When this idea first popped into my head, I knew that it was either incredibly genius and would save me lots of money or incredibly stupid and cost me lots of money!
I would say this faux marble fireplace is the project that I had been most scared to do. The supplies sat on the hearth for a month before I got up the nerve to go for it.
Our house is 23 years old, and our fireplace was severely damaged. So damaged that I could not post pictures of it on my blog anymore. I had to do something. The heat from the past 23 years had turned the shiny black marble into dull and burnt looking marble.
Several years ago, I placed a heavy stocking holder on the mantle, and it fell off and shattered one piece of the marble. We tried to find a piece to match, but it was so old that we could not find a matching piece, so I have tried to hide it in my photos.
I wanted white marble badly, and I knew that it would be an expensive project. I had seen where a few people have painted counter tops to look like marble and had great results. I figured if counter tops could hold up to painted faux marble, my fireplace should be able to. I could have the old black marble replaced with new white marble and spend hundreds of dollars, or I could try to paint it first and if it doesn’t work, go to plan B.
My husband is the voice of reason in my life. I told him my idea, and he didn’t shut me down. That means “go ahead, do it” to me.
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- Gripper primer (recommended by home improvement store)
- White Paint
- Grey Paint (small bottle)
- Pewter Paint (small bottle)
- Folk Art Light Gray (This is a tan color grey. Use this color if you want more of a tan color in your marble.)
- Sea Sponge
- spray water bottle
- 3 Small Paint Rollers (I would definitely roll it so you don’t have brush strokes). One roller for paint, primer, and sealer.
Some bloggers use iridescent glitter for counter tops. I did use it, but I used very little glitter. You can find the glitter at an Arts and Craft store.
I purchased one square of black marble and replaced the broken tile. The best thing I did was re grout the entire fireplace. I wanted the marble to look like one piece instead of separate squares. I mixed a small amount of grout that I already had and filled in the grout lines. I knew that this would be easier than trying to paint the black grout white, and it was very easy.
I used Gripper by Glidden, and I am very pleased with how well it covers. I painted three coats of gripper to be safe. I painted two coats of white paint on top of the gripper. I had a piece of marble that I used as a guide.
I wanted my faux marble to blend with my warm white wood. The wood on our fireplace is off white, so I did not want too much bright white and dark grey. I used a pure white paint, but I used warmer greys.
I dipped the feather in the darkest gray and brushed marble looking lines going in an angle across the tiles. I made the lines cross over to the next tile so that it would look like one piece of marble.
I squirted water on the mark and softened the paint with the damp sea sponge.
The best thing is that you can wipe off the mark after it is wet if you do not like it. It is almost fool proof! I randomly dab the damp sponge on the paint to give it a more natural look.
I used 4 coats of Rustoleum Semi gloss polyurethane to be safe. I also cut and placed the felt pads that you put on chair legs on the bottom of my fireplace screen because it is so heavy.
I am so surprised how it feels like marble when you touch it.
I really think that the fireplace looks stunning now! I could not wait for my husband to get home from work, and he could not believe how great it looks. It really looks like the real deal. He drags everyone that comes over into the living area to see the faux marble fireplace, and he makes them touch it. I am so glad that this did not turn into a DIY fail!
I am so happy that the faux painted marble fireplace still looks great. We have had a few gas fires in it, my boxer walks on it, we sit on it often, I have had metal lanterns moved around on it, and it has not scratched or chipped.