Fireplace Makeover

In January I finally tackled our older style fireplace with the intention of updating it but not breaking the bank, as well as not hating it in the end. I was a little scared of how it would turn out but you never know if you don’t try, so I read a couple blogs and narrowed down the different things I wanted to try. Here is a picture of our fireplace how it was originally:IMG_1099

As you can see the paint job around it was kinda weird and sloppy and the Brass cover with smoke stained Bricks just wasn’t feeling very uplifting. Even with Christmas Decorations it felt sad. So I started by removing the brass cover (it was secured with several screws on the inside and not difficult to remove) and cleaning the brick. To clean it I simply vacuumed all the crevices and then wiped it down with a cloth soaked in water and vinegar, that’s it!!  IMG_1103

I think it looked even worse after that but it pushed me to be brave and keep going. After taping off the edges it was time to get started with the painting. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint the color Paris Grey, and the 32 oz size.IMG_2560

I mixed a cup of paint with 3 cups of water and it was close to the consistency of Milk. Then painted it on the bricks and the mortar. It was easy enough to do but the first coat was tricky as it had to be forced into all the nooks and crannies, but with the paint being so watered down that made it a lot easier to apply.

At first it looked like it wouldn’t fully cover the different colors of the stones (and the first coat didn’t) but I kept going. Two hours after the first coat I applied a second one and this time the paint wasn’t quite as watered down, so it was more like 1 cup paint to 2 1/2 cups water.

It looked so good already but needed to dry overnight to even out all the different tones. Once it was dry it looked great in comparison to the original, but very flat, like poured concrete.

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So I went to home depot and bought a can of Stone White Flat Interior Paint.

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Using this paint the next day I dry brushed the front of just the stones. To dry brush you take a dry brush and dip just the very tip in the paint, and then brush it along a scrap cloth (I used a t-shirt) until there is almost no paint on the brush. Then you brush the brick lightly at first but harder to apply the amount you like the look of.

This was fun but took a lot of time and patience. I didn’t want to apply too much paint and lose the marbled affect so it was just a matter of going over it with a touch on my brush till it was enough.

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But as you can see in the picture above, it brought out the character and depth of the bricks so well.I was careful to make sure I didn’t brush in the grout lines so they stayed flat grey.IMG_1134IMG_1129IMG_1144

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I love it!!!

But then I had to finish the brass front. I had considered leaving it off but decided with littles around, that was probably not a good idea. So I disassembled the front as best I could, taped off the glass, and laid it on plastic.

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And then spray painted it with high heat Black paint from Rust-oleum.

Now I’ve never been good at  spray painting but this time I tried something I had read online. They suggested to paint very very thin layers and just wait an hour in between and then do it again. Obviously this was why I’ve always had runs and weird paint spots since I’m not very patient and usually try to get it all covered in two coats 🙂 well I tried the many light coats and it worked great. I think I did seven coats throughout the course of an entire day, but it turned out looking amazing.

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So after reassembling it and installing it back onto the fireplace my fireplace makeover on a budget was complete.

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What a difference a little paint and elbow grease can make!! My total cost for this makeover was about $75.00.

If you have Questions please post them in the comments and I will try to answer them all.

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First Birthday Party with the new look!

This was the blog that most inspired me. http://erin-artandgardens.blogspot.com/2013/02/painted-stone-fireplace-before-and-after.html

Inscribed Lettering on A Stained Table Top

Last summer after being in our new house for a year we decided we needed a big dining room table, so I started looking for one on our local auction sites and found a beauty for $50 that just needed to be updated. While refinishing the legs and top my husband pointed out that we should inscribe something on the top since it’s a huge space so why not make it a piece of art.tsble


So this is what I started with, it was stained but not polyurethaned. Pinterest was a great resource and I found a website that had French typography patterns for free called ‘the graphics fairy’.So I found one I liked and sized it to the table and printed it off on normal sheets of paper since I just have a regular printer.


I laid it out just to get a feel of what it would look like. Then I trimmed all the edges off the papers and taped it all together so it was a huge paper pattern. At this point I knew I wasn’t going to be using the lettering that was on the original graphic so I searched for free fonts online and found some that I liked.

  I’m not sure which font I used for the ‘love is always’ words anymore, but I modified the font I did use a little when tracing it on anyway. And I know I did use the font ‘selfish’ for the word ‘victorious’ and all the words that circle the edges of the table. As you can see I just printed the letters individually for the words ‘love is always’, cut them out and placed them by hand, since it was curved, within the pattern and taped them in place. The ‘victorious’ was easier because it was straight so I just printed it out, centered it and taped it.

Here’s where the fun started. I then removed the whole paper pattern and placed carbon paper on the table where the pattern would be, (in the picture above you can see the Carbon paper under it) then put the pattern over top of the carbon paper and taped it exactly where I wanted it. Then I traced around every letter and along each line and mark.  I used this same process for the words around the edges.


Here’s a picture of the outside words just laying on it before the carbon paper is under them, I was playing with spacing and how to wrap the text around the corners.

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And above is what was left on the table after I had traced the letters over the carbon paper and then removed the pattern completely. As you can see it was pretty light but just enough that I could now paint it and make it bold like in the picture on the right.


So I started with the word victorious since it was in the middle and a little bigger then the outside ones. I just used black water based paint and a very tiny detail brush (although I did switch to a wider brush later and used it kinda like you would a calligraphy pen). I had a picture of the word on my iPad so I could look at it and make sure I was painting it right since the font has so many swirls I could get them mixed up and paint in the wrong space or line.

Above you can see the word in progress as well as the very faint lines that were traced on. They didn’t show up in pictures well but they were pretty easy to see in real life.

  I was a little worried because after the black paint dried it looked kinda grey and ashy so I tested the polyurethane over just the s and it popped perfectly.

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Here it is before I polyurethaned it. I used the heavy-duty water base polyurethane by , in semi gloss, and coated it three times and it seems to be holding up well after almost a year.

The text inscribed was inspired by 1 Corinthians 13, and the attributes of love are all around the table. So you can read it ‘LOVE IS ALWAYS, Patient, Kind, Not Envious, etc. It makes for a good conversation starter as well, just amongst our little family, to look at the phrase you are seated by and think if it is something you need to work on or something you do well.IMG_6072 (3)
IMG_6088 (2)IMG_6089 (2)(I had to change the saturation of the pictures because the table kept looking orange so this is as close to the real look I could get)

Shortly after I had finished the table my parents had come to visit, because I was due with baby number three, and so our usual seating was all switched up and I looked down to see what it said by me and it was the word patient 🙂 It was my due date and I needed that encouragement to keep going. I had him the next day. Here he is looking dapper.IMG_0006

DIY Outdoor Lighted Christmas Trees

Tomato CagesIts the best time of year, Christmas is just around the corner and every one is bustling and hustling to get gifts for everyone on their lists. Its that time when we can’t get enough of the lights that are shining and lighting up the dark nights in patterns so bright. Its the time of year when hope and joy are evident all around us if we keep in mind the joy of the Great Light of the World who came to save us from the darkness.

Well, I wanted to decorate outside our house with lights too and especially wanted the little trees covered with lights. We looked at the local hardware store to see what they cost, and it was too much for my liking. So I got an idea, (HGTV is amazing) and decided to turn my tomato planters into lighted trees 🙂 Following are the photos of the transformation.

First turn the cages upside down and bend the ends to the center and tape the tops together.

Just wrap the cages with lights.

And Voila! Its pretty!

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