Well hello! I have a BIG reveal for you today! I worked so hard on this basement fireplace and I'm so so SO thrilled it's done. I'm excited to share it with you today! I took a ridiculous amount of photos so bear with me. :)
I'll show you where we started first! We have this little bump out in our basement and from day one we knew what we wanted to do with it. When we finished the basement years ago we went ahead and bought an electric fireplace for that spot. It sat on a bench for four years. 😁
A few months ago we decided to have the fireplace built in since the whole space was torn up for the new floors anyway:
Then I was craving a little more traditional look so we had the hearth added along with a mantel:
Then it was time for me to do the rest! I knew I needed to stain the mantel and hearth before I tiled -- it would have gotten all over the tile otherwise. I sanded both down and then cleaned them really well. A wet paper towel does fine:
I ALWAYS use a preconditioner for staining projects because it gives you an even finish when you stain:
It takes just a quick swipe (I use foam brushes) and then you can stain immediately!
I did two coats of Minwax dark walnut stain -- one of my favorites! I wanted to match the top of the wall of cubbies we have in the room:
I know I say it a lot but staining is one of my favorite DIY projects. It's instant gratification! I always love seeing the details of the wood coming through. I like to remind you to make sure you have plenty of time to tackle your staining project -- you'll want to finish it all up at once and keep a "wet edge" while working. Otherwise you may see where you stopped and started.
I usually let my stain dry for about five minutes but you can wait longer for a deeper stain. After that I wipe it down with a clean, lint-free cloth. Wearing latex gloves helps to keep the stain off of your hands!
Here's the stain I used:
Dark walnut is a deep brown that doesn't have any red tones -- I love it! It will vary a bit depending on the wood you use, but I always love how it looks.
After the stain has dried, it's time to add the polyurethane on top to protect it and give it a beautiful sheen. Because I was working with vertical surfaces I used the Minwax wipe on poly:
I applied it with a clean cloth and it goes on really easily:
This stuff is perfect for spaces like this one where the poly would drip if you used a brush. I sanded down with a scrap paper bag piece in between coats:
I shared more about that process here -- it's my new favorite way to knock down small bumps in between poly and after! Who would've thought brown paper bags worked so well? :)
After it all dried I started the tiling process and I shared how to tile using stacked stone here. The large pieces were pretty easy, it was the smaller sections that I had to cut just right that took the most time. By the time I was done I may have cried tears of joy, ha! Seriously, I was ready to be done.
But it's beautiful and exactly what we envisioned for this room for years!! We are obsessed with it! I added some Christmas touches to it of course:
I took a ton of pictures in different light so you'll see a mix here today. I also ended up taking down the stockings and kind of like it with them down so you can really see the stone!:
I'm head over heels for the dark wood combo with the stone -- it's exactly what I wanted! It's rustic but still feels modern:
I had so much fun decorating this spot! It has completely transformed the basement -- literally it looks like a brand new space. When we finished the basement years ago and did our lighting, we made sure to add lights over this spot, knowing we were planning to do the fireplace wall.
But this time of year I think I like it better with the lights off:
The last thing I need to do here is put a dimmer on those lights -- we have them throughout the rest of the basement and I want that softer light here too:
I'm just going to keep putting up pictures and saying things cause I worked my butt off on this project. 😂
We always put our flocked tree down here and it's usually decorating with green and blue ornaments. I went much more natural and neutral this year with white, silver and bronze ornaments instead. I'm obsessed with those colors on this flocked tree:
The hearth isn't super deep but it's the perfect size for accessories. You can sit on it too, but it's not deep enough to sit back really far:
Stuffed reindeer butts fit perfectly.
Here's another look at the before of this spot:
And here's how it looks today!:
Here's another shot from a couple months ago:
And that same angle, just closer:
I have to clean up all of the tools and Nerf bullets and then I'll get a full shot of the room! :)
Whoohoo, I'm so thrilled to be done with this massive project! We've spent every evening down here with the fireplace on -- we're definitely enjoying this space!
If you have any questions about this project, please let me know! I'm off to finish up our Christmas decor to share with you later this week. I'm seriously just going to sleep all day long on Friday when I'm done! :)
I work with Minwax to share how I use their products in our home and they sponsored this post. I only work with brands I know and love!