One of the things I love doing on this blog is showing that you don’t have to stick with builder-grade finishes and you don’t have to do expensive changes to update them. Take our fireplace tile surround, for example. We chose this stone when we built our house. It was the best out of the options we had but it felt dark and it didn’t blend with our whimsical chic style. So, I decided I would paint it and do a stenciled fireplace DIY.
In comes Cutting Edge Stencils. They have a large variety of all different style wall stencils at extremely affordable prices as well as the supplies you need to make your stenciling experience easy and efficient. Most impressive to me are their tile stencils with modern patterns that mimic the popular concrete tiles that we love but realistically can’t afford right now.
And if you’ve been around for a while, you know I am a fan of stencils! You can see how I used one in our laundry room makeover to give the look of wallpaper as well as in our master bathroom makeover to do a wall feature and transform our builder-grade vinyl floors.
This post is in collaboration with Cutting Edge Stencils. The stencils used in this project were supplied by Cutting Edge Stencils but the ideas, opinions, and words are all my own.
Our existing stone tiles are similar to a smooth slate and have some texture to them. They were not glossy. This project took me one day to complete and I am so incredibly pleased with how it turned out!
- Rag for cleaning
- Rag for wiping
- Painter’s tape
- Chalk Paint (I used two different colors, but you can customize however you’d like) Sidenote: You could use acrylic paint for the stencil but I wanted the tile to have a chalky finish to make it look like concrete. It’s completely up to preference. I used Behr chalk paint in Snowy Pine and Behr chalk paint in Norwegian Blue.
- Roller of Paint brush of your choice
- Stencil of your choice – I used the Nola tile stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils
- Stencil brush in correct size (the finer the detail of the patterned stencil, the smaller brush you will want to use) – I used the second smallest stencil brush from Cutting Edge Stencils
Stenciled Fireplace DIY Steps:
- Prep the surface using warm water on a clean rag. This will help the paint stick and will rid the surface of any dust or particles.
2. If necessary, use painter’s tape to tape off any edges you don’t want to get paint on.
3. Using your preferred roller or brush, start painting the tile and grout lines with chalk paint. I wanted a bright base so I chose a nice creamy white. (Snowy Pine by Behr Chalk Paint)
4. If you’re painting stone like me, it is porous so you will need several coats. I did about 4 coats on mine for full coverage. Let dry for at least 3 hours. (If using paint other than chalk paint, you may need to let paint dry a little longer. What’s nice with stenciling is you do not have to wait for the base color to be completely cured.)
5. Now you’re ready to stencil your fireplace. Place the tape on all four sides of the stencil as if you’re framing it. You will likely need to replace the tape after 4 placements or so to keep a tight bond on the tile and prevent any slippage.
6. Place the stencil on your tile carefully lining up the pattern with your existing tile. (If you’re like me, the stencil did not fit our existing tile perfectly. I knew this ahead of time and made sure to pick a pattern that I could manipulate to fit our tile and existing grout lines.) Press firmly on the tape to position the stencil.
7. Pour some of your second paint color on a paper plate or other flat surface. A little paint goes a long way with stenciling. Make sure you do not cover the entire area of the flat surface with paint because you will want an area to rid your brush or excess.
8. Apply paint to your stenciling brush by keeping the brush perpendicular to the plate. Rid your brush of excess paint by stippling on the blank area of the paper plate. You will be essentially using the least amount of paint you can on your brush to prevent paint from leaking through the stencil and messing up your pattern.
9. Now it’s time to stencil! Holding the stencil firmly with your other hand, take the brush and stipple the paint onto the stencil. Dab, don’t brush, the paint on. This not only provides a nice texture but also keeps the paint from slipping under the stencil and messing up the pattern.
10.Continue until you need to move your stencil. There is no need to wait for it to dry until you move your stencil to the next section. Since you are using such a dry brush, it dries very quickly.
11. Position your stencil to the next section and repeat.
If you do make a mistake, have a damp rag on hand to quickly wipe off the mistake and try again!
Don’t forget to wash your stencil after several uses. You can tell it will need washed when you start to see paint on the underside of the stencil or if seepage starts to happen. Cutting Edge Stencils are incredibly easy to wash. Place them in your sink with warm water running on it and gently scrub the paint off with a sponge or even your fingers. The paint will come right off! It dries easily too so you can jump right back into your project.
The Finished Product
Here is how our fireplace turned out! I am so thrilled with how it brightened up this dark corner and added the whimsical personality that we love so much. The geometric shapes modernize it. The colors compliment the warm tones of the mantel and the calmness of the light greenish blue on the wall.
If you follow me on Instagram (@rufusandhenrietta), stay tuned for a giveaway where you can receive your very own stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils and you can try doing your own fireplace DIY or transforming another area in your home. And if you do, please tag me in your photos or send them to me! I get so inspired by your projects and how you translate things into your own spaces.
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