Fireplace Updates

I should have titled this post, "Fake it 'Till You Make It", because that's basically what I ended up doing with this fireplace surround.   I knew as soon as we moved into our house that the emerald green tile was just not for us, and my plans were always to replace it with something lighter and brighter.  Something like this marble tile in a herringbone pattern to be exact.  While that is still the end goal, I got tired of waiting and tired of how dark and dreary the existing tile was making the room feel.  After all, we spend most of our time in the family room {and in our kitchen, which is open to the family room}, so it makes sense to not put off decorating it any longer - even if that means faking it for a little while.  Something is better than nothing, am I right?

This past summer, I was complaining to my friend Tessa {who was in town visiting from Portland} about the green tile surround.  And how we never have the time or money to update it, because we are always using our time and money elsewhere in the house.  And how I couldn't take it anymore.  She suggested simply painting the surround white to get rid of the emerald green tile and brighten everything up - just in the meantime so I would enjoy the room more - something I had not even considered. 

Polished tile can be slick and difficult for paint to stick to, so I started by cleaning and lightly buffing the tile with some fine sand paper to roughen the surface a bit.  I then taped off the surround and hand-painted the tile {and grout} with a white, oil-based primer.  The fumes were very strong, but the primer dried very quickly, so by the time I was done with one coat, it was ready for me to start the next right away.  There wasn't much waiting around.  It took 3 full coats of the primer to hide all of the dark green, and one more coat of paint {I used Benjamin Moore Lacey Pearl, which is my trim color throughout the house} to finish it off.  To say the least, Matt was skeptical about this project, but after seeing the finished product, he admitted the changes made a big improvement in the room.



What a huge difference just a little paint cane make!  I'm thankful that Tessa gave me this idea, because {even though I would love to have a marble herringbone tile surround someday} it has brightened up this room and brightened up the way I FEEL when I'm in this room, which is the goal of interior design in the first place!
Thanks for reading!


  1. Love it! It must be heat resistant paint! Beautiful. Is the picture of your street / home in Austin? :)

  2. Thanks Leanne! I will probably do a post about the map sometime - I made it using photoshop;) It is an aerial view of downtown Austin with the capitol building at the center!