Asked on Dec 29, 2014

Staining stone or rock?

by Ijensen
I did an artificial rock fireplace in our master bedroom. I have a unique hearth shape and couldn't use the faux hearth stones on it because it would show the cut marks. We were lucky and found a natural limestone/dolomite and had it cut to the shape to fit. We heated the cut edge and also chiseled the top edge to make it look more natural. The only problem is the color is off. We understand you can stain this type of rock easily to change the color tones. The stone has some natural color variations, and would like to keep those if possible. Anyone have experience with this?
  15 answers
  • MaryStLouis MaryStLouis on Dec 30, 2014
    Try rubbing ashes from your fireplace into the chipped edges before doing anything permanent. It will age the stone and soften the new look a bit, adding some depth to the color. Limestone is porous so be careful with suggestions on paint or glazes as they will permanently alter the stone's color variations. If the ash works you can then protect the stone with a matte tile sealant.
  • Ijensen Ijensen on Dec 30, 2014
    Thanks for the idea about the ashes. I wondered about combining several different colors of natural mediums (aspen bark, stone grindings....even spices like cinnamon). Luckily the stone cutter gave us the rest of the stone to experiment on. You are so right about how porous it is.... even the pencil mark I put on to mark the center smeared out.
  • Zuz345178 Zuz345178 on Dec 30, 2014
    We install our fair share of cultured stone products which involves cutting to size. To avoid the "rice crispie' look on cuts, we simply spray pain the edge, brush, or sponge with corresponding color. You can use any products. We use Behr, usually paint sample size, as you need tiny amount. I would experiment on leftover piece or side which is hidden at first.
  • Amy Ogden-Paparone Amy Ogden-Paparone on Dec 30, 2014
    It's beautiful as it is I think :)
  • Gesele Dreslinski Gesele Dreslinski on Dec 30, 2014
    I understand that you are not pleased with the hearth, but I think its spectacular. Had you not posted about changing the color, I never would have thought there was any issues. NOW, I have a stone wall behind my woodburner in our gameroom...this has got me thinking about some colors, too. Hmmm
  • Eloise Eloise on Dec 31, 2014
    Would love to see an "after" picture.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 31, 2014
    I'd go with the simplest first - ashes, then maybe a bit of charcoal soot, etc. Agree to sealing afterward.
  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 01, 2015
    Sealing it with a sealer intended for stone will deepen the colors
  • Theresa Tucker Theresa Tucker on Jan 04, 2015
    I used expresso coffee and a small paint brush to create veins in my outdoor steps. Paint on them sponge gently.
  • all these suggestions seem to be good ones. I would use your left overs to experiment with. I would use at least 3 different colors and softly blend them together. Go to the library and check out a book on faux finished or stone finishes. This will be very helpful to you. The book will give you step by step instructions and the right products to use. Having something visual to go by will be helpful also.
  • By the way, I love the mantle.
    • Ijensen Ijensen on Jan 04, 2015
      @Creative Interiors By Connie was actually a shelf I purchased from Rod Works. I thought it worked out perfectly....:) It was made with reclaimed lumber which I am a fan of. I was able to purchase a little side table that matched.
  • The whole fireplace looks great. You have done a good job staging it also. Have a great 2015, I am. By the way I am the woman in the green jacket, my 86 year mother beside me holding my youngest granddaughter.
  • Letitia Letitia on Jan 06, 2015
    I have used brick stain on my entire house. You can thin it down to lessen the intensity of the color. You can also mix colors for interest. Check out or Pinterest for ideas and Youtube for How to. Found it at local cement stone yard. Good Luck!
  • Trudi Perry Trudi Perry on Jan 07, 2015
    use walnuts for some color
  • Nancy Nancy on Nov 01, 2015
    I have stained rocks on my fireplace... I just used regular furniture stain in various shades brushed it on, rubbed some off, let one color bleed into the next... it turned out beautiful... I received a ton of compliments.