DIY, Our Farmhouse

How to Whitewash a Fireplace

Our living room as been on a journey, friends.  It is the room that is teaching me to love the process.  I like the dreams of a room makeover and the after, but the during.  Well, that sometimes gets me in a funk.  This living room is bringing me to the other side of that doom and gloom as it slowly evolves and I get the nerve to take on the next step.  The process is good, right?  I am a work in process and working on a room is a good reminder of that.

{Post contains affiliate links.  You can read our disclosure here. I do need to let you know that I received products from Amy Howard at Home in exchange for the use of their paint in this project, along with an honest review. Thanks for loving on us here in our farmhouse!}

In my mind, I have been bothered by this fireplace ever since white paint first hit the wall.  The dark stone went fine with the wood walls and decor of the previous owner, but it was clashing with the room that we have since created.  Let’s dive in with a really before picture of what it looked like a few weeks after moving in:

{Now, if you follow along with my shenanigans on Instagram, you probably already have an idea as to where I am going with all of this.  I really enjoyed sharing this project on my Instagram stories and I got some great feedback!}

As I said, this room has been a work in progress and you can read about the various projects here and here.  For now though, let’s fast forward to what this side of the living room looked like as of last week:

I love the bookshelves, the bright walls, and that rug.  But the fireplace.  It just doesn’t quite fit in.  Luckily for me, our wood stove was shut down for the season a few weeks ago.  And then I recently began to partner with Amy Howard at Home.  As I explored their products, I found their “One Step Paint” and it was liket a light bulb went off!  Whitewash the stone fireplace!  Ding, ding, ding!

I know.  It’s a “no going back now” kind of step.  I was a bit nervous, but I felt confident in the paint, along with some research that I had done.

One last final before (oh, and take notice of those two weird openings above the stove and watch how the disappear, all thanks to the hubs!).

Spoiler alert: it really was so easy to whitewash!  And if you are considering doing it: stop considering and just do it!  Keep reading to see what I learned and you can be one step ahead of me.

What you will need:

Paint

Water

Container to mix paint and water

Paint stirrer

Drop cloths or plastic for floor

Painters tape

Old rags or towels

Paint brush

1. Give your Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint a good shake and then a stir:

{I used the color “Ballet White” and it is a gorgeous pure white.}

2. Mix paint 50/50 with water.  I used the measuring lines on the side of my plastic container.  It was about 1 1/2 cups of each.  Give this a really good stir.

3.  Dip the brush into the paint about 1/3 of the way up the bristles.  Use the side of the container to remove a lot of the paint.  This keeps the paint on the brush to a minimal.  I found that this step greatly reduced the mess of dripping from the very watery paint/water mixture.  It also helped me to control how much paint was applied to the stone.  This was important to me as I wanted the final outcome to show all of the texture and character of the stone.  {If you want  a more solid application and coverage, apply the paint/water more liberally.}

4. Paint small sections at a time.  I would paint for about five minutes straight in one area.

5.  After a few minutes of painting, go back with an old towel and dab where the section started.  If too much paint comes off, then paint a little longer and try again in a few minutes.  I would recommend dabbing on the stone and grout as opposed to rubbing.  Please realize that if your stone and grout/concrete varies greatly like mine does, different areas will dry faster than others.  {This technique of rubbing would come in handy if the paint dried faster than you had wanted.}

This part of the process is completely up to your preference of coverage.  There is no right or wrong, just your personal opinion.

After two hours, my time was up for the day and I cleaned up.

The next day I had some more time to paint and this is how I found the paint mixture.  Well, it was not longer a mixture.  {I felt like I was in an elementary school science classroom.}  After a quick shake and stir, it was back to being thoroughly mixed!

A little preview and a look at my work area.  I put a plastic sheet on the ground to catch any drippings and the little bits of concrete that fell as I worked.

If any paint falls on a surface that you don’t want painted, immediately use a damp cloth and it will wipe right up.

6.  Clean-up!  That’s it!  You are done.  Feel free to stand back and admire.  This is also a great time to do any touch-ups.  I will be honest and tell you that the whole process took about four hours.  I didn’t think it would take me that long.  But all of the different types of stone and their various levels of porousness kept me guessing and moving a bit slowly.  If your surface is level and even, you could cut that amount of time down significantly.

Are you ready for the after pics?  I certainly am!  Don’t mind me just sitting and gazing at this and thinking…”why didn’t I do it sooner?”  I am so thankful to Amy Howard at Home for giving me the boost of confidence in a product that I knew would accomplish my goal!

Amy Howard At Home

I absolutely loved working with the Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint.  The only downside was that in order to whitewash, I had to water it down.  But, friends, I’ve got a secret!  Shhhh…I have another project up my sleeve that will use this gorgeous paint in its pure form.  One tiny hint: it is happening in the dining room.  Don’t go far as I promise some more before and after pics of my next big project in a few weeks!

{And because I get asked all. the. time. about the rug in this room!  Here are the links to Amazon for this beautiful rug made by nuLoom in various sizes: 4×6, 5×7, 9×12, 10×14.}

I do need to mention that I did a little bit of work on the mantel and the fireplace too.  You may have noticed that the mantel was darker…and you are right!  I wanted to match the dark wood tone of the beam on the right side of the fireplace, as well as the beams in our dining room.  I used General Finishes in Java to darken the wood on the mantel.  It is such an easy product to use, but be sure to wear gloves so that your hands do not become stained.  I also cleaned up the wood  stove simply by rubbing vegetable oil all over it!

Well, friends, I would love to know what you think.  Have I inspired you to tackle your fireplace?  I would love to hear from you!

xo,

Leigh

14 Comments

  1. Wow!!!! It is stunning!!!! I liked your fireplace before but it looks amazing now. It looks like an easy project with a huge impact.

    1. Leigh

      Yes, Tracy! It was quite easy! It didn’t look terrible before, but it just made things feel “off” in this room. Now it all works together! Woohoo! 🙂

  2. Bonnie

    Looks great!

    1. Leigh

      Thanks, Bonnie! I was quite nervous, but am so relieved now to see how good it turned out! 🙂

  3. Debbie

    Wow, what an amazing difference!

    1. Leigh

      Thank you, Debbie! I so appreciate your encouraging comment! 🙂

  4. Oh my word I love it!!! I need to try her paint!!!

    1. Leigh

      Yes! And show me pics! 🙂

  5. Katie

    Did you darken mantle and wood stove? Or is that just the effect from such a lovely new shade of stone???

    1. Leigh

      You caught me, Katie! I forgot to include that info. Good eye! I am going to add it in here now. And yes, to both. I did darken the mantel to match the beam next to it as well as the beams in the dining room. I did not darken the woodstove…just cleaned it up! ♥

  6. Laurie

    Omg I love it !! I am dying to lighten up my brick fireplace but so afraid. It’s multi color brick, do you think it would work on it?

    1. Leigh

      Absolutely, it would work, Laurie! You may have to work slightly different on the darker bricks than the lighter ones, but go for it! Oh and please send me before and after pictures! ♥

  7. White paint is simply a girls best friend. And wow- just an amazing difference. FAB..

    1. Leigh

      Yes! I have fallen head over heels for white paint! 🙂

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