I Need Help For My Ugly Stone Fireplace. Can I Paint It?



Ahhh, yes, the quintessential ugly stone fireplace. Do you have one?


I have to be honest and say that 95% of the time, I am not a fan of stone fireplaces.

They usually look sorely out-of-place, for one thing.


But there are exceptions.

  • In an antique home– usually.
  • In a home that is genuinely rustic, through and through.


My parents had a rustic home that they built in 1980. And blimey, I spent a considerable amount of time looking for a photo of it. I know I must have one, but can’t find it now. It’s also upsetting because her next door neighbor purchased the home 4.5 years ago and then tore the whole thing down.


The home was in the shape of a hexagon. The living room was two-stories with floor to ceiling windows. In the center was a magnificent Lannon stone fireplace that formed the core of the home. That is an indigenous stone to Wisconsin and reminds me of something I would expect to see in an ancient ruin, but not as crumbly. In fact, my mom had a wonderful painting of the wailing wall in Jerusalem on the wood mantel.


It was truly amazing as the staircase to the second floor wrapped around it.


This is the look of the stone, just to give you an idea. The home was contemporary and rustic– and situated on a bluff overlooking lake Michigan. It felt appropriate.

But all too often, I’ll see an ugly stone fireplace that looks like:

this overbearing (IMO) monstrosity.

this – with matching fugly 70’s wall paneling

or this, with coordinating barf-peachy-beige walls.

It has always confounded me with all of the beautiful choices out there, how some come up with this stuff, but there it is.

House Updated

There is this option. Tear the damned thing down!

It’s massively expensive, massively dangerous and there will be toxic dust that will never go away. And this is only a small mantel.


A lot of this goes for ugly brick fireplaces too, but today, I am focusing on the ugly stone fireplace.


There is a wild debate out there.

Well, can I just paint the frigging thing?

If you had asked me a year ago, I would’ve said


And this is why. I once saw a stone fireplace that was painted and it was a gloppy shiny, weird mess.

But then, so was the rest of the home! And now, I realize that the rest of the home is what made it objectionable to me.

And then…

There’s this piece of gorilla dung.

Gorilla dung – side view

But hold on just a sec.


Let’s cover up that piece-of-shit (sorry) and take a closer look at this room.

It is very lovely. And this is definitely not a new home. The mouldings, pilasters, columns, high ceilings – give it away.


Now, I’m going to show you something shocking!


This bizarre living room is in the same home as the wonderful kitchen we’ve all been dying over!!!

That’s right. Nancy Keye’s magnificent kitchen, shares air space with a giant turd.

Well, it did, that is.


Please Prepare to die.


Are you ready?

I promise, there will be no pain; in fact many report an intense euphoria. 😀


Welcome to Heaven.


I know… insane, isn’t it???

you don’t have to scroll back up. It’s below in a graphic. :]



Please pin images above to pinterest if you like


Oh Laurel, PLEASE tell us what shades of white she used?


I just happen to have the answer, but it’s an answer that’s going to be another shocker for many of you.

Are you ready? (you need to come back to life for this one) :]




Scout’s honor – it is one gorgeous shade of white that I was unfamiliar with until now.

Benjamin Moore – Winter Snow – oc-63

It is a cool white, but not always as you can see.

Some may argue otherwise. But in my experience. Light is everything!

Nancy says that she did add one drop of magenta to the gallon mix.

***Correction*** – December 8th. My bad. Nancy did not add the magenta to the gallon. The gallon FORMULA calls for one drop of magenta. It’s not possible to divide one drop or 1/96th of an ounce. (something like that). Therefore, it is omitted from the quart versions of Winter Snow.

My experience is that if you want a true reading of the color and it says that it’s available in gallons ONLY – believe them!

She also says that it’s a chameleon color.

And so does Darryl Carter. He calls it Somerset White DC-05. It’s really a Benjamin Moore color but just with a different name.

If you don’t know this, the wonderful blogger, Michele Ginnerty of My Nottinghill “cracked the Darryl Carter Paint Code”

Winter Snow is very close to Benjamin Moore White Diamond oc-61 which is just a hair cooler.

But I wouldn’t stress too much over it!

Nancy used decorator’s white in the entrance foyer. That is the same color as the kitchen walls. It’s probably the coolest of the three, but please remember that it is relative and very much light-dependent!

This wasn’t meant to be a color lesson, but it’s also a case in point about how inter-related everything is.

