Fireplace Makeover Using Peel And Stick Tile And How To Paint Faux Marble
Why I waited so long to give my fireplace it’s much needed makeover is beyond me. But in my defense, I am so indecisive. So so so so so indecisive. How I managed to decide on three names for my children is amazing in itself.
It wasn’t that I absolutely hated the hunter green tile that was there when we moved in, but it was more of a distraction to me. It was the first thing that my eye went to in the family room.
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I had so many ideas with this fireplace but I just couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to do. Did I want to just slap some paint on the existing tile and call it a day? Did I want to hire someone to come bust it out and replace it with real marble? Did I want to attempt that myself? (That was a big fat no). Did I want to try to stencil over it?
And then I found it….exactly what I needed…
Let me repeat myself…Heat resistant peel and stick tile. The word “heat resistant” in the description is what got my heart beating happy beats. I have looked at peel and stick tiles before for this project but worried the backing would melt like sliced cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich on my tile surround. But heat resistant got me all giddy.
I hit “add to cart” and the rest was history
But first, a before. This was a picture I found on my phone shortly after we moved in.
And now, the after
It’s amazing what some paint and stickers can do to a room, am I right?
How To Apply Peel And Stick Tiles On Fireplace
I am not a professional. I have no idea if these heat resistant tiles will actually not melt like cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich either. Our fireplace is gas and the flames are pretty controlled. We also use it maybe three times a year. But the next time we use the fireplace, I will be sitting beside it with a fire extinguisher…and then I will come back and report what happened. That’s what good bloggers do..
Can peel and stick tiles be used on a fireplace??
**UPDATE!! I am so happy to let you know that we have had plenty of fires in our fireplace and so far, so good! The tiles did get warm but they are still stuck on my fireplace with no damage to the tiles.
I have purchased a sample of another brand of peel and stick tiles for our backsplash years ago and while it was pretty, it was definitely more flimsy than what I used on our fireplace. This stuff is pretty strong and thick.
With that comes consequences though…it was a little bit more challenging to cut than I had hoped for and the herringbone pattern was a bit tricky. But man it was worth it.
Here are some of my pointers if you ever decide to use these tiles. Remember they are literally just heavy duty stickers.
(Some of these pictures were taken quickly with my iphone as I was attempting this project so some shots aren’t the best quality.)
Here’s what the tiles look like straight out of the pack. There is a YouTube video somewhere showing how to install these but it wasn’t the most helpful.
–Clean your surface well before you apply them.
I just used soap and water but if I were a good DIYer I would have used TSP instead.
-Find yourself a good pair of scissors.
I actually used my fabric scissors since they are sharper but for this project a brand new pair would work. A strong razor or box cutter just wasn’t working for me. The razor was fraying the edges where I would cut no matter what side I tried to cut on. Maybe it was operator error but regardless, scissors will be your best friend.
Here is what the razor did to my tiles
-A level and cutting mat might help
Like I said, the herringbone pattern was a bit tricky to get lined up and nothing was level on our fireplace. Well, at least that is what I kept telling myself. I used a dry erase marker to make a line where I needed to cut along. After I made my cut, I would immediately wipe off the marker. You might need to use some elbow grease. I would test an area first, though. One dry erase marker was more stubborn than another one.
Yes, you can also draw your line on the back of the tile and in hindsight I should have done that but this was my first rodeo.
-It will not be perfect
Just know this. I am not a professional and I have never done anything like this before. If you get up close and personal you will see mistakes. And because things were not level on my mantel and because I am sure I was doing something wrong, I had to add some trim to my mantel to cover up some mistakes. And some mistakes were bigger than others (oopsie daises)
You can also use some caulk as you would with real tile but I needed more than just caulk. I cut my trim to size and then used wood glue to adhere it to the mantel.
It’s like magic
This project was worth it. Is is perfect? Not at all. Is it better than it was before? 100% yes…and that is all I care about. Will these tiles stay up forever? I am not sure but we’ll find out.
How To Paint Tile To Look Like Marble
The tile on the floor is where things started to get interesting. I easily could have used the same peel and stick tile for the floor but I have a 90 lb dog that likes to lay right there and we also usually keep her bed here so I was worried how this tile would hold up with here nails.
My second idea was to use actual peel and stick vinyl tile to lay right over this tile but I was having all kinds of issues and in the back of my mind I kept thinking how much easier it would be to just paint the dang floor.
So that is what I did.
And then I did some googling and YouTube watching and found myself a fun DIY project. This is hands down one of the easiest projects I have ever done and what looks like the most complicated…but it was so easy. Did I confuse you?
