Ever since I can remember I've dreamt of having a fireplace in my house. When we were shopping for our first house, I refused - categorically refused - to entertain any property that didn't have a fireplace. So naturally, the house we purchased didn't have one.
That's OK, I said. The next house, I said. The next house will DEFINITELY have a fireplace, or seriously I'm not moving there.
Can you see where I'm going with this?
Anyway, with our third house we finally nailed it: the place had a fireplace. But it was only a little nail, because man, that fireplace was ugly.
"U" "G" "L" "Y" -ugly.
OK, it's not tacky or horribly disfigured. It's not a monster. But it wasn't the fireplace of my dreams, so it was crap. And it was crying out for help.
In our old place we had painted the side of a cupboard with chalkboard paint to cover up some test splotches I had painted the year before. It was a quick-fix solution to an awkward problem, but it turned out not only was it practical, it was pretty nice too. I actually really liked the colour, and when we got here I knew it would be the perfect perk-up for my sad little mantel.
Side note: I'm starting to feel a little bit like a Rust-Oleum spokesperson. Like, am I getting paid for this? No. Should I be? CAN I be? Hey, Rust-Oleum, have your people call my people (OK, me) and let's talk!
After just the first coat, I knew I was on to something.
The second coat cemented it: the mantel was going to look great. For just $2.30 (1/10th of a can of $23 paint), the whole room was being transformed.
While we were in the painting mood, we figured we might as well get the whole room done. The fireplace was looking great but that yellow room? Still sucked, and was completely harshing my freshly painted mellow. So out came the white paint along with the black, and wound up with a little bit of magic that looks like this.
Ah, paint, how I love thee. And my new fireplace? I love even more. Look again.
I'm toying with the idea of tricking it out a bit more by tiling the recessed part around the firebox, and maybe painting the inside of the box itself so it doesn't stand as much. I haven't decided. For now, I'm pretty happy with it just the way it is.