Hopefully, some of you will better understand why it’s impossible to do color consults long distance and based on a description. All it is, is a guessing game and a stressful one at that!



Back to the ugly stone fireplace!


Five seconds after Nancy closed on the house, she had the fireplace painted. haha.

The intention was to have that be a temporary fix and then to box it in and just get rid of it.

But then… she decided that she liked the look of the painted stone and so do I! It almost disappears except for a touch of texture. It all looks very French/old-world to me! Perfect for New Jersey! Sorry, you know us New Yorkers are constantly ribbing our western neighbors! There are parts of NJ that are too beautiful for words and Nancy lives in one of them– a stone’s throw from the Ocean–literally!

But Seriously, the way she has it staged. The gorgeous mirror, charming lights–Too pretty!

Here’s the thing. Let’s say that Nancy had painted her living room the color that the hall used to be.

(Nancy Keyes’ hall and staircase before.)

And then filled it with a couple of brown sofas and a big, black, misshapen leather chair; horrible lighting and faux marble-painted the columns. lol  I guarantee that the painted stone would not fare so well.

And that brings me back to another point I made and am constantly harping about.


EVERYTHING is interconnected.


In fact, I just attended a wonderful lecture with Bunny Williams who quoted Sister Parish as saying that if you don’t get the room right, the furniture doesn’t matter.

Now, you might say that you like the hall and the stairs.

It’s okay. The hall and stairs are already inherently charming with the wainscoting, arched doorway, high ceiling and wonderful old newel post.

It’s certainly not bad, but it’s mundane.

And it doesn’t go with Nancy’s fresh collected style.

Here is the after!

By the way, the home was built in 1910. Great period!

please pin the staircase if you like


I’m nowhere near finished with the topic of ugly stone and brick fireplaces.


It’s an extensive topic and I promise that I will be sharing more solutions to consider.

I will leave you for now, with two more images of Nancy’s elegant living room!

Whoever said that white is boring…

Hasn’t seen Nancy’s home!

And I found it fun to go back to this post and see how many things she has resurrected in this home.

Again, I promise to continue with more information on other options for brick and stone fireplaces. Nancy used Benjamin Moore paint in semi-gloss on the fireplace stone.

I’m sure it needed a lot of primer to cover the brown. I mean, who paints stone brown?

That wasn’t really a question. haha


PS: Jennifer had a question about what to do if there’s no backsplash. I didn’t have a good answer, at the time, but this is what Nancy and her contractor came up with. Please check it out here.

  • traci - December 11, 2016 - 2:23 PM

    Love the after photos such a beautiful home with lots of interesting details. How do you feel about limestone plank fireplaces such as in this link? I have been considering doing that look, but wasn’t sure what a pro thinks 🙂 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/39828777934491923/ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 11, 2016 - 8:28 PM

      Hi Traci,

      That’s a tough one to answer, because I’m not a fan of the architecture to begin with. It’s certainly a contemporary look and it’s not terrible, but it’s not my taste. ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Dickson - December 9, 2016 - 5:02 PM

    Over the years I’ve painted 3 fireplaces and not once do I regret it. I always prime the brick or stone with Zinsser Bull’s Eye 1-2-3 then top coat with matte Cloud White (I use matte because I’ve never seen a brick or stone that is shiny. And I don’t want to highlight the brick or stone with a shine. )
    I’ll be eagerly awaiting the follow-up post – you always give the best information and helpful insights. Thanks Laurel! CathyReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 10, 2016 - 9:06 AM

      Thanks so much Cathy! I’ll be sure to mention the primer too.ReplyCancel

  • Sheila - December 9, 2016 - 9:58 AM

    Laurel –
    Great post. I want to pin every, single AFTER photo. I love Edwardian architecture too. The staircase and carpet runner – wow, a stunner!
    Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 9, 2016 - 12:11 PM

      Hi Sheila,

      Thanks so much and please do pin every after image. I love the before and after images too! ReplyCancel

  • Mary - December 9, 2016 - 8:05 AM

    When you post your thoughts on painting brick fireplaces, don’t forget to include the idea of painting it black. I’ve seen pictures of some lovely black brick fireplaces.ReplyCancel

