already have going on with the decorative trim, for that reason my pics would be the herringbone or the hexagon, they will break it up and make it look more dynamic. But since you already ruled out the hexagon, just go ahead with your gut and use that beautiful herringbone!
    Can't wait to see the finished look :)

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  47. I love the plant that's in your bedroom shot...what kind is it? I've been looking for one just like it for my living room (to put in a basket just like yours). Thanks!

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  49. OH MY GOODNESS, it's going to be GORGEOUS no matter which one you choose! :-D

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  50. Did you move the fireplace??? I thought you had a corner one? Maybe I missed something? Looks Amazing!!

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