Asked on Aug 10, 2013

Changing the color of slate tiles?

Nancy T
by Nancy T
I just purchased a new home and I LOVE everything about it except the fireplace. It is a see-thru raised fireplace and the entire wall is tiled in slate. They installed the tile in a checker board pattern alternating an "orangy-yellow' slate tile with a black or very dark grey one. I hate it and I am wondering if there is any safe & inexpensive way to maybe darken or change the color of all or some of the 'orangy-yellow' tiles?
I just don't like that it looks so ... checker-boardish!
Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.Thanks Nancy
  12 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 10, 2013
    You might be able to "stain" the light ones with a semitransparent deck stain in a dark gray. The "semi transparent" nature will still allow some of the color variation to come through and not look "painted".
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Aug 10, 2013
    I love your wall colour, however that may be enhancing the unwanted tones in your slate. xox
  • Teresa A Teresa A on Aug 10, 2013
    What lovely rooms! Slate is very porous. Has the slate surface been sealed? I would shop around and try to buy a couple pieces of the slate in the color you want to change and experiment with different types of stains, dyes, paint and application methods. Since the surface is vertical, it might be best to start applying any product from the bottom up on each slate tile you wish to color change and plan a way to protect the other pieces and the grout from accidental splash and or seeping of the stain, paint or whatever you determine to use.
  • Tegma Tegma on Aug 10, 2013
    I'd check Ikea or someplace for narrow bookshelves for the sides....or make you own. Make sure they have a back to them, & fill them with pretties like vases and such. Of course, attach permanently to the tile. Put a wood strip across the top to connect the two shelves and cover the tiles there. Then make a wood matching mantle etc. for the bottom. That is one ugly fireplace as is, but I can picture a beautiful replacement. With the orange walls, & white trim, you might want to make this a white fireplace. Natural wood would look great, also. I can see you have great taste with the dining room.... make this something which coordinates with it! If that's a fake fireplace, you needn't worry about fire safety with wood, but if it's a real wood-burning fireplace, then you will need to leave a border around it. You can retile over the sides and top of the fireplace, and then just make a mantle etc.for the bottom. (The tile can be removed.... lots of work, but might be worth it in the end. You could leave the "frame" around it if you like. )
  • You could paint the tiles too. It will mask some of the detail, but will give it a uniform look that doesn't become the focal point (in a negative way like it is now).
  • John J John J on Aug 12, 2013
    I agree with Heather, You can get tile paint specifically for Slate tiles too. Giving you the uniform colouration of your choice - standing out as a focal point or blending in to the background with the colour upon the walls. ;D
  • Kim Campbell Kim Campbell on Aug 12, 2013
    I'd paint it all black on the tiles immediately surrounding the fireplace, then I would paint the lighter colored ones with a gray colour.
  • Mary Harcus Mary Harcus on Aug 12, 2013
    how about just changing the wall color to match the fireplace so it doesn't stick out so much, blend it in to the decor
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Aug 12, 2013
    Or, I have seen where you can cover the slate with a wall board, and do what you want....without disturbing the tiles. Kind of looks like the wall is further out than the slate anyway, just cover it up and put what you want...
  • Jill Jill on Aug 12, 2013
    Deck stain is not the proper stain to be using on this. As long as the slate tiles do not have a sealer on them you can stain them with a cement or concrete stain (I did this to the brick on my fireplace as the color was horrible). If you have a sealer on, it will have to be removed. Best to ask someone what to use to remove it. I would try to find some tiles close to color of your and try out which colors you are interested in first. Remember to cover that carpet up while staining and until the whole thing is done or you will end up coloring that too!
  • April E April E on Aug 12, 2013
    just google : how to paint slate fireplaces and you will pull up lots of sites and photos with ideas and instructions
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Mar 02, 2016
    I would paint the wall a light gray or a light mocha color to compliment the fireplace. I like it because it is unique, different and original. However you can ask the experts at your local flooring company for suggestions.