One of the most dramatic updates in my home cost less than $100 and was something I did myself over the course of a (kid free) weekend - white washing my stone fireplace. A lot of you have been asking me for more details, so buckle up! Here we go.
The giant sandstone fireplace was a huge selling point for us - we use it daily in the winter and love the cozy feeling a wood burning fireplace brings to a home. One thing I didn't love - the soot stains from years of use and the dirty look that came along with it. I tried scrubbing it but never got the stone to look the way I wanted. I also don't love brown tones, so... I took a risk and I love the final result.
But before we go on - I must caution you - this is a permanent solution. The porous nature of the stone absorbs the white wash and there is NO GOING BACK. I've seen some not-so-great examples on Pinterest that really had me pressing pause on this project for a long time. That said, there are also some gorgeous results out there, so I knew it was possible.
The process is pretty simple. I chose Rustoleum Chalked paint in Aged Grey and used a measuring bucket to ensure I could get the same ratio of paint to water with each batch (1:1 worked great for me). Once you've mixed up your paint and water, all you need is a stiff brush, rags to dab the wet slurry, a couple of awesome podcasts and time. Check out these progress shots (click to for larger view)
I think this project was successful for a couple reasons:
The 1:1 mixture of paint allowed for some of the natural variation in the color of the stone to come through. No matter what ratio you use, make note of it and repeat it!
Matte paint is a must. Chalk paint worked well for this and the grey tone looks really nice against my bright white walls.
I worked in small sections and dabbed excess liquid as I went, especially in places I wantd some of the rock patterns to be more visible.
The actual texture of the stone work has a lot of highlights and shadows which adds to the dimension of the finished project.
I'm thrilled with the final results! It brightens the room by reflecting all of that pretty natural light and maintains an organic look. If you haven't seen the full room make over, you can do that here.
Lastly, this is kind of wild, but I was nominated and selected as a finalist by Domino Magazine for Best Renovation Blog as part of their Design Blog Awards. WTH!? The winner will get featured on their site and win a trip to Chicago! Public votes will determine that! If you've enjoyed any of my before and after makeovers, I'd love your support!