Our DIY Fireplace Facelift

Life update: We bought a house and moved in at the end of January! It was easier said than done, as our closing date got moved last minute and blah blah,typical house buying drama. But the important part is that it all worked out in the end and we became home owners. :)

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There are so many things we love about it! It makes more financial sense to own rather than rent – our mortgage is cheaper than our rent was and it’s double the space! Plus, we get a yard! We love the freedom of being able to do what we want to make this our home.┬áThe problem? There’s so much we want to do and not enough money to make it happen! It’s okay though – we can take it slow because it’s just things we want to do to make it our own.

So, with that being said, one of our first projects made a big impact but it didn’t cost too much money. In our family room/lower level, there is a brick fireplace and mantle that takes up the entire wall. When we moved in, we knew it had a lot of potential but it needed a little work. Here’s the before photo:

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We decided to white wash the brick first. White washing is a lot easier than it sounds. You just mix 1 part water and 1 part white paint and slap it on the brick! Use a cheap paintbrush because it will be rough on your brush. We did two coats, but you can do as many as you want depending on how much brick you want showing through the paint. Make sure to get paint into all the little crevices as well.

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Next, we sanded and stained the mantle.

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The firebox still needs a little work (a little brick and mortar work and a paint job), but that will come. For now, it works.

Finally, it was time to decorate!! It took a little bit of rearranging to finally get it how we both liked it. It’s subject to change at any time, of course. ;) One of my favorite decorations is this old wooden ladder that I painted and am using it for a succulent display.

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Ah, who am I kidding?! I love every decoration from the plants to the globe to the vintage cameras. A lot of them our Moms helped us collect, which is awesome!

And last but not least….We added some string globe lights onto the mantle that we had left over from our wedding. Ryan hammered tiny staples into the mantle (very tedious work) and secured every light onto a staple (using clips that were already on the string of lights). Then he just cut the extra length off at the end. Of course, now I have to do something with that extra length he cut off – marquee light project coming soon!

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Anyway, day or night, it looks awesome if I do say so myself. ;) Now we just need some extra money for some furniture and paint in this room. The white washed brick will look even better against a wall with color.

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