If you do some research there are a million and one tutorials on how to paint faux marble. I think there is even a kit out there that you can use on your counters.
I went “light” on my project if that makes sense. I didn’t want too much marbling going on to make it look too busy. I’ll show you exactly what I did but if you want a different look, the internet will be your friend.
Here’s my lineup
Items needed to paint tile to look like marble
(I’ll go into more detail of each in the steps below)
-Assortment of gray acrylic paint. I actually only used Apple Barrel Dolphin Grey from Walmart for my project. This is just preference.
-Fine tip paint brush or feather
-Spray bottle with water
-Clean your surface
Just like before, clean your surface well. Again, I just used soap and water but a good blogger would tell you to use TSP
-Paint two coats of Primer
I used Kilz 2 multi surface stain blocker. I will be 100% honest with you, I have no idea if this is the exact and only primer you should use to paint tile but this is what I had on hand and this is what I used. It had all of the words I was looking for in a primer….multi surface, good sealer, excellent adhesive. Check, check and check.
-Paint two coats of white paint
I used Valspar Duramax Exterior paint and primer. Again, I have no idea if this is the best product for this job but again it is what I had and what I used. Also, since it’s exterior paint, I have high hopes it is more heat resistant. I purchased this paint this past summer for our outdoor deck and the paint guy at Lowes said this is the best outdoor paint (according to him)….so in my mind it should work for the tile floor by our fireplace.
-Now for the fun part
This is the part where you might get a tad bit nervous but just remember it’s just paint and can be painted over and wiped off if you work quickly enough. Make sure you go in the same direction with your faux veining. If you want you can grab a sample of marble at your local hardware store to bring home to try to mimic but I just winged it.
As you keep going, this will get easier and more fun. I could have done this all day.
Step 1: Draw a squiggly line with your gray paint (you will see the professional word “squiggly” alot in the next few segments)
Step 2: Spray your squiggly line with water
Step 3: With a sponge start dabbing lightly to absorb some of the water. Some areas I dabbed harder and some lighter
Now at this point, if something is looking off to you, just wipe it off and start over. Once you get the hang of it, you can get all crazy and draw lines coming off of other squiggly lines.
Step 4: Once I got all of my squiggly lines sprayed and dabbed I watered down some white paint. I have no idea what the ratio was. Again, I am one of those DIYers. If there was an area that looked liked it was heavy on the marble, I would use my watered down paint and start dabbing over the area. Again, some areas harder than others.
Don’t completely cover the whole area with the watered down paint. Just lightly dab it. This also helps give your tile some dimension…well at least that is what I am telling myself it does.
I played around with it for a few days. I would just keep looking at it and maybe dabbing a few more times here and there. I knew once I put a few coats of poly on it, there was no going back.
Speaking of poly…I plan on applying two coats of Miniwax Polycrylic in clear satin to the floors…once I get the courage to call this project done. It’s the same poly I used on my buffalo check floors in my mudroom and so far they are holding up great.
However, I know how I operate and I can already tell I *might* skip this step. I’ll let you know what I decide to do…
But again, dang, this DIY project was so worth it.
I forgot to take a good before picture but I found this one on my phone from our first Christmas here
And then my favorite part, the after…
Here’s another view of the tile. I just can’t get over the magic of paint
I am just as excited with the decor on my mantel as I am with the rest of the fireplace. I have struggled with this mantel since the day we moved in for many reasons. I think the original green tile was distracting me from loving anything I put up on the mantel. Once I covered the original tile, I knew exactly what I wanted up there.
The mirror is amazing. It’s huge and so affordable. The frame is rubber which might sound odd but it reality, it’s genius. Because of this, the mirror is not heavy and the rubber prevents it from slipping on my mantel.
I do plan on hanging the mirror soon on my mantel but I need reinforcements..aka my dad. Two short Italians are better than one when it comes to hanging big objects.
The sconces might be my most favorite thing on my mantel though. Why, oh why, did I wait so long to add them to my mantel?? They are not hardwired into my wall. I just used the magic light trick I learned from Nesting With Grace. I did something similar to the sconces in my hallway. This time though, I had to use flameless candles. The puck lights were too big to sit flat in the light.
I currently have these candles in my lights but plan on switching them out with these rechargeable ones. We fly through batteries in this house to begin with. No need to add to the problem with my home decor.
I also added in some warm wood tones and gold to warm up the space for fall but I didn’t need to go crazy.
For the first time since we moved in, this fireplace looks exactly like I had thought it would once I got my hands on it. Sometimes you just need to start. And once I started I couldn’t stop until it was done. And now I sit on my couch and just stare at my fireplace.
Oh you want one more before and after?
OK, fine twist my arm
I mean, come on!!
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