Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DIY stacked stone fireplace (where there was none!)

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. 😁
bay window basement

A few months ago we decided to have the fireplace built in since the whole space was torn up for the new floors anyway: 
built in electric fireplace

Then I was craving a little more traditional look so we had the hearth added along with a mantel: 
built in electric fireplace with hearth

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: 
prepping for stain

I ALWAYS use a preconditioner for staining projects because it gives you an even finish when you stain: 
Minwax pre stain conditioner

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: 
Minwax dark walnut on pine

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: 
Minwax dark walnut stain

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
Minwax wipe on polyurethane

I applied it with a clean cloth and it goes on really easily: 
wipe on poly

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: 
sanding between coats of poly

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: 
stone fireplace with wood mantel

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!: 
wood mantel on stone fireplace

stacked stone fireplace

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: 
stone fireplace in bay window

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: 
stone fireplace in basement

stacked stone fireplace at Christmas
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: 
stacked stone electric fireplace

I'm just going to keep putting up pictures and saying things cause I worked my butt off on this project. 😂
stone fireplace with wood hearth and mantel
The frames used to sit on the cubby built ins and I think they'll stay up here. Love how homey this spot feels!

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:
stacked stone from Lowe's

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: 
neutral stacked stone tile

Stuffed reindeer butts fit perfectly.

Here's another look at the before of this spot: 
bay window bump out basement

And here's how it looks today!: 
stacked stone fireplace in bay window bump out

stacked stone fireplace in bump out

Here's another shot from a couple months ago: 
built in toy cubbies

And that same angle, just closer: 
stacked stone at Christmas

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!






77 comments:

  1. Wow, you are right, it looks like a totally different space. I love it. Gorgeous.

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  2. Wow, absolutely amazing ... what a fabulous transformation! I remember when it was pretty much an unfinished space ... what a long way it has come! Great job!

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  3. Wow Sarah, this is absolutely beautiful!! Awesome job!

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  4. looks beautiful and well done! enjoy with a cup of cocoa by your new fireplace!

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  5. Is this fireplace vented or is it more of an electrical insert? I do not have a fireplace but would love to add one and yours turned out beautifully. Such an inspiring project!

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    1. It's electric! You can add them anywhere you have an outlet!

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  6. So pretty! I love everything about it. Also, just a staining tip..if you get stain on your hands, clean them with a baking soda/dishwashing soap paste. Washes right off. :)

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  7. Can I hire you to come to my house?!

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  8. It.is.amazing!! Love it so much!

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  9. it looks amazing! we went with a gas fireplace, and we are regretting that decision...even with the venting we did it still has a gas smell. so we never use it, and it bums me out. what do you think about your electric one, do i have to resolve myself to the fact that it will never look realistic?
    thanks,
    b

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    1. Sorry to hear this. We have one and have never had that issue as well as many friends I know that have them. Hope you can find out the issue.

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    2. Beautiful! What brand and color of stone did you use?

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    3. I would definitely get that checked -- you shouldn't have any kind of gas smell! The electric ones don't look nearly as "real" if you compare them but it gives the same feel and some warmth! They are always coming out with new ones that look more realistic! :)

      Robyn you can find all of the details about the stone here :) --http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2016/11/how-to-install-stacked-stone-tile-on.html

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  10. You did a great job! The space looks beautiful. :)

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  11. You certainly have bragging rights!! This is amazing!!!

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  12. This is beautiful! I just love it. What did you use for your hearth? We are looking to refinish our fireplace and am looking for ideas.

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    1. Since the fireplace is electric we did wood. :)

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  13. The fireplace turned out beautifully! Great job!

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  14. Looks awesome! We went with an electric fireplace in our basement too due to venting issues and cost. We don't regret it at all. Our fireplace can pump our lots of heat or just turn on the fire with no heat.
    Sarah - were looking for stone for our fireplace. What brand did you use? Not loving what we've found so far.

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    1. Hello Laurie! Here's a post with the stone and how I installed it! http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2016/11/how-to-install-stacked-stone-tile-on.html

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  15. That's amazing, what a transformation! Curious, how did you hang the mirror on your new stone wall?

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    1. Since you don't have to grout there are small spaces in between the tiles -- I just put a nail through one of those into the drywall. ;)

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  16. I love every project I have seen you do. This is turning into such an awesome space. I am so glad I subscribed to this site.

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  17. You are always so creative, ingenious, thrifty, and end up with such impressive projects. This is probably one of my favorites. How you took a basement wall and an electric fireplace and created THIS is AMAZING!!!

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  18. Well, Sarah, the highest compliment I can pay you is that this stunning fireplace looks like it has always been there...even as I look back at the before photos. It's so beautiful and fits so perfectly. Well done you, indeed. Cheers and Happy Holidays, Ardith

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  19. It is beautiful! The tile is stunning.

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  20. Stunning! You did an amazing job...again. Love it :)

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  21. Wow, your fireplace looks SO festive and lovely! You are amazing!

    - Charmaine
    http://charmainenyw.com

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  22. You have every right to be proud! That is gorgeous!!! I wish you could do my fireplace over. I love stacked stone. BTW we used paper bags to sand wood back in my decorative painting classes. Works great! Enjoy your new space!

