What can I do with the wall behind my woodburning stove?

Marlissa Gibbs
by Marlissa Gibbs
This is the only heat in my home and it does great. I would like something on the wall behind it that is safe and not too dark so the stove will stand out. I'm one of the poorest DIY'ERS you know.
This is a picture of behind the stove. It has a heat proof panel with a wood print just leaning against the wall.
Another panel underneath it. The bottom step is the widest point at 38". It's 32" tall and 36" from the front of the bottom step to the wall. 10" from the wall to the back of the stove. It wasn't put in like I wanted. Been using it for 10 years.
This is a picture of the sheetrock wall behind it. Sorry about the mess. It's not like this in the winter.
  9 answers
  • Sherri Butler Eddington Sherri Butler Eddington on Jul 05, 2018

    I have a similar situation but mine is sitting in a corner. If you are handy, I would remove the stove and put a tile on the floor under the stove and you can either follow it up the wall or choose a different tile. They do have the peel and stick tile, but with the heat, the glue might not hold by itself, you could use some liquid nail to help hold it. You can run the tile to the ceiling for a dramatic approach or just go up 4' as a waynescott. You could possibly go tin on the back wall too. It would be decorative, but yet safe as well. Hope this helps.


    • See 1 previous
    • Linda Linda on Jul 27, 2020

      we have a lot of small flat rocks around our property I would like to put our rocks on the wall behind the wood stove if anyone knows how to do this with real stone please tell me

  • Luvmycrafts Luvmycrafts on Jul 06, 2018

    I have always loved slate around a wood burning stove...I'd remove the stove and make a slate pad, and have the slate go up the wall behind it. You can frame it out and make it look really nice and updated. See the pic I attached for an idea.

    • Marlissa Gibbs Marlissa Gibbs on Jul 06, 2018

      Thanks so much for responding. I actually have slate tiles! I really wanted the stove to stand out. Can I use something to make the slate tiles a lighter color? If you do please let me know! Thanks again for the idea!

  • LibraryKAT LibraryKAT on Jul 06, 2018

    I like using rock or ceramic tiles for both the base and the backing. Your home looks a bit country style from the picture and window frame in your posted photo. There's a lot of nice choices out there. Please don't build up a brick foundation; we had to remove one at one of our homes and it was a nightmare. Good luck and please post a photo of your finished project! :-)

    • Marlissa Gibbs Marlissa Gibbs on Jul 06, 2018

      Thanks so much for responding. I totally agree about the stone or ceramic tile. In my mind I have Austin Stone or something like that pictured so the stove will stand out more. I actually have some dark gray slate tiles. Do you know of a way to lighten the color? Can I paint them it maybe highlight them in places to make the background contrast more with the stove?

  • Luvmycrafts Luvmycrafts on Jul 06, 2018

    I don't think you can make the slate any lighter. But if you use grout, make it a light colored one, and it can lighten up the look. Or just use light color paint in the room to make a nice contrast. Good luck.

  • Shuganne Shuganne on Jul 06, 2018

    Marlissa, l looked for non-black high heat paints. Rustoleum makes an aluminum color in spray or can. Krylon offers 4 colors including aluminum and white in sprays as well.

    I also looked into painting slate and it can be done, according to this website:


    It goes into great detail and I've used it as a resource before.It even recommends a particular brand. It does caution that when you paint slate, you should consider it a permanent choice.

    I think a white slate wall behind your stove would be stunning. I'd paint the wall behind the stove white, or whatever color you decide to paint the slate. Then if the slate pieces have little gaps, they won't show. You'd have to use a construction glue to keep it on the wall. Install it completely between the two door frames, even though the stove is not centered between them.

    I also like luvmycrafts's idea to put the slate on the floor and then up the wall to the ceiling. It will be the focal point of the room! I think it's going to look fantastic, however you choose to redecorate.

    Please take lots of pictures as you work, Marlissa, and share with us your process and your finished work! Be sure to write again if you run into any questions.

    • Marlissa Gibbs Marlissa Gibbs on Jul 07, 2018

      Thank you for the great ideas! The man who was"Qualified" to install my stove refused to use my studfinder. He gave me a condecending smile and just knocked on the wall. When he cut, he cut right through a student! He could have centered it! It would be a major project to put it in correctly but before I do all this work I think I will. Thanks so much for your help and I will take pictures.

  • Shuganne Shuganne on Jul 07, 2018

    Well, I hope he fixed the stud! If your second floor or roof starts to sag, it could be his fault. Don't you just hate it when men think they know everything just because of their gender! (This is not p.c., but when my (ex) bro-in-law told my impressionable 5 yr old son that washing dishes was women's work, I interrupted, "Oh, name, (giggle) you don't wash dishes with your breasts!') He shut up.

    • Marlissa Gibbs Marlissa Gibbs on Jul 09, 2018

      Bahahaha. Wonderful! Women need to be more supportive of other women. No woman should have to be in these situations alone. When there's 2 or three women a man is facing instead of just one, things like this would go much differently. Thank you so much for your ideas and especially for your support.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 27, 2020

    Yikes, if that guy was qualified who installed it.... he doesn't know what he's doing. Its way to close to that combustible wall.... https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1997-01-12-1997012107-story.html#:~:text=Conventional%20wisdom%20says%20that%20all,an%20unprotected%20wall%20or%20ceiling.

  • Patty Patty on Jul 27, 2020

    Brick it

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Dec 31, 2020

    Can you provide a better pictures ?