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Painted Stone Fireplace Makeover

by | Apr 26, 2016 | Decorating Inspiration, My Living Room, My Seattle House | 89 comments

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Painted stone fireplace makeover 

You all know I love a “better than it was” project! And I think my painted stone fireplace makeover certainly qualifies! As you also know, I’ve been staring at my fireplace for eight months, wondering how to fix it. The mauve grout, the dated color. The off-centeredness. We could rip it all out, but that comes at a cost of time, money and mess.

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When you have other more pressing projects and are budget-minded, you can’t help but wonder if this one you should even start on? And how much do you really want to invest on a fireplace makeover? If I just painted it, would I ruin it? Would it make a difference?

Questions continued to swirl around in my head with no clear answers. This fireplace was like a billboard, trying to get attention. It wanted to boss my style around and distract me from everything I wanted this room to be. It paralyzed me. I knew how I wanted it to look in my most perfect dream, that part was clear. I also knew there were simple changes we could make to improve it, whether it would be trim work or a mantel.

But finally I decided that I was tired of looking at it like it was and even though I do have a vision for what I want it to be someday, I wasn’t ready to take the plunge with a remodel for it yet. Maybe in a few months. Maybe in a year. But not today. Even if I decided to add trim or built-ins to it in a few weeks, I didn’t like the pink hue of the grout and stone so I had to start somewhere.

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A painted stone fireplace makeover seemed to be the easiest solution for this project. And honestly, the worst that could happen was I still hated it. The best that could happen is I would like my room better than I did with it as it was, and even save myself time and money while we save for this project down the road.

Of course, even after I decided to paint it, more questions popped up. What kind of paint? Do I have to sand? Prime? Gah. And, the worst, I had to decide what color. At first I thought it should just be white so it would basically go away and be less noticeable. That made sense.

But I don’t often like white stone unless it is done beautifully. And, I already had a white brick fireplace downstairs, so I finally just decided to go with gray. It’s a safe stone color that blends in with all my neutrals and I can always go white later if I don’t like it. Or I’ll tear it all out and redo it later. Crisis averted.

Phew, thank goodness paint color isn’t permanent or I might have waited another year wrestling over that one.

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Once I made the decision to proceed with paint, I thought maybe I’d try that chalky type of paint that seems to adhere well to surfaces and would perhaps keep the stone looking more natural. It seemed liked the best choice for this project, so I bought a can of $35 Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to give it a try (I ordered mine online here).

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We only used a tiny bit of the paint, so truly this was a bargain makeover. I still have most of the can leftover to use for other projects! It was easy.

How to: We wiped off the stone to make sure it didn’t have dust or cobwebs, mixed the Annie Sloan Chalk paint with water to dilute it so the stone would retain more of the natural look, rather than a heavily “painted” feel.

This part isn’t scientific and you can definitely play with it for the right ratio of paint and water for the look you want for your fireplace, but for a cup of paint we used maybe only 1/4 cup of paint (or a little more) and the rest water to give it translucency and painted it on with a brush. One coat. DONE.

I’m still playing around with the room and considering how it might feel if we added planks to the walls or a mantel, but I love that I can look at my room now and like it and (to me) at least it feels better than it did. I’m very happy with how my painted stone fireplace makeover turned out!

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Fireplaces can be a focal point, but they don’t have to be in glaring focus if you don’t love it. If you have a fireplace you don’t like, paint can lessen its design impact so you can redirect the vision for your room in other ways.

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Don’t let a dated feature boss your room around. Paint elements you don’t love so they just blend in, or paint something to look better than it did. No shame in the in-between stage. You might even end up loving it! But you’ll never know until you try!

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>> Update: Check out the latest update on this room here, and our new daybed here! <<<

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Sources:

Round Rattan and White Mirror

Chalk Paint – Annie Sloan Paris Grey

Rug

Wingbacks

Paint Color: Swan White by Glidden

Room inspiration: Painted Fireplaces

>>> Update: Check out the latest update on this room here, and our new daybed here! <<<

89 Comments

  1. Theme Builder Layout

    I can’t believe what a huge difference it made to paint the fireplace. I think the grey is perfect and changed the whole look of the room.

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  2. Theme Builder Layout

    Annie Sloan paint is the best.

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    It looks so great with the gray! I bet adding some planks like you mentioned would make it even more lovely!
    All my best,
    Kelly

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  4. Theme Builder Layout

    Love the new look. It made such a big difference!

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    So glad to be able to see your painted fireplace. I like the color you chose. After the furniture, mirror & accessories were put back, the room looked beautiful! Thanks so much for the encouragement you give to others in your blog. Hope you feel our encouragement back at you from the posts you read?

