I’ve dreamed of having a massive-brick fireplace, with a chunky wood mantel, ever since I was just a little girl. 

I mean really- what could be more romantic (or cozy), than a roaring fire on a cold fall/winter night?

Unfortunately, even though our home is old, it didn’t come with my ‘dream’ fireplace.  In fact-it didn’t come with one at all!!!

So,  we did the next best thing and bought an inexpensive electric fireplace!

I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo for the makeover, and this is the only one I could find!  

But you get the picture, right? (Pun intended) Isn’t it just a gem with all that orange laminate?

Alright-Alright-I’ll quit bashing our faux fireplace.  After all-it DID serve it’s purpose.  This ‘lovely’ piece has been an ‘extra’ heat source on those cold winter nights, plus it gave me a place to hang stockings for Christmas!!

But I hated it!  I mean I REALLY, REALLY, hated it!  Which is why I was doing the happy dance in early spring-when suddenly that old fireplace wouldn’t turn on anymore!

Sadly, before I could say, ‘new fireplace’, hubby had it working again! (UGH!)

So, whether I liked it or not-I was stuck with it!  But that didn’t mean I couldn’t ‘tweak’ it’s appearance just a bit!

Last weekend-I did just that!

What a difference-right?  And the best part is-it was SO easy!!!

For those of you who have been following for awhile-you know that I just recently started to use chalky paint when I made over the antique vanity for my office.  Of course, I was too conservative cheap to buy the paint, so I made my own by mixing baking soda with latex paint.  I really liked how the homemade chalky painted covered my vanity, and I decided I would use it again on the fireplace.

 But then I went to Michael’s to pick up some appliques to add a bit of character to the face of the fireplace-and I saw that they had Americana Chalky paint on sale!  In addition, I had a 40% off coupon, so I thought-‘what the heck’!  I’ll try this stuff that everyone’s been talking about and using for years!

Boy am I glad I did!!! This is what that sad piece of orange colored laminate looked like-after only ONE-very thin coat of paint!!!!  Once that coat dried-I lightly sanded the whole thing down, and rolled on another. (Ya-not liking the brush strokes at all folks!).  I let that coat dry over night-and after a quick sand the next morning, I gave it one more!

I wanted the arch in the center to stand out a bit-so I used some stain (sun bleached) that I had left over from my dining room table.  I applied a light coat over the paint-and let it sit for a minute or too, before wiping off the excess.  I ended up doing this two more times, to get the look I wanted.

Then it was time to add the appliques.  First I painted them with the chalky paint and let them dry.  Later, I applied a thin coat of wood glue and pressed them in place.

For something so easy-they sure do change up the look of the fireplace, don’t they?  I just love them!  I also love the aged effect that I got by rubbing on a bit of antique medium.

Once that dried, I put two coats of finishing wax on-and then it was time to decorate!!! Nothing fancy-just some branches that fell in our back yard.  An old window frame from the farm.  A candle with some pine cones-and a faux pumpkin.  Simple.




I love my new fireplace so much-that yesterday afternoon I took a break from work and decided to sit and have a cup of hot cocoa in front of it.  When I came back from the kitchen with hot water for the cocoa-this is what I found!!!!  I’m not sure which Mr. Bentley likes more.  The fireplace-my his blanket, or the marshmallows!!!  Needless to say-I pulled up a chair and we both enjoyed the fire!

I’ll be sharing with these amazing parties today-so stop on over and be inspired!!!




30 thoughts on “A Fireplace Makeover!”

  1. Great job, C.D.! Your fireplace looks amazing! I found you through Happy House and Home and will be sharing this today on Facebook… so nice to "meet" you!

  2. Thank you, Suzan!! I've always wanted a real fireplace-but, since I can't have one, I'll settle for this one. It gives off a ton of heat too-so it helps with the heating bills in the winter!!!

  3. Thank you so much, Michele for the sweet comment! You are absolutely right! It was a perfect afternoon snuggling up next to the fire with that cute little guy! The cocoa was a HUGE bonus too!!!

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