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  23. This is beautiful! We're building a house and moving in at the end of the month. We opted out of paying to have a gas fireplace installed, but really want a fireplace in our family room. We don't have a bump out wall, but something similar can be done to a flat wall, I imagine. How is the electric fireplace situated behind the new wall? Is it up against the original wall? Any help is greatly appreciated! I want to be sure I don't catch anything on fire when we do ours. :)

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    1. There's an open bay window behind there so the fireplace sits on a stand inside the wall. :) You can definitely do it on a flat wall, you'd just have to build out a box for it.

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    2. Perfect, thank you! I'll let my husband know that I'm adding another project to our "to do" list. :)

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  24. Love everything about this.. great job! I would love to see a post about your electric fireplace choice and how you like it. We are building a new (Beazer) home and I want to add one to the bedroom.

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  25. Just lovely! Where did you get your electric fireplace. Would you be able to take a close-up photo of it.

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    1. Thank you! Here's a post with the link to the site! http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2014/03/the-finished-basement.html

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  26. Looks great! I was wondering how you access the electrical? I would think that a home inspector wouldn't like it if you couldn't unplug it.

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    1. It's made to be installed that way -- you just pull it out to unplug. :)

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  27. What a cozy feel and amazing transformation! Love it!

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  28. It looks fantastic! You did an amazing job!

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  29. WOW!! That turned out beautiful. Love your tree too!

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  30. Absolutely beautiful!! I love everything about it!! We're about to do something similar with bookshelves around an electric fireplace. Where did you get your fireplace? It looks like an insert.

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    1. Thank you!! I link to where we got it here: http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2014/03/the-finished-basement.html

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  31. Absolutely beautiful! You should be so proud of yourself. Your hard work paid off with gorgeous results.

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  32. Stunning! Absolutely stunning!! How did you install the crown molding to the stone?

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    1. There's actually an open space along the top with no stone, the crown covers it. And you can nail into the ceiling joists too. :)

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  33. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! You did such an amazing job, Sarah, you deserve a GIGANTIC pat on the back....or maybe a super incredible surprise under the tree!! I adore your house, I know I tell you that all the time....between the kitchen and the fireplace you have completed so many huge projects this year - love, love, LOVE!!!

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  34. Another beautiful project. Wish I had your energy!

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  36. It looks beautiful! I can't believe the difference. I am planning on putting in an electric fireplace in my office and in my master bedroom so it's nice to see how real they look. I would never know it wasn't built with the house.

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  37. From the most boring, invisible fireplace to a show stopping focal point! Your hard work sure paid off!

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  38. Gah! I love this so so much - it's just gorgeous.

    We actually used the same stacked stone in a different color on our fireplace. (I actually chose the same color you used - love - but Ryan liked a different colorway. He pretty much never has opinions so we went for it.)

    Anyhow, all that to say - I loved seeing your fireplace come to life. What a transformation.

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    1. I really liked that version too! Now I have to go find it to see!

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  39. Where did you buy that electric fireplace?

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    1. We got it online -- I link to it in this post! http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2014/03/the-finished-basement.html

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  40. Wow! Another fantastic fireplace makeover! Love it - what a great addition to a great space!

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  41. That looks incredible! Great job!

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  42. I would also like to hear more about your electric fireplace. Thank you!

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  43. That looks fantastic! You are a talented woman!

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  44. This looks so good!! I'm curious what type of respirator you use or how you sufficiently ventilate to do your staining indoors. The odor from the stain and even wood conditioner is so strong even when I work outdoors in open air; I can't imagine doing it inside without protection.

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  45. It's beautiful! So cozy!

    I noticed you said you were going to get a dimmer switch. I was looking at getting on for our Living Room the other day, and I noticed that the GE Z-wave dimmer switches were about $15 more than the $22 dimmers at Lowes. We recently got an Amazon Echo, and one of my goals for 2017 is to make our home more smart & automated. I picked up a Samsung Smart Things Hub for half price on Amazon and one of the Z-Wave Dimmer switches, and now I can tell Alexa to turn on/dim/turn off the lights without removing my butt from the couch! I can also turn it on, dim it from anywhere in the world on my Smart Phone! It's really fantastic, and would make a great post series. That's what I'm going to do on my blog next year. Anyway, I thought I'd pass that along in case you're interested in getting really lazy by that fireplace!

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    1. We want to incorporate some of that stuff too! Thanks for letting me know, I'll look into it!

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  46. Everything you do turns out awesome but I have to say this is probably one of my favorites. It looks really beautiful and not 'basement-ey' at all. Love it

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  47. Amazing!!! Absolutely gorgeous. Drooling with envy over here in PA.

    And the wood mirror over the mantle is the perfect accessory! Where is it from?

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  48. Loooos great!! Wish I had a basement to do this in. ��

    Where did you find the mirror??

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  49. It's incredible, Sarah! I remember when this was just unfinished space. Y'all used it then, but you must really LOVE to use it now! So happy for you and PROUD OF YOU!!

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  50. Like Richella and many of your other blog followers, I've been following your basement since it was just a basement, then all of the many upgrades...the storage shelves, little kitchen and wood planked wall, the new flooring, and now this amazing stacked stone fireplace surround. You totally Rock, Sarah.

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THANKS so much for reading!