Posted on | November 1, 2010 | No Comments
Well, we survived the weekend, both the Hallowe’en festivities (candy hangovers all round today) and the noxious fumes of paint in a can.
Seeing as we had our annual little gathering of friends and neighbors (we have taken it upon ourselves to be the start-off-point for trick or treating in the ‘hood), it was time to get that fireplace finished.
And seeing as yesterday’s paper carried such a lovely spread of fireplaces, and advice from yours truly on how to achieve such gorgeousness, I felt I should practice what I preach.
So here is the ‘before’ fireplace: sooty brick, ugly shelves at the side, and a not-great decision on paint above it. (I’d thought painting the center column a similar color to the hearth and brick might somehow ‘extend’ it or even maybe detract from its ugliness, but it doesn’t really.)
And below is the after. It was a loooong time coming. It’s almost a year since I instructed Hubby to rip out the shelving. The repainting (in gorgeous Puppy Fur by Citron Paint) was done immediately, the tiling was just finished last week. That was after hiring some dodgy contractors who ran off (with cheque in hand) before they’d entirely finished it.
Tile is from Home Depot – glass mosaic (pain in the backside, if rather beautiful). New mantel ($40 from a lumber yard) was cut and stained by Hubby. Mirror was a $50 steal from an old lady in the neighborhood who had no use for it anymore. Total cost: about $500.
I’m not sure about the firebox though. I took some advice from a reader featured in aforementioned article and spray-painted it in high-heat barbecue paint. I had wanted to do it in stone, but at Home Depot they said it only came in black. And with the first spray I saw that it was actually silver (although it came out stoney grey). I was pleased at first, then quickly realized what a faux pas it was. Because the thing’s only going to get black and sooty anyway. Plus, silver/grey doesn’t go with any of the rest, does it?
Well, we’ll live with it for a wee while, since the toxic fumes from that Rustoleum spray paint still have us somewheat lightheaded. I instructed Munchkin to open the front door after I started spraying it on, and he and The Mutt saw their chance for freedom from the fumes. First the dog bounded out, to a neighbor’s house, and Munchkin followed. I joined them minutes later, gulping in the fresh air as I escaped my poisoned house, at the same time dialling my cell to Hubby – who was on his way back home – to tell him to please turn on fans or a/c or something so we didn’t all die before we got to go trick-or-treating.
Well, we all woke up again this morning. So that’s good. The bad news is we have it all to go through again, probably this weekend.
But progress! Now that does feel good. And no longer do I flinch when I look at my fireplace. You should never have to flinch at your fireplace, should you? A fireplace is all about being welcoming and cozy. Therefore whoever designed our original one had no business making it so ugly. (Cough.)