Cozy Farmhouse Fireplace makeover
I was going to publish this tomorrow but, then I woke up this morning to snow and it seemed so fitting for today instead. Plus, this is an awesome weekend project to get done quickly on a Saturday morning or Friday night!
So, check out the before, no judging!
Not your prettiest fireplace. Compared to Pinterest it’s downright abhorrent. But, it gets better! So here’s the quick background story. I had fall decorations up, but then I hated them so down they came. This is what I was left with. Dirty Gentleman LOVES that hideous wood carrying bag, and constantly leaves it on the floor in front of the fireplace. Also, you will notice a metal bucket tucked in the corner beside the chair on the right. My beautiful farmhouse bucket just hiding :(. I think it’s safe to say, it needs a quick makeover before company arrives next weekend, and I don’t have a lot of time, so it needed to be easy and take under 60 minutes.
Supplies you need!
- Chalk paint! – if you don’t want to buy a whole can for one tiny mantel, my favourite recipe is 3 parts acrylic paint, 1 part Plaster of Paris (available at any home building store) and 1-3 Tbsp of water. Whisk together in a disposable cup.
- Dollar Store haul- I spent $7.00 haha. I bought some gold sparkly pinecones, some gold candle holders, a mini chalkboard easel (SO cute!), a wooden craft snowflake, some tall sparkly plant things (see after picture below), a cheap paintbrush, and a tall clear glass vase.
- Yarn (optional)
- Your kids’ winter crafts. They need to be on display somewhere. Choose your favourite two. If you don’t have kids you can make your own pretty crafts, lucky!
- Some candles- Pillar candles from Walmart or the dollar store work, tealights and votives, all of mine are cream coloured because that sets the best farmhouse tone in my opinion.
Here we go!
If you hate the colour of your mantel like me (hooray 1995 oak!), you can paint it in 15 min with chalk paint. My favourite brand is Annie Sloan because it dries SUPER quick. You can make your own as well, or Rustoleum sells nice chalk paint too. I used the colour “old white”, to replicate that colour you need a cream coloured acrylic with a little bit of a yellow undertone.
You don’t need to sand anything if your mantel is wood, is there any other type?? The great thing about chalk paint is that it requires no prep and adheres to anything!
I always start at the top, if you need to tape off your back wall, do that now. I never do because it’s unnecessary in my opinion. Make sure to paint with the grain, a thin layer, you almost are rubbing the paint into the wood with the brush. I painted all along the top then finished the front and sides.
To paint the back strip closest to the wall I start with the end of the brush along the wall and pull it out towards me. I go along with the grain afterwards to give it brush marks in the proper direction. Brushing along the grain really adds to it looking like a farmhouse design.
So if you like this grey weathered look, leave it here. I didn’t topcoat mine, I know it’s not a good idea, but I only ever dust with a dry duster on the mantel, and I want it to wear a bit more. If you dust with cleaner or anything wet, top coat now. Once I’m happy with the wear I will finish it with a matte Rustoleum chalk paint top coat in clear. That will probably be months down the road though. If you want it more of a creamy white, do one more coat when it’s dry to the touch. You really don’t need to wait long at all to recoat as long as your gentle with the brush.
Finished painting, ready for decor
Now comes your dollar store haul, and anything farmhouse looking you found in your house! I took my metal bucket that I got at the dollar store and sprayed it with vinegar multiple times over my sink and let it dry. This was a summer project so it’s been done for a while, spraying it gives it that old weathered look, which I love! I used it for extra paper, kindling and my creepy old fireplace tools. Side note on the tools, we found them left under the stairs in this house after we moved in, they are ridiculously old but I love them!
C&B tip: Hide all your extra paper behind your chair hahaha-
I hate newspapers.
I wrote the word “snow” on my little chalkboard easel and “Baby it’s cold outside” on my craft snowflake. If you suck at hand lettering, see the photos below! Down lines are thick, up lines are thin. I draw with pencil first, then go over with two different sizes of black marker. C&B tip: can’t find an eraser, use your kids bouncy ball! Bahahaha, I actually did this and it worked!
I was super unhappy with my snowflake, so I tied a bunch of yarn around it. Something I’ve learned over the years of updating to farmhouse decor, tieing beige yarn around pretty much anything makes it look like it belongs in a farmhouse. I have a ton of vases and canning jars already painted white or cream (watered down paint on the INSIDE of the vase, chalk paint on the OUTSIDE of the canning jar for the looks here) so I grabbed a vase and tied yarn around it and stuck my sparkly twigs in. Now pick out a canning jar, put cinnamon sticks in, and, voila! The Scentsy warmer is always on display, it’s my autism warmer that we won at a silent auction for autism. I love incorporating things like that around the house to show support for Sir.E and Little Miss Psychopath.
Put your items on the mantel where you like them, I prefer items bunched together in two’s. Spread out all your pinecones, yay, and add your pretty, or children created, crafts. My Designer Diva brought me home the 2×4’s on the right-hand side of the mantel, one is a snowman and one says “home sweet home”, they made the cut to join the mantel. The hardest part for me is actually picking out decor items and putting them up, so I hope this inspires you to get that farmhouse look.
Let’s get Cozy!
To give it that cozy look I hid the wood bag behind my couch and stuffed the extra wood in the corner by the chair. I put my beautiful bucket out to cover some of that ugly hearth. I had this cute cream coloured storage bin, a wicker basket would work too, I added a fluffy blanket to it then threw a blanket over a chair. Blankets make everything look cozy in the winter ;). The pitcher I’ve had for a while in my kitchen but,
I thought it should be on display REALLY hate that hearth, so I added it to the mix. Ignore the ugly pan on top of my stove, it’s our homemade humidifier :).
What do you think? It’s an improvement for sure. Is there anything else I could add for a more farmhouse look?? Let me know in the comments, I love it when you give me suggestions!