New Home Makeover Step 1: White Wash Fireplace

So when we were talking about moving in, my husband made me list what I absolutely NEEDED to have done in order to live there. I said hard wood floors installed…he didn’t think it was funny 😉

One of my main *wishes* was to paint. We were lucky to have been able to fix up the place before we moved, so I wanted the majority of the interior painted while it was empty. Our old living room had an awesome navy wall that I loved, but I didn’t want to stick with the same exact colors so I searched for a dark teal.

Here was my Pinterest inspiration…




Grey, Dark Teal and Pops of Chartreuse ❤

One problem to my vision…


This fireplace was really pissing me off. Frst of all, the stone is awesome, but the yellow and orange tones were throwing me for a loop. I talked about completely redoing the fireplace with my father in law and husband, but it just wasn’t an option at this point. I didn’t want to paint it because that always looks weird to me. I stumbled across a technique called whitewashing that tickled my fancy. You take white paint, water it down and it tones down the color. This is used a lot with brick walls and fireplaces, but I could not find a stone tutorial for the life of me! So…I decided to go for it anyways.



I had already stained the mantle, which was not the best timing. I definitely would have waiting until after the mess of whitewashing to do so, but whatever.

ImageLook how much better it is! This was the half way point. You can see the stark contrast now, but I think the stone keeps it’s natural integrity. It’s definitely not screaming PISS YELLOW at me any more!

ImageHere was the fireplace after I finished. For those wondering, I picked a flat interior off white color, it was Behr. I threw it in a bucket, dumped water into it (think 1 part paint, 3 parts water), no I did not measure, that’s not my style. I used a rough bristle exterior brush and tested one stone. I played with the water amount until I liked the tone I was getting. The water will drip and you will worry if you’re doing it right, but after a few minutes of freaking out it will work.

Let’s just take a break and look at that table. SICK. This is what moving looks like people. This is real like I’m showing you! Haha!

Without further ado…FINAL REVEAL


I could not be happier with the results. Honestly, I was planning on tearing up that black slate at the bottom, but the whitewashing makes it not so offensive to my eye any more.

Yay for step 1!

This same stone work is on our exterior. I’ve already began playing around with the idea of using the technique out there, but haven’t committed. Only time will tell!

– xoxo, Jess


16 responses to “New Home Makeover Step 1: White Wash Fireplace

  1. Will look forward to seeing your paint choice. We’re currently settling on Farrow and Ball Hague Blue for our master bedroom so will be intrigued to see your results!

  2. I have such a similar fireplace and your image gives me hope. I also have it on the outside of my home. Did you ever get around to doing it on the outside?

    • Hey!
      Not yet, we just painted the garage…slowlyyyy getting to the rest! I’ll post when I do! Still want to though, waiting to finish our trim first 🙂 I’ll be watering it down a little more for the outside stone work.

      • Hey! We did our fire place with similar stone and it turned out beautifully! I’m like you wanting to tackle the outside stone work as well. Have you done it since this post?! What paint would you use and do you believe it would stay? I tested the interior, water based paint from our fireplace and it rubbed off pretty easily with a wet towel. I definitely know that would not hold up to Oklahoma weather. Any advice you could offer?

      • We started it outside (a year ago…) but haven’t finished yet. We’ve been super busy! I used the same paint we used inside to test half a wall and so far it’s held up well! Should I probably have used an outdoor paint?….probably…but it hasn’t run or faded as of yet! When we finish the project (we need too, our neighbors keep commenting on the halfway finished project!! Lol!), we’ll be using just plain white outdoor paint (the kind they sell for rocks and masonry) and watering it down heavily. Sorry for the lack of details, I’m not very organized with DIY things, I just kind of go for it!

  3. Do you remember the sheen of the paint you used? Flat? Semi-gloss? Gloss? etc. This is exactly what our stone fireplace needs. What a beautiful job you have done. Thanks!!!

  4. Beautiful. ! I can’t wait to try this.

  5. So did you whitewash the grout too? I love this! Out fireplace is the exact “piss yellow” as your before picture. My husband and I actually agree on this too. Another plus. We bought a rug that we both fell in love with when we bought the house so that we would have a color palette and your pinspitation has the same colors in it. So glad a HOUZZ member directed me to your blog!

    • I didn’t do the grout, I wanted it to look more….rustic I guess. The grout kind of looks grey in person which I love so I left it be. I just added some black and white striped pillows to the living room which added an interesting pop with the chartreuse. The grey-teal-white combo has been super fun!

  6. Jessica- did you use only one shade of white? If so, how did you get the different variations of color? And did you use regular interior paint? I have the same 80’s type of fireplace and trying to convince my husband that we can do this! Of all the searches online, I like what you did the best. Do you remember where you found the whitewashing tutorial?

    • Yup! Only one shade. The variation is from the stone itself underneath. I went over the stronger yellow stones with a couple of coats to dull each one down to the shade I wanted. Unfortunately I don’t remember the tutorial….I know it was with red bricks.

  7. Ahhh, interesting! Thank you. And thank you for being an inspiration!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s