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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Painting the Granite Fireplace Surround and Hearth

I finally stopped procrastinating and painted my fireplace surround! I’ve been messing around with the fireplace from the time we moved in – starting with putting up some stick-on Smart Tiles to give it a quick and temporary clean quartz look. Then last year about this time I took it all off because different pieces were fading at different rates. I’ve been planning what to do next (without paying big bucks) long enough. We ordered our new living room furniture (yay!) so since we have to wait until end of March/early April for it to come in, I’m working on getting the rest of the room buttoned up for the new furniture arrangement - which brings me BACK to our fireplace.

fireplace with brown granite surround

After looking back at a bunch of our holiday photos, I decided I was done with the brown granite and figured slapping a coat of paint on it would be the cheapest and fastest way to give it a new look in a way that would hopefully last until we address the base materials itself. Here’s how we painted the fireplace surround – so easy, you can do it in a weekend.

Preparing the Surface

Confession: after I removed the stick on tiles, I had a hard time getting all the adhesive off with the products I had on hand and never did try any harder to it done. So we sat with a semi sticky fireplace hearth for a YEAR. I finally got my act together and looked for a super powered adhesive remover and stumbled on this product. It was a gooey mess but totally worked and made me feel really dumb for waiting so long because of how quick it worked.

max strip tape glue an adhesive remover

Using a razor blade scraper tool, it all just scraped right off leaving a fresh and clean surround.

scraping adhesive off granite

Before painting, I gave it another wipe down with a microfiber cloth to get any dust off and we were ready to paint.

clean fireplace surround and hearth

Taping off the Fireplace

Since I was going to paint a color that was pretty close to the painted mantle, I decided to live on the edge and just tape off the fireplace. Figured if I got paint on the wood around, I could rub it in or it’d be barely noticeable. With this, I was ready to paint!

fireplace taped off ready for painting

Selecting the Paint

I did a little online research and decided chalk paint looked like the way to go for the quickest and easiest application. It’s a thick paint that can be applied on nearly anything without a primer. It can be applied with or without a protective gloss coat, so you can choose for it to look matte or shiny. I knew this was the paint I was going to try, but even though this all sounds like it was a very fully planned out project, making it happen was more of a whim when I was in Home Depot one day. So I didn’t plan out colors or even take samples home to see what would work best.

Behr chalk paint and foam rollers on fireplace hearth

I found a chalk paint by Behr, and while it could be colored to be anything, the marketing material near the paint had a creamy white in it that looked like it’d be pretty close to the mantle so I took a risk and bought it. Figured if I didn’t like it, I could just paint it again. Funny that I’m trying to merge my style away from the farmhouse look and the paint color was called Farmhouse White. Apparently I just can’t help myself.

Behr chalk paint farmhouse white

Painting the Granite

A quick stir and I got to work. Chalk paint dries pretty fast so you have to work quick and in small sections. I wanted as smooth of an application as possible because I wanted the matte finish and very clean lines of the granite, so I started by painting the edges with an angled brush then using a foam roller to apply everything else.

painting the granite fireplace surround

I started this project around 4pm on a Saturday, letting about 2.5 hours pass between the first two coats, then hit it with a third coat in the morning after that settled overnight. After church on Sunday, I removed the tape, did some touch-ups and it was done!

living room with painted fireplace

I was super happy to see the color match in the daylight! It’s pretty dang close to the whites in the room already. Great blank canvas for the future changes coming in this room.

living room with white painted fireplace

Bonus Project!

While I had the paint out and the first coat was drying, I decided to hit the fronts of the storage boxes we have on our media stands to tone down even more of the brown/rustic elements.

media cabinet next to fireplace with brown rustic boxes

Didn’t even remove the boxes from the shelves! It's just a little detail but it does help them blend in better overall. I don’t think we’ll be keeping these cabinets in this room much longer, but for now while I work on updating this wall to work better with the new layout when the furniture comes in, they’ll stay put.

painting storage boxes white

All in all, this was a project you could definitely do in a day. And it settles my soul to have a little more of the brown granite gone ... again.

Next up in here: Getting a TV to mount above the fireplace and determine what happens with the shelving situation once the TV is moved. Planning to thin out and mature the decor in here for sure once a TV is on the wall, so lots of rearranging to happen while we keep waiting on the furniture. And it's about time to start adding some color back in... #housedonemandead

living room with painted fireplace


Need a fireplace fix? Here's what we used.

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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