When Ben and I moved into our house almost four years ago, this was how our fireplace looked:
It was dark, and extremely dirty, and it was back before exposed brick was having it's moment... so I decided to whitewash it, which I shared here three years ago. If you're interested in how best to clean a fireplace, I recommend checking out that post. It's also important to note that I used heat resistant paint for the interior of the fireplace, details on that are here as well.
I was really proud of that fireplace makeover for a long time! 3 years is basically a lifetime when you're as obsessed with paint as I am, so I count that makeover as a success :) But over the last couple months I started noticing a new trend that I quickly fell in love with: the Matte Black Fireplace. So chic! So classy! I wondered if we'd be able to pull off the whole drama of a huge black accent piece in a home that is very much average size, not an open floor plan, with low ceilings. But after spending hours staring at inspiration pics like this:
I decided to go for it! After all, if I hated it - I could always paint it again, and I think that opaque white painted fireplaces are very high up on the pretty scale - so I had a backup plan!
Things had changed a bit since my 2015 fireplace makeover - the walls have gone from that teal-ish green color to a very very pale blue, I have managed to keep a handful of plants alive for more than 3 days, and the possessions of a certain little cute face have completely taken over our home.
Before I busted out the black paint, I knew I wanted to update our candelabra situation, as well as the decor on the mantle. Brass is making a surprising comeback, and DecoArt had just come out with what mayyyy be my favorite product of theirs - Matte Metallics - so I decided to change the antique bronze finish to a bright matte metallic brass, specifically "Vintage Brass".
Here's a close up of how it looked before:
DecoArt Americana Decor Matte Metallics covers really well. I think I only used 2 coats on this guy:
I also wanted to update the way the candelabra displayed candles. The way I originally had the candles was a more chunky look - with the short and thick candles. I wanted to give it a more delicate feel, so I painted a couple candlesticks I already had and picked up a few more from the Dollar Store (so fancy).
*I had originally painted them with chalky finish paint to add a bit of texture for the matte metallics to stick to, I'd recommend that over painting directly on glass.
Since the candelabra is a two tier situation, I thought it would be fun to switch it up and display something other than candles in the front! I chose succulents 100% because they are easier to keep alive than other plants, plus they are cute which is just an added bonus. To tie it all together, I painted the little pots they came in (Trader Joes has the CUTEST and most reasonably priced succulents I've ever seen - the ceramic pots they come in are adorable! It was something crazy like $2.99 each for these guys, woohoo!!)
Painting all these little pieces - the candlesticks and the pots - was extra fun because I could be set up on the floor in front of my little friend for early-evening-bouncy-chair-chill-out-until-Daddy-gets-home time. He was excited to see the transformation ;) !
Once the little pieces were done, it was time to get down to business! I taped off the area and I used DecoArt Chalky Finish paint in "Carbon" which is a beautifully rich matte black.
The progress for this part was pretty funny. Bo stayed entertained playing in his activity chair for FORTY MINUTES YOU GUYS. It blew my mind. I almost finished the entire thing during that span. But then he started to lose his patience, here you can see the chaos of trying to do things while a biscuit is awake:
And finallyyyyyyy here's how it turned out!!
A reminder of how it looked before:
During this time, Ben and my brother in law, Allen, created an amazing play space for Bo in what used to be our dining room - so the majority of his toys and chairs plus his changing table are now in that space, making the family room feel so open and clean! I'll share about that space sometime soon :)
What do you think of the finished product? Would you ever paint your fireplace black? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Comment below!! :)
*Itty bitty books below are from Chatbooks and they're one of my favorite things ever. They're the easiest photo books I've ever made. One is my pics from 2016, the other from 2017. I love that they're the same size ( 6 x 6"), they're really simple to put together and I'm super excited to make the 2018 one (because, Bo). Highlyyyy recommend these guys!
P.S. If you're a fan of this painting, it's for sale! It's called "The Glass Castle", it's one of my biggest pieces measuring in at 36x48". Details are right here.
Thanks for reading along! I've missed doing makeover posts like these! What types of posts are your favorite? DIY posts? Art? Business Education? Tell me below so I can make this space the best it can be for you! :)
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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