I recently renovated my entire fireplace, and I wanted to share my method with you all. It had bothered me for a while, the way it stood out from the rest of the house, and I wanted to do something about it.
The walls were white, and the fireplace was made of wood paneling and black grating. I didn’t want to put a lot of work on myself, so I didn’t really strip much of anything out. I mainly just worked with what was there.
I started with the frame for the fireplace. I had always thought a stone fireplace looked better than a wooden one, but I didn’t have the tools or training to do a stone fireplace by myself. And besides, that would have been very expensive to start fresh with new materials. So what I did was use a stone, patterned paper. This isn’t typical wallpaper though- I wanted something that could withstand the heat of the fireplace.
So I turned to my local home furnishings store and found a fire-resistant panel paper. It’s thicker and more expensive than typical wallpaper, but it also resists the heat, and it looks great. It’s not quite a stone fireplace, but the white and gray rocks are beautiful, and they match the rest of the room.
I also painted over the grating, using a white, fireproof paint. I know it won’t last forever, but for now it looks wonderful.
This was a fairly inexpensive project, and I ended up with a look for my fireplace that I’m happy with. It’s not quite enough to afford a chauffeured car to work every morning, but it does the job. If I wanted that chauffeured car, I’ll have to save money on a bunch of other projects.
But you can find easy and inexpensive solutions to a lot of home improvement projects just by substituting what you want for a close approximation. I did the same thing with my kitchen. I had wanted wood paneling in the kitchen, but found it was cheaper and simpler to just put wood-patterned paper over the cupboards and various kitchen fixtures.
If you’re on a budget with your home projects, these kinds of substitutions can be a great money saver.