Our Life in Northern Michigan

Fireplace Makeover | Before and After

As time goes on, we are getting deeper and deeper into our home renovation. It seems like we are doing a million things at once and in all reality, I think we really are! The main project we are working on right now is installing flooring. It’s coming along really nicely and I’m so excited to share the finished results soon! We are also installing light fixtures and fans throughout the house. Bathroom and laundry room cabinets are being primed and painted. It seems like we go to Home Depot every day (we do)! But today, something really exciting has happened: we finished a whole project! Our DIY fireplace makeover is officially done. We could not be happier with the results!


First off, let me just start by saying that our fireplace is truly unique. If I haven’t mentioned it previously, our home is located on the same street where Paul grew up. He knew the couple who built and lived in the house. Come to find out, when the home was being built, the woman who lived in the house hand-picked all of the stones for the fireplace! It even features a Petoskey Stone or two, which is so neat. Also, you’ll notice from the photos that the stone was specifically spaced in certain areas to allow more hot air through from the fire. We can’t wait to warm our house this way, although we can wait for cold weather!

To start with, the fireplace had a dated brass facing. After doing a little research (A.K.A. Pinterest-ing), we found that we would be able to update the existing facing by painting it rather than replacing it. This was an awesome discovery because it would save us a lot of time and money in the end.

Paul started the project by scuffing the metal with some sandpaper. This was to assure that the paint would adhere correctly. 

Next, he used painter’s tape to outline the facing so that the spray paint wouldn’t get on the stones.

Then it was time to paint! We chose to use Rustoleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze. Paul held a piece of cardboard as he went along to ensure than over-spray didn’t get on the stone.

After two coats of paint, the updated facing was done! We love the finish and we actually love the detail of the facing now that it is highlighted by a more contrasting color.

Up next for this DIY fireplace makeover, it was time to give the mantel some attention. In the process of installing drywall and painting the walls, it had gotten quite dirty. I scraped the chunks of drywall mud off with a putty knife. Next, I removed the stubborn mud and paint spots by using a JobMax 12V Multi Tool with a sanding attachment. After giving the whole mantel a good once-over with the sander, it was time to tape the walls.













Once the taping was done, it was time to stain! We chose to use a Minwax Polyshades stain in the color “Tudor.” We chose this type of stain due to the fact that it can be applied over wood that is already treated with polyurethane. Although the mantel was raw wood, the beam on the ceiling was not. Paul finished staining the beam a few days ago.

Since the beam and the mantel started out as two different colors, each took a different number of coats to create a matching color. The beam took three whereas the mantel only took one.

fireplace makeover

I am so excited about our DIY fireplace makeover! I’m just obsessed with the results. Also, I spy a sneak peak of painted walls in that photo! In the (hopefully) near future I’ll be doing a “empty house tour” reveal post – right before we move in!

Have you done a DIY fireplace makeover in your own home? What tips or tricks did you use? Were you happy with your results? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO, Kaeli





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