  • Phyllis E. - December 8, 2016 - 6:00 PM

    I think the fireplace is a great example of the power of paint color! Who would have guessed that going from brown to white could have made such a dramatic difference! I think it is charming, even by itself, without all the wonderful styling. It does seem to respect the charm of the original home. I love the beautiful mirror on the mantel. So much better than a flat screen tv, imho, LOL! I am intrigued by the lamps on the mantel. I’ve never seen anything like them. Are they antiques? How is she hiding the wires? Is that what the driftwood is for? I would love to have some light source like that on my mantel, as my fireplace tends to be in a dark spot.
    Love it!ReplyCancel

    • nancy keyes - December 8, 2016 - 8:23 PM

      Hi Phyllis…Thanks so much! The little lamps are indeed vintage and a Christmas gift from a very dear friend! Good eye, the driftwood hides the cords, although I have had them with out driftwood and they are high enough that you don’t see the cords.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 8:13 PM

      Hi Phyllis,

      All great questions. Nancy gets these comments, I believe. The little lamps look antique or vintage. Love them. If you notice there are several lamps throughout the room. I’m sure it’s gorgeous at night!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - December 8, 2016 - 5:17 PM

    Ok, now I see the info on the paint color and finish for the stone.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - December 8, 2016 - 3:37 PM

    Oh what a beautiful room and hallway! Did I miss the type of paint and finish that was used on the stone?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 3:40 PM

      Hi Kelly,

      I believe that it is semi-gloss paint but not sure if it’s oil or latex or anything special. I’m pretty sure that there’s a good primer on there though! And don’t forget that this was paint over paint.

      I’ll be going over more of that on Sunday.ReplyCancel

      • nancy keyes - December 8, 2016 - 3:50 PM

        Hi Laurel and Kelly,
        The hall is eggshell latex on the walls and ceiling. Semi on the trim and Lincrusta. Living Room has pearl latex on the walls and ceiling, Semi latex on the trim and fireplace! Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

        • Kelly - December 10, 2016 - 3:19 PM

          Thanks for replying Nancy and Laurel. Nancy, did you mean semi-gloss on the fireplace? Just making sure as I have a similar fireplace just waiting to be painted…white.

        • nancy keyes - December 14, 2016 - 8:55 PM

          Hi Kelly, Yes, I used semi gloss on the stone, but a matte finish would be good, too! I thought the semi gloss looked a little dressier, but either would be appropriate.

        • Laurel Bern - December 11, 2016 - 12:29 AM

          Hi Kelly,

          I think that Nancy did use semi-gloss, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a personal preference. So, perhaps do a couple of samples to see which you prefer.

        • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 3:54 PM

          Thanks Nancy! Lincrusta. Now, that’s a word!

  • Ahrisha - December 8, 2016 - 12:57 PM

    Great post. What an amazing change. In Nancy’s living room it looks like the walls and the woodwork could be different finishes. Maybe satin walls and semi gloss trim. It would be helpful if we also added the type of finish as well as the color when talking about the paint. I love my ceilings to have a bit of a shine to reflect the light. What do you usually use on a ceiling?

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 2:23 PM

      Hi Ahrisha,

      You have it correct. Satin on the walls and semi-gloss on the trim. I’ve always done flat ceilings. I can see the benefit of a sheen, but the surface needs to be blemish-free.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten McKamy - December 8, 2016 - 12:56 PM

    HI, love the fireplace blog (as I do all of your posts) It is timely as we are just completing a beautiful kitchen renovation in a 1700 farmhouse. I can send pictures if you like. The only remaining thorny question is the wall with knotty pine board, nondescript mantel. Wrestling with painting all one color, going very dark on that wall (a Farrow & Ball Studio Green) Slowly trying to convince my husband to paint all the pine boards surrounding the center chimney with three fireplaces – but one room at a time! We are lucky enough to have a fireplace in the kitchen and want to do right by it but bring it up to date with the rest of the serene kitchen. Hoping you address wood fireplaces/paneling too in this series. Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 2:20 PM

      Hi Kirsten,

      I do love the painted all one color look. I think it’s a great way to bring disparate elements together and always looks rich!ReplyCancel

  • Loi Thai Tone on Tone - December 8, 2016 - 12:19 PM

    Hi Laurel! Now THAT is a transformation!!! The wonders of paint! I love the look of a stone fireplace, but it’s often done so horribly. There are lovely examples of fabulous stone (granite) fireplace mantels in Maine. xoxo, LReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 2:18 PM

      Hi Loi!

