Hello and welcome! This is an older renovation, but still relevant and worth sharing. Stay tuned for our 90’s to Fixer Upper Inspired Fireplace Makeover.
Now keep in mind this is 2015 and I was still using my trusty iPhone 4s for photos. Amazing how far the phone cameras have come in a few years!
We decided to renovate this right about the time Chip and Joanna Gaines were just becoming HGTV superstars and I couldn’t get enough. I knew I wanted to use shiplap (my hubs hadn’t even heard of shiplap before Fixer Upper). Whats shiplap?! I also had chosen an intricate marble tile for the fireplace surround.
It’s Demo Day!
When we first bought our home, I was immediately struck by the high ceilings, pretty windows and fireplace, golden oak and all. I was all for a quick makeover, paint the tile, paint the wood, hubby wasn’t having it- let the renovation commence!
Of course, busting out the tile and removing that mantle was the most fun! Now on to making design choices. The original marble herringbone tile was quickly nixed, too complicated and we didn’t own a wet saw. We ultimately agreed on Stacked Stone, 12 x 24 inch tiles for the hearth and shiplap (car siding) and a piece of live edge timber from my dad’s woods.
We also decided to insert a non venting fireplace while we had the wall torn out. It was also a good time to run new wires behind the wall so we could wall mount the flat screen tv above. At this time, I was beginning to get really nervous about the giant hole in our living room wall and if this was way beyond our skill set (it was!) I even asked Matt, “Are we in over our heads with this?!” He assured me not. I also talked about this on my Instagram.
More high quality photos guys! The dog thought the drop cloth was for him, he’s a nut! So around this time we had purchased our tiles as well as the fireplace insert. After some reading on my part we realized that non venting fireplaces let off fumes into the home that could affect people with asthma (our daughter), so we ultimately decided its wasn’t worth it and returned it. Had its been a few later, we would have definitely installed and electric insert. They are so realistic!! The fireplace remains wood burning, which we never use. Although twinkle lights around the wood are delightful and have warm glow at night.
The drywall was torn out all the way around, so we ran wiring and a new outlet to the left side of there fireplace so we could have a unit to hold our DVD player, cable box, etc. We then replaced the drywall and used joint drywall tape and joint compound to seal it back up again.
What we chose for Finishes
Here is a glimpse of our stacked stone tile. We originally tried installing it with regular tile mortar and it kept sliding down the wall! Make sure for any kind of wall application that you buy an adhesive– regular mortar won’t hold them. We used the shims as spacers to keep the tile where we wanted them until they set up enough to stay.
We also used 2×4’s under the stone to hold it up while it dried.
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As I said earlier we decided to use car siding from Lowe’s, its also called wood siding, its tongue and groove and the closest thing we could find to shiplap at the time.
We decided to frame around the top of the wall with 1×4’s and then laid the shiplap inside of the opening. Hubby was in charge of tricky measurements so I don’t have the details on that. 😉
Time for Paint
We though about whitewashing the wood because we liked the pretty wood grain, but when I tried it I found the wood to be to yellow, so I primed it with Kilz and painted it White on White by Glidden paints.
The mantel install
The piece of wood we chose needed to be sanded and we then used Tung Oil to seal the wood. In between each of the 4 coats, we sanded with 0000 steel wool. Then Matt drilled holes in the back of the wood mantel and attached bolts to the studs on the fireplace wall. Again out of my realm of expertise!
We then attached the slab of live edge oak to the bolts by filling the holes on the back of the slab with epoxy and the sliding it directly onto the bolts. I took a bit of finagling, a large slab of wood is never level.
Wow this turned into a long post!
Ultimately we couldn’t be happier with the results and how it turned out. When we had a giant hole in the wall, I was super nervous that we’d never get this back together, but we did and are so proud of it. It’s also special that we have that awesome mantel from my dad’s land.
It can be really scary to take on this kind of project yourself, but if you’re determined enough, even with a small skill set you could get this done. Because we diy’d this, we spent just over $1000. I can’t imagine what a contractor would have costed!
If you’ve made it this far Thank You! It’s been a pleasure to share our- From 90’s to Fixer Upper Inspired Fireplace Makeover.