If there ever was a project that I could take back and start all over on, it would hands down be our fireplace. MAN. What a pain in the ass this entire thing has been, not to mention a painful amount of money that has gone into the trial and error of do it yourself projects. When you have a certain vision for a space in your home, and you don’t receive immediate results it can be a huge bummer. HOWEVER, I believe that we are making waves, and this will all pan out perfectly…even if it almost gave us gray hair and tested our patience along the way.

To back things up a bit, here’s what we started with.


It’s hard to tell the true beauty and potential of that fireplace because of the glamorous blue stained paneling, but work with us here, don’t get distracted. ;) HA!

Our fireplace stayed like this for about two years until I decided to paint it white in an attempt to make it more aesthetically pleasing, like those cream colored pull down blinds. Needless to say the white painted brick fireplace just screamed everything that we’re not into, farmhouse, so it really messed with the surrounding decor as we were torn to work around the fireplace.

This year we said enough is enough. This space is our dining room, and as you can see we’re not working with much, so we needed to brainstorm. The most practical thing on our list? Remove the brick fireplace hearth of course. This might raise a white flag for some because even we didn’t know what we were getting into. Was there anything behind said brick hearth? If we ripped it out would our house crumble (kidding, kind of)? Would we be exposing some old house funk buried beneath the pretty aesthetic that would harm our insides?

Basically we dove in head first, because #YOLO. Here’s a photo of our brick hearth removal, and if you missed that post and want to check it out you can do that HERE.


As you can see we gained so much walking space. The plan was to create a flush with the hardwoods hearth. TODAY. Today we have gone through three different brands of materials, and tools. To be honest, I have been feeling incredibly down about the direction this project has taken, HOWEVER, I’m also an optimist and believe there is power in positive thoughts.

Want to see it in it’s current state? Imperfections and ALL? Ha! Here’s what we’re working with. Be kind.


I plan on replacing our current antlers with something a little more European down the road when we’re closer to a “finished” space. For now I hung it up to make me feel better about the entire project. As you can see from a distance the products we used were not only not matching/uniform in color, but they’re also ‘rough’ as we found out PRETTY fast that we’re not in fact professionals when it comes to this sort of thing. BUT that’s what makes you better at DIY projects, experience. We’ve gathered enough experience from this project to redo 15 more fireplaces. KIDDING, Scot. KIDDING.

Here’s a close up of the roughness I’m referring to.


SO there is a positive when it comes to the current status of the wall. It’s unique. The original vision was a tad closer to a concrete surround, but we wanted to save on cost and labor, hints that #diylife. Another positive is that it can be ‘fixed’ per-say. The game plan and next step in this DIY is to grind the wall down to create a smoother surface. Another area that didn’t work too well with gravity was the inside of the fireplace. Exhibit A.


Jesus. Shield your eyes. Insert the black out sunglasses they give you after having your eyes dilated. I’m pretty sure someone rocking those could’ve done a cleaner job. HOWEVER, I’m going to give us a break on this because having four children, our DIY’s take place in the wee hours of the morning after long days soooo giving us all the grace. This area will be fixed with the smoother, too so it won’t be this horrendous.

We also had a wood burning fireplace insert quoted and that came in just under $8k. Talk about a huge blow to our final vision, but we definitely cannot justify forking out that much money when we’re currently renovating our basement.

Here are a few more photos for your enjoyment.


The door to the left will also be getting replaced with not only a more modern door, but also a more energy efficient one because #oldhouse.


We threw the wood holder together a few weeks ago with a few scraps we had laying around. It, along with the antlers, also makes me love this project that has taken us down the black rabbit hole of DIY doom.

So that’s it! Our fireplace update, and what we plan to do next. Smoothing out the walls is coming up, and fingers crossed it produces a finish that makes all of this hard work pay off. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and welcoming our DIY ‘fail’ with open arms. We’re not all perfect, and we don’t claim to be professionals, but we sure as hell know what not to do next time. ;)

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