When we moved into our home, I wanted to change the fireplace right away. Absolutely nothing was wrong with this feature but for me, the feel was more of a log cabin style. Not what I wanted in this home.
The before is actually not so before! You can see that there is a rectangular shape above the mantle that is more yellow than the rest of the space. The reason being is that I actually “white washed” the stone with grey chalk paint to cancel out the warm tones. Below is the true before photo when we were blessed enough to purchase it.
We are all visual creatures so here is a video all about the process from beginning to end. If you read on, there are close ups for any questions you may have.
DIY German Schmear
The materials needed are simple- the process is a bit of work but it is all worth it! Head to the Home Depot and grab your mortar, 5 gallon bucket, mixing paddle (drill), putty scraper, sponge and sandpaper (we used 40 grit). If you choose to you can use limewash which ours is from our partner on this project; Romabio in Avorio White. To apply the limewash you will need a mortar brush, spray bottle and a towel.
The consistency of the mortar should be a thick pancake look. Work in small batches to play with the thickness, add water if too thick and add the powder mortar if too watery.
Taking the mortar on your putty spatula, pile on the mixture on and smooth into the deep grooves.
While the mortar is still wet, you are going to wet a sponge and smooth down the ridges. The spatula does create these high points and taking the time now to remove those will be worth the time.
After this all dries, which does not take long, you’ll want to sand down the high points of the mortar. Using a 40 grit paper I was able to get them all off pretty quick considering.
The End Result
I do not say this much but I am SO very proud of myself. Tackling this project was not an easy thing to convince my husband of but I am so glad we decided to take it on.
This transformation from the cabin feel to this century old vibe is more than what I wanted. I’ll honestly say that I had a vision in my mind for this to be more updated but not into a modern feel. I want our home to feel comfortable yet current at the same time.
If you need me, I’ll be just standing here and staring at the fireplace everyday.