Asked on Nov 19, 2019

How do I brighten a stone fireplace?



Embarrassed to show this picture- this has served as our home reno workshop for 10 months. Hoping to relocate said workshop to another unfinished area in order to get this room painted at last! However, the stones came with the house and they are drab.... we are replacing orange mantel with traditional one in black ( on table in picture), but after caulking lagging grout/caulk at the top, we'd like to wash, coat or do something to brighten the stones themselves... your suggestions as always fully appreciated! (Note: the picture posted is cropped for some reason. The fireplace is actually floor to ceiling in an 18' high room and is 9' wide. A lot of mass that needs brightening up! )Ty! D

6 answers
  • K. Rupp
    on Nov 19, 2019

    I actually really like the stone especially the grey. The mantel you got will be beautiful and will make a huge difference. Could you just white wash some of the orangy stones and a few of the darker ones? I would try that first before you do anything to all of it. With the right home decor and colors in the room, that fireplace is a real statement. I actually love it. You also have 2 huge areas on either side of the fireplace that you have room to eventually add built in shelves etc. if you wanted to. hmmm...I don't think I would change much more . Looks like a beautiful room minus the workshop;). Never be embarrassed about that though....doesn't everyones workshop look like that:). hehe. Good luck!

  • GrandmasHouseDIY
    on Nov 19, 2019

    Hi there! You can purchase a stone sealant that really brings out the look of the stones. Its basically a clear coat for stone (or masonry) it brings out all of the color and almost makes the stones look wet. I would try that first and maybe just do a couple of stones to see how it looks. Beautiful room, good luck!

  • Debi53
    on Nov 20, 2019

    I agree with whitewashing the orangey stones. Another suggestion that veers slightly off of your question: Your fireplace is gorgeous, but very massive. Since you are installing a black mantle, consider doing a grouping of black frames with black and white pictures on both sides of the fireplace especially using some large frames starting near the ceiling and coming all the way down the wall or down to whatever furniture you place beside the fireplace. You could also include some thrift store mirrors with the frames painted black in that grouping. Creating a wall like this would help balance the massiveness of the fireplace and create a stunning focal point. If you didn't want to use black frames, you could go white or wood frames with a few black ones. If you choose something like this, I would definitely make all the pictures B/W for simplicity.

  • Rymea
    on Nov 21, 2019

    Wow! That fireplace is meant to have a large statement piece of art. You need something at least twice as tall as the one on the mantle now, or two, one above the other. "Great big Canvas" is an online option. They frequently have 50% sales. Also the art would cover a lot of the stone and brighten up the room.

    I like the idea of shelving on each side but it also needs to be tall, probably about 8'. So just one more project.

    FYI you just need to click on the picture to see the larger original.

    • D
      on Nov 21, 2019

      Hi. Yes. That painting is just being stored there for the moment where it is safe from construction. It's been with us almost 45 years and it is probably covered in sawdust haha. Yes. I agree it is a big stone canvas and I have in mind staggering two wide framed black 5.5' x 2.5' rectangular mirrors one higher than the other. I also have ordered a giant painting that could go up there or at the top of our stairs... And another thought is I hate the ceiling fan in that room with a passion. The room is full of can lights like the rest of the house ..ha. We are considering a dramatic chandelier, hung halfway down, to coordinate with the new traditional mantel and the neoclassical trim we are putting up, instead of the fan. And then there are two can lights on the opposite side of the room. I think if hubby dear really thinks we need a fan in that room perhaps we could get two small ones in place of those 2 can lights, (plenty of space up there!) and mount them close to the ceiling so they dont detract from cool chandelier..... thots?

  • Rymea
    on Nov 21, 2019

    Good ideas. It will be gorgeous

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