Okay, okay, not if you live in a 100 year old craftsman or a rustic cabin. If that's you, keep your old stone fireplace. BUT... If you live in a 1980 Contemporary style home and your fireplace looks like this, you should figure out what to do with that thing. Which is exactly what we did with this living room focal point, for less than $150.00!
STONE & WOOD:
We considered completely destroying this thing and updating with tile, but the mess and the hassle was more than we wanted to deal with. So I searched high and low and found inspiration in posts about painting over stone and discovered that regular paint wouldn't cut it, but chalk paint behaved really well over masonry. So then, naturally, I researched chalk paint, where to buy it, etc. and discovered this Lowe's article (Lowe's Chalk Paint Article) about making your own chalk paint, because the brand name stuff isn't cheap. So I bought the paint and the plaster of paris, mixed it and transformed this old stone fireplace into a modern looking focal point. The chalk paint consistency made it super easy to fill in cracks and small holes, giving it an overall smooth, even finish.
Before we painted the stone, I experimented with acrylic paints on the mantle and cabinets to give the pine a gray-washed look. I used one base coat of a medium grey color, then used a dry brush technique over that with two lighter shades of gray.
The inside of the firebox got a fresh coat of black High Heat paint and I bought a used set of gas logs on Craigslist for $35. (Fun detail: The gas log set actually came with a remote control igniter system, but I haven't gotten around to disconnecting the gas line/replacing the existing burner, so for now I just dropped the logs right on top of the existing burner and grill and it works just fine.) I also bought a mesh screen curtain and some rock wool and glowing embers to scatter around the floor of the firebox.
TV & SOUND BAR:
We already had this 60" TV that, fortunately, just barely fit into the space above the mantle. (We seriously didn't want to have to reposition the mantle!) We had to hammer out that giant upper center rock you see in the before photo above, as well as some surrounding rocks and mortar in order to install the TV mount to the Fireplace framing.
We drilled a hole behind the left side of the sound bar and cut a hole in the right side of the upper media cabinet to fish cables through from the TV and sound bar to all of our devices. Mounting the sound bar was a little tricky, but I happened to have some hardware from old projects that did the job. (I think they were extendable curtain rod mounts, but I save leftover hardware from most items I purchase because you never know when you can use them for this kind of rigging/engineering) : )
I'm not going to create an interactive photo for this post, so I'll just tell you in list form where I got what--
Mesh Screen - Amazon - $55
Glowing Embers - Amazon - $12
Rock Wool - Amazon $15
Gas Log Set - Craigslist - $35
High Heat Paint - Home Depot - $12
Plaster of Paris - Lowe's $7
Flat White Latex Paint - Lowe's $13
*TV Mount - Amazon (I always buy my TV mounts from Amazon, way cheaper than in stores)
*Teal Vase - Home Goods
*Grass Reeds - IKEA
*Lanterns - Target
*Acrylic Paint - WalMart
* Items we already had
Bonus... I just realized that you can see the carpet in the Before photo and the new hardwood floors in the After. I'll be posting about those floors soon, but you just got a sneak peek! : )
Check out the Living Room Photo Gallery as I'll be adding more photos with each new post!