    Reply
  6. Theme Builder Layout

    What a stunning look! Another winner!

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  7. Theme Builder Layout

    Oh Yea, looks terrific enuf to keep long term if you want to! Clean and versatile…

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  8. Theme Builder Layout

    Wowza! Looks amazing!

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  9. Theme Builder Layout

    SO much better just with the paint :-)

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  10. Theme Builder Layout

    So much better! YAY!! Don’t like it? Paint it I say. Afterall, its just paint. If you don’t like the color, paint it again!
    :)
    https://gwingal.blogspot.com/

    Reply
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    I love natural stone but that mauve grout kind of sticks in your eyeball, doesn’t it? This reads as a beautiful stone-color that still lets the natural texture shine through rather than being masked or hidden with a heavy coat of white.
    In the photos, it appears a little cooler than the gray hearthstones but that looks nice with your blue chairs and that room gets so much natural light that a cool color is probably not a concern. Great transformation!

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      Yes, thanks, that was the goal to keep it more natural. We haven’t yet decided what to do with the hearth. Cool colors look great in here as a balance to the warm floors and with the sunlight it feel refreshing, so it seems to work fine! We’ll think about if we want to do hearth the same or leave it or do something different there, though. It doesn’t look nearly as bad as the rest did so it’s fine for the moment!

      Reply
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    I think that what you’ve done with this fireplace is absolutely brilliant! Maybe you’ll decide to keep it this way longer than you think. :)

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      You never know! Glad to be able to move on for now, regardless! :) I like it enough to love my room room more, so it’s a good thing.

      Reply
  13. Theme Builder Layout

    Really improved the fireplace! So much better!

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  14. Theme Builder Layout

    This looks fabulous! Thanks for the reminder to just do something.

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  15. Theme Builder Layout

    It looks great! I recently painted my (brick) fireplace with Annie Sloan Old White and it transformed my room, too. I painted all my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint, as well. Love that stuff!

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    What did you do to the brass trim at the top of the fireplace? Did you paint it or remove it?

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      Oh, we just took it down. It was holding a dated screen that was just distracting so we took it down. :)

      Reply
  17. Theme Builder Layout

    Do you need to worry about the heat from the fireplace? Want to do something with our fireplace, without costing too much.

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      I’m not worried because it is all on the outside (not too close to the fire). Plus, we only use this fireplace for candles at this point anyway. If we end up using it to build a fire I’ll know better how it works out but I’m guessing it will be totally fine! It’s not thick like paint so I can’t imagine it being affected! :)

      Reply
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        thanks!

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  18. Theme Builder Layout

    Wow it looks amazing!!! I love the transformation!! Paris grey is such a wonderful color. Personally I think a plank wall would look incredible !!!

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    Ha! Melissa, I just painted my faux cherry with faux red and black marble surround last week and today I come and read your post. Mine looks so much better as well. And I also used Annie Sloan which is such a wonderful paint. For those who have brass components on their fireplace, you can use Rustoleum High Heat Enamel Coating spray paint. I just did that in black for my fireplace in the master and it turned out lovely. Now I just have to tackle the living room!!

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  20. Theme Builder Layout

    I used diluted semi gloss paint on my brick and ended up with a perfect chalky whitewashed look. So I do not think the chalk paint is necessary. I really love mine and yours!

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  21. Theme Builder Layout

    Its AMAZING!!!!!!! Oh my gosh – such a difference – good for you for stepping out and just getting it done!!

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  22. Theme Builder Layout

    Wow. I love it. What a difference. Great job.

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    I love how the fireplace turnout yet. I’m glad you were not afraid to try the paint. I have a brick fireplace that is the entire wide of my family room. I would love for it to be gone too, but didn’t want to go through so much cost and work. I painted mine years ago before chalk paint was even heard of, at least by most people. I have painted it white and currently it is painted the wall color. I also painted my brass fireplace screen with a heat resistant black spray paint. It has served us well for years. I still don’t like that there is so much brick, but painted it definitely made it less visible to me. Way to go for it!!!

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  24. Theme Builder Layout

    It looks great! You’ve inspired me to go forward with painting our fireplace, something I’ve been thinking about for a few years now.
    Thank you!!

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    I just love it!!! It gives me an idea to paint my tile underneath my wood stove!

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  26. Theme Builder Layout

    Do you think this would work on faux brick?

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  27. Theme Builder Layout

    Wow!! What a great way to idea to use the chalk paint. Looks like it has always been that color.

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  28. Theme Builder Layout

    What a difference I love it great job

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  29. Theme Builder Layout

    BIG improvement and very encouraging!

