Staining the Fireplace


Remember our beige-pink fireplace? Quite bland, especially with the maple colored mantle against the white wall. After debating whether to paint it white, faux-paint it like rock, or stain it, I decided to try Minwax mahogany stain. First I applied it with a rag, but it took a long time, didn’t get into the cracks, and applied very thinly. I ended up using an old paintbrush which worked like a charm. The stain has a naturally oily finish, giving it a slight sheen.


The mantle went white with Olympic Premium’s zero VOC primer and 3 coats of Olympic Premium paint, and the fireplace cover went to the dump. I also scrubbed the inside of the fireplace with Trader Joe’s Peppermint Castile Soap mixed with water.


The rag-painted left side will get another coat of stain, since it wiped away and is considerably less sheen-y. And yes, the right side of the fireplace is still a good nine inches wider than the left side. Maybe someday we’ll remedy that. But for now, we love how the brick ties in with our dining room table and leather sofa. Another view:

My sister and I painted the walls with Benjamin Moore’s Fantasy Blue color matched in Olympic Premium by the good people at Lowe’s. (Actually the guy who worked with me to color match asked me 5 minutes later if he could help me when I came back to collect my paint. Apparently a pregnant Asian woman is hard to remember.) We also removed the old drapes and sagging rods complete with their greasy looped pulls. New window coverings pending!

Total cost of the fireplace project:
$5  for the mini can of stain I bought to finish the left side of the fireplace (yet to be done)
$3 for the dropcloth
Total: $8. I had the paint and larger can of stain on hand from other projects. The paintbrush had to be thrown away, so maybe the cost of the project in damages comes to a bit more.


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