A faux fireplace can be an affordable way to add character to your master bedroom! While it not be my first choice, it certainly feels like the next best thing. My dreamy option would be a white painted brick fireplace with hearth and working heat for those cold winter months. However, I also dream of adding a fireplace to our screen porch and would prefer to save our dollars for that...when the world gets back to normal from this crazy coronavirus! When we added on to our small home in 2008-2009, we were fortunate enough to add a large master suite. I found someone selling a non-working electric fireplace and new that was the perfect "affordable" way for me to gain a faux fireplace! He tossed the insert and I took the surround and spray painted it white. That worked for me for the last 12 years! But now that I'm finally getting around to re-thinking our space and moving away from the gold tones, it was time to update. Here's what the fireplace looked like before.
First, I wiped the entire piece down with a just a little bit of soap and water.
Then I went to town painting with my Annie Sloan Athenian Black (still had over half a can left from my piano project). I used my Annie Sloan brush to apply the paint which also allows me to get the paint into all of the nooks and crannies. Since I started on the side pieces with grooves, it gave me some time to think. I had the idea that I wanted the top to look like wood just like my front door and faux living room beams (previous blog posts). So, I taped off the "mantel" part with blue painter's tape. Once coat one dried, I came back to do the second coat of black. Next, once the black was dry, I taped off the top portion of the black that met up with the bottom of the mantel.
Using the same yellowish-orange I used for my faux wood beams, I applied two coats to the entire mantel.
Thirdly, I mixed about half and half of Annie Sloan Dark Wax with White Wax.
Using my Annie Sloan paint brush, I started to apply the wax directly over the yellow. (If you recall from the previous blog posts, my waxing brush had a little accident, so I cleaned my paint brush and continued on.) Why didn't I do the paint technique like on my front door? Mainly because I like the fact that the wax has a textured feel that makes our wood beams "feel" more like wood. I decided to use the wax again for this project for the same reason. However, you could easily follow the steps I used for the front door for a smoother finished effect.
Once I had a coat all over the mantel using the 50/50 mix, I went with straight dark wax over certain areas. I was careful to make sure it looked like it was random and dry brushed in many areas. You could use a chip brush to achieve the dry brushed look as well.
I was liking how this was going, so I moved on to the next step of the main portion of the fireplace.
It was time to sand and wax. Using 400 grit sandpaper, I gently went over the entire fireplace, allowing some of the white to come through in certain areas, with the sandpaper.
Following that, I wiped the dust off with a slighly damp cloth. Finally, I added straight Annie Sloan black wax to the entire fireplace. I apply with an Annie Sloan brush and then wipe off the excess with a lint-free cloth.
It takes 22-23 days or so for the wax to fully cure, but I broke some rules and styled everything just to get some photos. I'll take the items back off for a few days and then put them back on. After that, I just need to be careful until it's fully cured.
A bonus project...or two!
Now that the faux fireplace was black, I couldn't let the clock remain the color it was. (You may have noticed I had a different, larger, clock sitting on top of the fireplace when it was still white - in an earlier photo. If I could have build the large fireplace I wanted, I wanted to use that clock on the mantel. But it's way too large to be proportionate for this size mantel.) I decided to give painting this clock a try as well...with the same Athenian black. And boy am I glad I did! Notice the color before...
Painting this detailed darling by hand was not necessarily fun. However, I wanted the colors to match and I didn't feel like getting my sprayer out and then having to clean it. A can of black may have been find but I really wanted the colors to match nicely and I also wanted to be able to distress easily which is what Annie Sloan allows me to do! So I took the time to paint it by hand using the same method as with the fireplace.
I even got that one wall of my bedroom painted with some of the leftover Bungalow Beige I had from the painting the rest of the main floor earlier this year. Goodbye gold..at least on the walls, anyway. The carpet has a gold tone as well but it may be a while until that goes away.
I'm really happy with the fact that I did the wood look on the top. I think that helped warm up the piece. I'm still torn on what I want I'm doing for the rest of the room. Other than continue painting the walls, I do want to consider some type of accent wall behind our bed. And, since our headboard is made from different wooden planks, each stained in different colors (grays/browns), I need it to all come together. So the verdict is still out on whether I want to do a dark charcoal/black accent wall (WHAT???? I can't believe I just said that!) or more of the peel and stick white shiplap. What do you think I should do? Here are more of my final pictures of my newly transformed faux fireplace. I hope this inspired you to accomplish a project on your list!
Here's a look at what this space looked like back when I first finished our bedroom, circa 2009. I just needed a change and a little more character!