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  30. Theme Builder Layout

    Very nice transformation! I painted my fireplace in our TV/media room fir tree green and am really happy with the result. I left a little natural brick showing for a rustic look.

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  31. Theme Builder Layout

    Love it. Makes me tempted to paint mine. I didn’t think about gray. I guess I need to get outside the black/white box :)

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  32. Theme Builder Layout

    Hi Melissa, you were right! The fireplace looks so much nicer! I would love to send you a picture of my fireplace. My house was remodeled right before I bought it. It had a very masculine feel. I have been able to make it feel lighter and prettier! But there is the brown rock fireplace. The guy actually used the same rock that he used outside to surround the fireplace. It should have stayed outside. Plus there is no mantel and a flat screen TV attached to the wall. I added glass inside the fireplace. It looks better but I am like you. It just is not the feel I want to live with. Too masculine! ?Can I email you a picture? Thanks, Janet ?

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  33. Theme Builder Layout

    Love the chalk paint idea. Sounds like the little update changes how you view the fireplace now. ;)

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  34. Theme Builder Layout

    Super cute!!! Planking could be inexpensive. @ lettered cottage shows her doing the bedroom for 80.00 and is it cute!! Layla’s room is turning out darling!!

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  35. Theme Builder Layout

    Wow! That looks so much better. I get real indecisive on certain things. You are fortunate that your husband encourages your creativity. Great job!

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  36. Theme Builder Layout

    Truth be told, I am not a painted stone or brick kind of girl. However, I have to say, this looks fabulous and much improved. Your post doesn’t sound overly excited about it. Are you happy with it?

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  37. Theme Builder Layout

    Love the color and it really gave the fireplace a fresh updated look. Paint really is such an amazing way to transform things.
    Enjoy!

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  38. Theme Builder Layout

    Love the fireplace painted how did you mix the paint with water, how much paint to water. Apply with a brush?
    Thanks
    Karen S

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  39. Theme Builder Layout

    What a big improvement! Love the color and the fact that you didn’t need to use much paint. Like a couple of the commenters above, I have a brick fireplace wall the entire width of our family room. What makes it tricky is that the fireplace is off-center and there is a 12″ wide hearth as well. I have added a mantle and a new fireplace screen and I’m okay with how it looks now but I have often thought about painting it and if I did, what color? I do like the look of exposed brick walls with bits of white plaster remnants so I was thinking that I could go for that kind of look by adding white paint here and there in sort of a mottled way. As Cheryl asked above, if I post a picture, could others chime in? Once it is painted, you can’t go back to the original brick. Scary!

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  40. Theme Builder Layout

    I love the paint color you chose for the fireplace! It looks wonderful with the wing-back chairs and rug, and really unites those elements with the fireplace. My inclination would have been to just whitewash the stone, but I think you made a much better decision for this room in picking up the gray color. The gray appears in natural stone, so this paint color looks natural and neutral while still pulling together the blue in the furnishings.

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  41. Theme Builder Layout

    I love it with the gray paint! It still looks natural, but goes better with your decor.
    I have a red brick fireplace (which I like), but the mantle and bookcases surrounding it are a med – dark stain. It’s a pretty stain, but the fireplace is just lost with all the darkness. I’m too chicken to paint, but I know the feeling of it not being what you love.

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    Melissa – it looks great! I have been thinking about painting our brick around our wood stove forever, but I can’t convince my husband. I am going to show this to him. Love the use of chalk paint as opposed to latex, and the color is great too. Maybe this can be my next project after all of the de-cluttering!

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    Melissa, I just want to add another ‘high-five’ to the all the other positive comments regarding your brilliant decision. From the photos, the stone looks natural and not at all painted, and the hearth, though slightly warmer, does not appear dissonant, especially with the colours of the objects you placed there. The room looks fresh and lifted and the grey is better suited to the colours of your furnishings.

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  44. Theme Builder Layout

    Do you think this would be a good option over a dated brick fireplace? I’ve been dying to try Annie’s chaulk paint . . . Maybe now is the time to try?

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  45. Theme Builder Layout

    That looks fantastic! It totally neutralized the room. Great choice. Thanks for sharing.

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  46. Theme Builder Layout

    I am impressed! I have used Annie Sloan paint on a number of furniture projects but I’ve not seen it used on stone. It looks totally realistic. Nice job!

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  47. Theme Builder Layout

    Awesome transformation, Melissa! Isn’t it amazing what a little paint can do?!

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  48. Theme Builder Layout

    Wow, that made a huge difference! Well done :)

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  49. Theme Builder Layout

    ….and one more thing. I showed this to my husband and he is SO IMPRESSED! Can’t believe his eyes.

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      Wow I’m glad he enjoyed the makeover, too! Thanks, it really did make a big difference for such little effort!