      I’ll have to look that up! So great to see you here!ReplyCancel

  • debbie gala - December 8, 2016 - 11:37 AM

    Timely, yes! We’ve a very rustic home, a-frame in the woods. With a lovely peachy-barf BRICK fireplace – and worse the sides are all one single column of bricks, not even staggered. The. Worst. It will get painted or covered or something. So I am very much looking forward to these posts. Re White Snow – aaah! I finally chose Alabaster and have started painting everywhere. Was heavily addicted to trying every white paint I’ve read about and finally chose my favorite. A frame = massive morning light. It’s luminous and crisp. So, I shall move forward. Looking forward to more ideas…and yes, you’re my favorite blog as well! Useful tips and advice, I’m learning tons, not just all eye candy that most of us will never achieve. Thank YOU! I do love the eye candy thoughReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 11:46 AM

      Hi Debbie,
      Thank you so much for such a sweet comment! Am working on a killer post, but even so, it may need to be two more posts because there are so many options!


  • Susie - December 8, 2016 - 10:36 AM

    and don’t forget you have to address the issue of the mantel and the hearth to complete the re-do!! I love the look of the final makeover.ReplyCancel

  • Melody - December 8, 2016 - 10:26 AM

    You are always so timely with your posts!
    However, we are in the process of having a fireplace put IN to our house.

    I would love to see some examples of fireplaces done well and perhaps some brick options that are truly classic and look like they have been around for a century (in a good way).

    I am also wondering if it is ever appropriate to do floor to ceiling exposed brick, especially in a low vaulted ceiling.

    We live in the middle of wine country and are surrounded by vineyards. Our house is a basic ranch with a daylight basement. It was built in the 90’s and has no character whatsoever. When we finish, we want it to look like it could have been an old wine cellar or train station.

    I am looking forward to reading your following posts. Cheers!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:39 AM

      Hi Melody,

      That sounds cool. Old wine cellar might work. Old train station would be difficult to pull-off because first we’d need a 16 foot+ ceiling!

      I’d collect lots and lots of old photographs and even see what other people have done. But sometimes, it’s good to see what they’ve done that isn’t working!ReplyCancel

  • nancy keyes - December 8, 2016 - 10:18 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    There was a question regarding the gilt frames. I had them made over a few years as we expanded our collection. The photos were all done by my husband. The frames were custom made, all 18″ X 18″, so the photos could be vertical or horizontal and keep the grid. They were hanging in my previous houses very differently.ReplyCancel

  • judy - December 8, 2016 - 9:55 AM

    Laurel…your blog is by far my favorite these days! I don’t hate my fireplace or the surround, but there’s an overhang from my ceiling that can’t be removed (duct work in it), so my decorating over the mantle is always limited 🙁 I did, however want to comment on the paint. Every room in my house is now painted basically two colors with the walls and trim the exact same color. But most people don’t believe they’re the same because the walls are satin and the trim is always semi-gloss. It works perfectly no matter the color chosen. I only wish I had also painted the ceilings a semi-gloss!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:34 AM

      Hi Judy,

      Yes, a color in two different finishes is slightly different. In fact, there’s a painting technique for stripes where it’s the same color but alternating finishes, like matte and semi-gloss for example. It’s subtle but when done all over the room is a lovely effect.ReplyCancel

  • Teresa - December 8, 2016 - 9:39 AM

    You always deliver Laurel. Gorilla dung, hahahaha. I should just send you pictures of my house and get it over with. Save you from having to search the internet for examples of wrong. I have a fake stone fireplace, yup. Torn with what to do with it. We retire in four years and are getting the heck out of Texas. Is it worth the expense when most in this small town would probably like it? I’ll probably ponder that question another four years then move. Unless……I see something really cool to transform it, hmmm. I await your next installment.

    That was a great video Shirley.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:32 AM

      Hi Teresa,

      I would love to see your fake stone fireplace. Not even real, eh??? But real ugly and fake ugly. Does it matter? ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Dickson - December 8, 2016 - 9:00 AM

    Well, you set that one up perfectly. Turdy fireplace. Then that it was in Nancy’s house. The house of the amazing renos. So I expected something nice. I was knocked over WOWED. That lady is talented. And then some. Thank you so much for sharing her work/loves/talent!! CathyReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:29 AM

      Hi Cathy,

      Thank you so much! I was planning on going more into the options, but then I had all of these wonderful images and just had to share!

