Fireplace makeover: total repaint

When I moved into my 1930’s house of horrors (virtually untouched since the 1970’s) I quickly realised I would have to wait a few months to do anything about the decor. All of the windows need replacing and we also have an extension to plan.

This means there’s no point stripping wallpaper or painting walls. And I have to put up with carpets like this…

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At least it matches all the red wine I have to drink to put up with it!

To keep myself busy I turned to smaller projects. The first thing that I couldn’t put up with was the fireplace so I made the decision to paint the dark wood white, hoping to see a big improvement. I used Rust-oleum satin finish furniture paint in ‘Cotton’ which doesn’t need sanding or priming so after a quick dust and a wipe down I got to work. At first it looked like this…

fireplace 1

After the first coat…

fireplace2

The wood surround needed several more coats, which took a while. In between painting I did some research and discovered an amazing paint for the brass bits called Rustins heat resistant black paint (matt finish). Unfortunately I got a bit impatient, as I couldn’t get hold of a heat resistant primer quickly enough, so I just painted it straight on to the metal. It has held up pretty well since (from a distance) but I will definitely use a primer next time as small bits have started to flake off despite very careful handling.

5 coats (yes 5!) of Rust-oleum and 2 coats of Rustins later and ‘ta da!…

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After all the work I was pleased. But I still hated the marble!

After a bit more research I decided to take a risk and get the paint out again. This time I opted for Rust-oleum chalky finish furniture paint in ‘Anthracite’. Again I didn’t prime but just got the brush out and started painting. Here’s the fireplace after the first coat…

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I found this type of paint to be thicker and to dry fast so the second coat was a bit stressful, but in the end my ugly fireplace turned out like this…

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So much better! In fact almost beautiful. What do you think? Now I just need the rest of the decor to match. And next on the list of furniture to paint is the pine cabinet to the left.

As I was really worried about chipping it I finished the marble by using Rust-oleum furniture lacquer ‘Clear’. I have to say this was very difficult to apply and I wouldn’t use it again in a hurry. It made the overall grey colour quite a bit darker and also now looks a bit rippled in places. As it’s a fireplace I think I get away with it but I finished the rest off with Rust-oleum furniture finishing wax ‘Clear’ which was easy and quick to do.

All in all I’m very pleased with the result, especially as it’s only the second furniture painting project I’ve ever done. Now I’ve got the bug!

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Check out the carpet! Outdated but perfect to use for worry-free furniture painting.

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