before and afterDIY

A Bold, Black Fireplace Makeover

by Grace Bonney

In the design world, it feels like things are always swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other. For years it seemed as if “paint it white!” was the answer to every question or problem. Our makeover folder was full of freshly painted white chairs, tables, rooms and home exteriors. Then, slowly it seems we’ve swung back to “paint it black!” again and now we’re seeing more and more projects that involve painting something black – especially a bold, matte black. I personally prefer a darker paint for most things (if you’re going to paint, which of course is never the only option) because it’s easier to keep clean, especially in the case of fireplaces. This fireplace makeover comes from Tanya of Dans le Lakehouse. After realizing their dream of finding a home on Lake Superior, Tanya and her husband realized that it left little budget left over for major renovations. Faced with finishes they didn’t love (like this faux-stone), they decided to lean on paint to do the heavy (and affordable) lifting. I love how clean and modern the finished look is and think it’s a great alternative to white or refacing something entirely. Tanya walks us through the full makeover process after the jump! xo, grace

The Before: Tanya's "stone" fireplace turned out to actually be, "concrete with random bits of stuff thrown in it so it looks a little like stone." She explained that, "It wouldn't have offended me so much if it didn't have pale 80s pink hues blended in." So she and her husband decided to paint over the faux-stone with a solid black paint.
The Process: To prepare the "stone" for painting, Tanya and her husband brushed off all the of the excess dust and loose concrete bits.
The Process: After cleaning the surface, they painted the first coat using a 2" angled brush, working in small areas.
The Process: To handle the difficult small areas around the vents, Tanya broke out her craft paint brushes to get into detailed areas. (They also used high-heat spray paint for the fireplace grates)
The After: Tanya used a paint + primer combo from Behr and loves the way it come out! They used a satin finish paint that has a matte feel, but with a bit of shimmer that Tanya adores.
The After!
The After, another view.
The After: A close-up of the firewood nook.

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  • Wow! Such a beautiful transformation! I’ve never thought about painting a whole wall in black but I’ve seen a couple of images on Pinterest and now this… and well, it actually looks fantastic!

  • Wow! I wouldn’t have thought to paint the whole thing black and it looks great! Such a difference. I have to say I absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing.

  • I never would have thought of painting it black but it looks gorgeous and unique!

    Also, funny timing that the chair from this room is also on Apartment Therapy today…

  • This looks fantastic! I would have considered painting the inside of the window frames the same colour. Lovely room!

  • Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments about my fireplace makeover. I have never been one for dark wall colours but the minute I saw this fireplace, I thought “charcoal grey”! (although in some lights it reads as black). Sometimes it pays to just follow my heart, and not over-think things, as I tend to do!

  • I love this, although I might have left the brass as brass + black is on trend right now and could be easily painted black if that passes. What I like most about this space is the natural light pouring in from those windows, the white walls, and the pops of color. Without these elements, the black might have looked really heavy and dark. Bravo!

  • The use of black on this fireplace wall was a bold and excellent idea. The black adds excitement and interest. Most people would be afraid to paint an entire wall black.