Restoring and Stencilling a Fireplace
Updated: May 20
This week I spent some time restoring the fireplace in one of our spare rooms. It was a pretty dingy and well overdue some TLC. You can see from the before picture below, the green tiles were dirty and marked and the grout was really discoloured.
The first thing I did a few weeks ago was to paint the tiles. I used white tile paint (it took about three coats to get a really nice coverage), but I ended up doing a coat of white chalk paint when it came to stencilling as the pink eggshell paint didn’t adhere to the tile paint so well. If I were to do it again I‘d probably just skip the tile paint and go straight for chalk paint, the drying time and clean up with chalk paint is also a lot quicker and easier. I used Rustoleum chalk paint which is available in most hardware stores, but I love the Annie Sloan products too.
Obviously these tiles are only decorative rather than purposeful like in a bathroom, chalk paint wouldn't stand the test of time if exposed to water.
The next step was to restore the ironwork, the fireplace surround is made from iron as well as the actual inner fire. I came across Iron Paste when I was researching how I might tackle the job. Originally I was worried I’d have to paint the whole surround if I couldn’t restore the metal to a high enough standard, but I didn’t want to lose the original feature. The paste worked like a charm though so I’d highly recommend.
I sanded down any really rough areas with metal sandpaper and then used a cloth to apply the paste. I buffed it on almost as if I was applying a wax and used cotton buds to work the paste into all the awkward corners. After a few hours it was dry and the fireplace looked completely transformed.
The final stage (and the part I was most excited about), was to stencil a pattern onto the newly white tiles. I went back on forth on patterns and colours for a while, but in the end I thought I'd keep the pattern simple to keep the stencilling process easier and go for a more exciting colour. I already had a bit of leftover Farrow & Ball Calamine estate eggshell so it seemed like the perfect choice.
I created the star template on Microsoft Word, printed it out and then used a Stanley knife to cut it out on card. I used small sponges to dab the paint onto the tiles rather than a brush, I wanted to avoid the paint bleeding under the stencil.
My inspiration was the Bert & May Luna tiles, they are obviously a lot larger then my tiles, but I think stencilling the stars created a really similar effect on a budget.
I styled the fireplace with a new Vogue print from The Trumpet Shop (the pink one from the before shot is now in the bathroom), and the eucalyptus garland is from Amazon! The big star is from Garden Trading and I think it just pulls everything together.
A definite glow up, I’m really pleased with how it turned out.