      Nancy is the real thing! A true artist in design! I’m very blessed that she keeps sending me these gorgeous images to post!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Bates - December 8, 2016 - 8:28 AM

    I agree some look absolutely terrible – most often the ones going up to levels with and angled ceiling at the top!

    The last house we owned had 10′ ceilings on the main floor. The family room was 21 x 22 and had a central stacked stone fireplace, with a built up base. The grey slab of mantle was terrible. One day I was perusing a trade mag and saw a Best Buy add (of all things) with a shot of a family room with a fireplace. I instantly zoned in on the mantle. Perfect to replace the slab – and it wasn’t rustic wood. Had a Wood worker make it for me. Painted in BM Carrington White then applied a chocolate ginger glaze over it, while sanding a few edges. The double windows in the room had boxed plantation shutters. With wood floors and a overlarge Meshad rug, it worked divinely, in a house with tons of molding built in 2003.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:27 AM

      Hi Heather,

      That sounds like a great solution! Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • tara - December 8, 2016 - 7:58 AM

    Hi Laurel! Okay, you had me at “fugly” 😉

    Seriously, had a client hire me to “help” her with paint colors and what to do with one of these fireplaces. Told her to paint the whole hideous thing…I was promptly fired (which was a gift since I hadn’t been properly warned about this person).

    Thanks for keeping it real…love your blog…you’re awesome!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:25 AM

      Hi Tara,

      In my 20+ years, I’ve prayed very hard 2 times that I would be fired and God listened! It’s always a blessing!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - December 8, 2016 - 7:55 AM

    I, too, have an ugly brick fireplace. Can’t wait to read your next post on this topic. I want to paint it but my husband won’t agree. I’m hoping your posts will help me to convince him. Laurel, I love your posts!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:23 AM

      Thanks so much Melissa!

      My motto:

      “One Husband At A Time.”


  • Em - December 8, 2016 - 7:27 AM

    Gorilla Dung …hilarious!

    Just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying (and learning from) your blog. The homes you feature are so lovely with SO much character.

    We passed on “character” for space and “maintenance free” but—as our kid and college funding allows–are endeavoring to put some character into the vinyl monster.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love our vinyl monster…it works really well for us BUT…I also greatly appreciate glimpsing at the charm and beauty of the other side. So much to love. And no dumb, big box rooms, lol.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 10:22 AM

      Hi Em,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment! Even vinyl monsters can have soul. It comes from the lovely people who inhabit it!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - December 7, 2016 - 11:25 PM

    Oh I’ve dreamed about a post from you on this topic and you answered my prayers Laurel. (I loved your previous post too and now feel vindicated in my dislike of those awful new “upgraded” doors I see around many neighborhoods in my town with the curves and the decorative glass.) I prefer a plain solid door painted in a beautiful color to those any day. But I digress….. My house came with an ugly raised brick fireplace and I’ve spent many years trying to ignore it with no success. The bricks are pale tan/taupe,with cream flecks. I’ve thought of tearing the whole thing down (hubby says no way),painting it but I generally don’t really like solid painted brick, I’ve thought of covering it with some kind of paneling or bead board and painting that, but the ignoring thing hasn’t worked. I’ve considered a brick wash with 50-50 paint to water using Cloud White like the walls …..so I’m on board here to get ideas! To top it off, the mantel is a solid hunk of orangish oak wood with no shape or character at all. Ugh. Wonder if you’ll weigh in on a brick “wash”. Thank you,thank you Laurel for addressing this topic !ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 1:01 AM

      Hi Maggie,

      Thanks so much!

      Yes, it’s coming and I realize that a lot of people are waiting anxiously. There are several different finishing techniques and more. It depends a lot on the budget and style of the home + configuration. ReplyCancel

  • Nika Bareket - December 7, 2016 - 10:42 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    Thank you so much for this post! What a beautiful room and house. I laughed so hard at the gorilla dung comment that my husband and boys came over to see what was so funny! I have one question though about the fireplace re-do. Originally there was a hearth area of tile in front of the fireplace that looked almost red in the picture. In the After picture the tile looks black? Or maybe dark grey? Did she paint the tile? Or is this just new tile? I’m curious because I’ve got several areas of ugly tile in my house that I can’t afford to replace and i would love to paint it if that were possible. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • nancy keyes - December 8, 2016 - 10:22 AM

      Hi Nika,
      I painted the tiles, but not the grout, with regular black paint which was OK because no one walks on it. Thank you so much for your comments!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 12:56 AM

      Hi Nika,

      Hope the boys enjoyed the gorilla dung too!

