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Fireplace Surround Makeover

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 Hi friends!

I may be few and far between in posts but today is a good one! 

We have been wanting to replace the fireplace surround tile since we moved in to this house nearly 6 years ago. It’s been on our to-do list FOREVER. 

We do a lot of Diy in the form of painting, trim, decorating and woodwork. But we’ve never ventured into tiling and it was a little intimidating to us. So we’ve been putting it off until we worked up the nerve to do it. 

With all the walls getting painted gray this past summer, we decided the beige tile just had to go. It didn’t look right with our grey couch and grey walls anymore. It was just the push we needed :)

Here’s what we were starting with: 

See that beige against our new gray tones? Just wasn’t working anymore. 
I’ve known for years what I wanted the surround tile to be in- I fell in love with a white stacked stone from a friend’s house and had tracked it down to Lowes. I’ve had my eye on it forever. 
We stumbled upon some large floor tiles at Dirt Cheap, of all places. We only needed a few so we bought those months ago and they have been waiting for us to start on the project :)  

Demo was both easier and trickier than we expected. I expected the tile and mortar underneath would be way harder to get up. Turns out, it’s pretty therapeutic. 
We got most of it out easy enough. 

However, the surround had some issues from when it was put in and the firebox was not flush at all with the surrounding drywall. This was causing a pretty big gap that the builders had obviously piled mortar on top of to fill it. With the type of large tiles we were installing, we really wanted everything to sit smooth and flush. So the existing drywall pieces had to go. We definitely weren’t expecting that part. 

Out went the drywall. We brought it all the way down to the studs which was actually pretty cool to see. Hubby picked up some concrete boarding (?) and installed it in place of the drywall in order to make everything smooth and flush together. 

With that in place, we were able to start tiling. 

Our large tile pieces went on like a puzzle- they are meant to be set flush to each other with very little to no gaps in between. Which was perfect for our first time tiling, no need to deal with lining up grout lines. We learned how to mix mortar and cut with our wet saw for the first time. 

After the surround tile got installed, it was a waiting game. We took the opportunity before installing the tile to spray the inside of the firebox with high heat black paint. Just made for a nice finished, brand new, look. 

Next came the hearth tiles. These were way more difficult to install because of grout lines, keeping everything level and getting cuts around the existing trim pieces. But we somehow managed to get it semi-perfect. 

After more waiting (not my strong suit) we were able to do all the finishing touches. We caulked around gaps and trim, touched up chipped paint and added new transition pieces (ours got destroyed during demo). 

Excited is a little of an understatement as to how I feel about this new look! 
It honestly has taken me a good bit to get used to how clean and bright it all looks! It totally elevates and changes the look of the entire room. 

I’m still learning how to decorate with the new color scheme and will probably change it 343,652, 247 times in the next month or so while I tweak it to what I want. 

For the full impact of the changes, check out these before and afters! 

What do you think?? 
Such a huge difference, right? 

I can’t wait to style it and play with it a bit more but for now, I’m enjoying a fire in it with our sub-zero temps Arkansas decided to throw at us. 

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