      Reply
  50. Theme Builder Layout

    Love it! I buy Annie Sloan paint in Monument, CO. They actually painted the Entire outside of their building in Paris Gray !

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  51. Theme Builder Layout

    Love it! It turned out beautiful! I think it makes the stone look like real stone. The room looks more settled now too. Good job for taking the leap!

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  52. Theme Builder Layout

    Love the gray! Looks instantly updated. Great job :)

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  53. Theme Builder Layout

    So much better! It looks great! Gray was a good color choice, and watering the paint down was a really good idea. Thanks for sharing that! (Because I’m not a fan of that heavily painted brick/stone look either.) You’re really making progress now. By the way, I love what you did in your bedroom! It looks so glam, but also cozy and inviting! (I meant to comment on that post, but you know, life swirls. Busy. Busy.)

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  54. Theme Builder Layout

    This looks awesome! I have that exact same stone for our fireplace (a weird, angled, two-room number) and on the exterior of our house. I’ve always waffled over whether to paint it, but yours looks so good it inspires me to try it!

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    I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! And Paris Grey is such a beautiful color. How great that the color matched up with your furnishings–and that you didn’t have to prep much! It really looks lovely all together, serene. Very inspiring!

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    Wow! It looks like it was always that color! Great job maintaining the character but updating to a modern color scheme. Beautiful!

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  57. Theme Builder Layout

    It looks so natural. I’m impressed & inspired!

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  58. Theme Builder Layout

    Wow, I can’t believe the transformation! I don’t like painting, but I’m feeling the need to embrace my paint brush and roller after a long separation.

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  59. Theme Builder Layout

    Very pretty! It looks so natural you can’t even tell it’s painted. Great job!

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  60. Theme Builder Layout

    ♥♥♥ it, what a transformation! I agree sometimes you just have to jump in head first, and I am sure you are very glad that you did. It looks GREAT!

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  61. Theme Builder Layout

    Oh my GOSH!!!!! it looks fabulous!!!

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  62. Theme Builder Layout

    Wow, this is awesome! The chalk paint really gives your fireplace a nice, homey look. This is a great color, too; it meshes well with the rest of the room and its decor! Great job! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  63. Theme Builder Layout

    I love this transformation!
    I have a similar situation and you have inspired me. My fireplace is pinky brick. Do you think your painting technique would work as well with a flat brick? Thx!

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  64. Theme Builder Layout

    Stunning result!

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  65. Theme Builder Layout

    Just adorable ❤ exactly the right attitude
    You go girl.

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  66. Theme Builder Layout

    This is lovely and inspirational! I am going to incorporate this look by our fireplace and was wondering if you could share the source of the plant stand.

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  67. Theme Builder Layout

    This post encouraged me to paint my old stone fireplace, I’m so glad I found it. I didn’t want it to look like I just slapped a coat of paint on it, I wanted it to look natural. I just finished this afternoon and it looks amazing! Thank you so much!

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    So good! I have a very similar (if not the same) type of stone – except its one large wall! How long did it take you to paint yours? Any additional tips?

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  69. Theme Builder Layout

    Looks great! I love this type of stone on a fireplace and that paint made a huge difference. Definitely something I’d love to try.

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  70. Theme Builder Layout

    Hello the fireplace looks amazing! Our fireplace is similar to yours and drives me nuts…it’s like a black hole in the corner! I’m curious since you only used about 1/4 cup of paint if you think you could’ve gotten by with the 4 oz sample pot?

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      I guess it would depend on how much you dilute it, how porous your stone is and how generously you apply it or how many coats, as well as how much space you are covering. We had a lot left over, so it might be worth checking to see if there are smaller cans available. It seems like I checked on sample options and decided not to use one since they were pretty expensive. I knew I could the rest of the can for something else so I just got the bigger size!

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        Thanks Melissa,
        We ended up buying two 4 oz samples to mix, to achieve a different color, should be plenty with dilution. Project starts this week!

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  71. Theme Builder Layout

    I see that the Annie Sloan site encourages the use of the wax over the paint. Did you do that on the fireplace?

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  72. Theme Builder Layout

    Amazing and exactly what I was looking for to take the lesp on updating my fireplace! I was literally thinking I wonder if I could use chalk paint? LOL can you tell me what type of brush or brushes you used? Thank you

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  73. Theme Builder Layout

    How did the chalk paint hold up? Did it rub off at all? Looks great! We have a similar fireplace that I’d like to do this to.

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  74. Theme Builder Layout

    I have used Annie Sloan paint on a number of furniture projects but I’ve not seen it used on stone. It looks totally realistic. Nice job!

    Reply

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