      I am not sure, but my money is on that is painted tile. One reason is that I bet that Nancy would put down a slab if she was redoing this. And YES!!! You can paint tile. You can even paint bathroom shower/tub tile. There’s a special epoxy paint for that purpose.

      Maybe Nancy will come on and tell us what she did. I’m starting to feel like I have a co-author here! ReplyCancel

  • Shirley - December 7, 2016 - 9:57 PM

    Hmmm…painting stone/brick. I’m not a fan of painting stone or brick. There are several techniques I’ve seen to address outdated boulder stone fireplaces. One would be to mix cement plaster and skim coat the entire surface. You could leave the texture or apply a second coat to smooth the surface – the effect would look like European plaster fireplaces I think you may have visioned. The other viable option which I would choose is to simply frame over the structure, drywall it and then finish as the rest of the room. Either way you’re saving the expense of replacing the firebox. But paint? It sorta reminds me of the old mansions turned into rentals that had layers of paint over the fireplace bricks. She has such a beautiful place, I would hate to see paint as the final option… Here’s a youtube video that shows how plastering over brick completely transforms the outdated surface. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ikshIi7zm4 A friend used this techniqueon his exterior fireplace chimney that ran up the side of his house. It was boulder as well.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2016 - 10:00 PM

      Hi Shirley,

      You’re beating me to the punch! ;] I have to break this one up and yes, all of those will be covered and more! But I figure that folks can’t digest it all at once— especially in December. Thank you for taking the time for all of that though!ReplyCancel

      • Shirley - December 7, 2016 - 10:10 PM

        Sorry didn’t mean to steal your thunder…I’ll wait for “the rest of the story”.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2016 - 10:13 PM

          no problem. :]

  • Lisa D. - December 7, 2016 - 9:47 PM

    Hello Laurel,

    Looking at some of the less than attractive brick and stone fireplaces you’ve shown, I’m wondering if it’s possible to build a sort of shell around the existing fireplace as a way of covering them up, as an option to painting them.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2016 - 10:02 PM

      Yes, that will be covered as I alluded to at the end. :] Sorry, the subject matter is too extensive. But thank you for the suggestion.ReplyCancel

  • Pam - December 7, 2016 - 9:33 PM

    Thanks for the laugh with the gorilla dung! I was thinking fudge brownie at first glimpse but your right – gorilla dung – you always explain things so right.
    Love your blog – !ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2016 - 9:58 PM

      Thanks Pam.

      Well, fudge brownies always look so good and the first thing that came to mind was gorilla dung. Don’t know why. hahaReplyCancel

  • Hollie @ Stuck on Hue - December 7, 2016 - 9:21 PM

    My MIL has a fugly stone fireplace just like one of your example photos. When she moved into the house a few years ago, it really bothered her and she wondered what to do with it. I suggested painting it white or whitewashing it but they ended up painting the walls (I believe it’s fugly paneling, actually) a dark color and the room is used as a den, so she doesn’t really want the fireplace to be light and bright any longer. They put one side of their large sectional in front of it, so it recedes a bit in the room anyway. I’ll have to pass this post along to her anyway … just to stir things up about that fugly stone!ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - December 7, 2016 - 9:15 PM

    Great post as usual! I may paint my ginormous raised hearth brick fireplace someday, but it’s not too bad. It has the nice burgundy undertones rather than orange or bright red. I would love to know the source of those gorgeous gold picture frames with oversize mats. They look stunning!ReplyCancel

    • nancy keyes - December 8, 2016 - 10:27 AM

      Hi Eleanor,
      Thanks so much! The gilt frames were custom for my husband’s photographs. They are 18″ X 18″ so I was able to use vertical and horizontal photos and keep a grid.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2016 - 9:55 PM

      Thanks Eleanor! Good question. Nancy may weigh in about that. A lot of her beautiful pieces are one-of-a-kind though.ReplyCancel

      • Beverly - December 7, 2016 - 10:26 PM

        I save these blogs until the end of the day as a special treat.I also noticed the gold frames and just forwarded this post to a friend that loves to take photos in black and white. I like the way the gold frames warm up the photos. You can compare that effect to the ones framed in black in the hallway.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 8, 2016 - 12:49 AM

          Hi Beverly,

          Glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by!