The $157.41 Ugly Oak Fireplace Mantle Makeover


I hated the old fireplace.

A fireplace is supposed to be the focal point of a room and all I could think every time I walked into the living room or kitchen was how ugly the fireplace was. The house was built around 15 years ago when grey tile and high gloss oak was ‘in.’ Now that’s it not ‘in’ anymore, it’s out. But I didn’t want to spend alot of money and I didn’t want to do any major renovations to the house.

The fireplace had to go. So we got busy. Mainly, Dennis (my husband) got busy and I was his cheerleader.

Dennis discovered a product at Lowe’s called Airstone. It’s 75% lighter than regular stone and costs a fraction of what real stone would cost. See for yourself from the pictures whether you like it or not. It’s changed the entire look of the house, simply by changing the fireplace.

The 8-Step How-To $157.41 Ugly Oak Fireplace Mantle Makeover
Step 1: Remove old tile (unfortunately the old tile took some of the sheetrock with it so we had to replace the sheetrock around the black fireplace insert)
Step 2: Repair and/or replace sheetrock around fireplace insert
Step 3: Paint the mantle
Step 4: Tile the hearth
Step 5: Grout the hearth
Step 6: Install stone (we used AirStone – it’s awesome…we used a small T-frame support over the opening of the fireplace to keep the stone from slipping until the adhesive was dry)
Step 7: Glue embellishments on and paint
Step 8: Admire your handiwork!

The entire makeover took approximately 5 hours total, but it’s many small steps. Installing the AirStone, the bulk of the project accounted for about half of the time. The most amazing part of all…it only cost $157.41.

Materials:
1 quart Valspar Paint (we used Valspar Ultra Interior Satin, #391638, it’s a Paint + Primer)
1/2 sheet of sheetrock
2 boxes of Air Stone (flat style)
5-18″ x 18″ ceramic tiles
2 embellishments
1 bag grout

Tools:
Hacksaw (used to cut the AirStone tiles, could also use a miter saw)
Grout tool
5-gallon bucket
Large sponge

Cost:
$3.00 Paint (I got this out of the ‘oops’ pile, it would’ve normally cost around $15 a quart)
Sheetrock (free from my father in law)
$18.88 Ceramic tile
$135.53 Airstone, Grout and Stone Adhesive

$157.41 Total Fireplace Makeover Cost

Handy tip: If you don’t have a tile saw and don’t want to invest in one, Lowe’s will cut your tile for FREE for you. All you do is simply mark the tile where you want it cut and the Lowe’s associate will do the work for you.

No, we didn’t sand the fireplace first to remove the old finish on the woodwork. My husband Dennis is the equvalent of Ty Pennington (without the hair) so we didn’t have any labor costs involved with the entire renovation. Kinda funny that I hated the grey tile but I painted the mantle grey.

You really can do this yourself. 5 hours. $157.41. Sweat equity is the best equity you can put into a house.

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