Two Story Cottage

Faux Fireplace

So glad you decided to join me on this house tour. Just pretend that there are freshly baked cookies accompanied by a pitcher of sweet tea (this is the South you know)…

Time to check out the living room. Or part one of the living room.

Later I’ll show you the actual living room but today is all about the fireplace! I have one of those living room/dining room combinations (otherwise known as a bowling alley) and I created my fireplace to help separate my living room from the dining area.
I got the inspiration from a kitchen backsplash @ Twice Remembered Cottage. Kim used brick pavers which look like brick but lack the depth and they actually attach to the wall like tile. Brilliant!

I went to Lowe’s for a box of brick pavers. I found them with the tile. I also grabbed pre-made thinset, grout, a notched trowel, a rubber grout float, and a sponge. I had it on good authority that those were essential tile laying items. In hindsight (Monday morning quarterback here) I could have bought the thinset that wasn’t premade for much cheaper but I had no clue what I was doing. While I was @ Lowe’s I bought a mirror to use in place of an opening. I also bought some mirror trim to go around it and help hold it into the wall.

  • I drew on the wall where I wanted the fireplace to go with a pencil. I taped off what I thought would be the edges so as not to get thinset on the rest of my nice wall. 
  • Next I put the mirror up. I just used the thinset to put it up. I used that to put the moulding up around it as well and I cut the moulding with a utility knife. Probably not what you are supposed to do but it worked.   
  • I started tiling from the bottom ( I taped my moulding). I used the trowel to spread the thinset on the wall and then pressed each paver in as I went. I had to hold each paver for a minute or so or it would not slide down the wall. Learned that after I had a paver bang my shin. 🙂 Once it was set though it was good. I learned this the hard way because I wanted to move one and figured out that once they are attached they will NOT come off. Good to know that I would not wake up to a pile of rubble in my living room. I did not use spacers – I just sort of judged which is why it isn’t exactly perfect. Also, the pavers are very imperfect which makes it difficult if you are looking for straight lines. They vary a little bit in size and depth. A couple were thicker than others so I ended up not using them.
  • Every other row that I started tiling needed to start with a half paver so I broke pavers by banging them on my front steps. Of course that didn’t make perfect pieces but once again – adequate for this project. I kind of like the not so perfect aspect.
  • Next I did the grout. I’d never done grout before but basically I just spread it all around with the float. Because the tiles are really porous the grout sort of stuck in them and it looked scary. I’ll admit it – I thought I’d messed up a good thing. I did a lot of scrubbing with the float and sponge but the grout never did wipe right off like it does on ceramic tile. However, once I painted the fireplace you couldn’t tell at all. Just make sure your grout is neat between rows. I also did a line of grout around the sides. Maybe it would have wiped off better had I sealed the pavers somehow??
  • After I liked the height of my tile I added the mantel. It is really an extra large mantel shelf so I followed the manufacturer’s instructions which were simple.
This is what it looked like before painting
  • I started painting after I had given it a few days to set. I used plain ol’ white paint. I know that it took several coats and a lot of poking the brush into little holes etc. I wish I had a pic of the plain white fireplace but no such luck (Monday morning quarterback here). I really liked the white but it didn’t really blend with my room and sort of stuck out so I decided to glaze it with brown glaze. I painted it on and used a rag to get it in the crevices and then wiped it off. This was my second experience with glaze as I had previously glazed my front door . It is pretty easy – it stays “open” for an hour so you have a lot of time to figure out how heavy you want it to be. I let the glaze dry for several days before I poly’d. 

I thought I was done after that but it looked just a tad bit unfinished. I liked it but it wasn’t quite complete. I ended up adding the moulding to the sides when adding wainscot to my living room. I say “I” but I must be honest and admit that I did have a little bit of help with that (hey- I was a newbie, okay?). I’ll talk more about the molding & wainscot in my upcoming living room tour.

This is the final product….for now. I am thinking of adding some beadboard to the top at some point…this fireplace might fall into the “never done” category.



Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. GORGEOUS!!! You did a fabulous job!

  2. P.S. Yay! I’m your first follower!!!!

  3. This is gorgeous! I love all of the trim detail! Amazing!

  4. Hi, my name is Rachel from Dollar Store Decor I would love for you to come over and visit my site. I love all of your posts. Your fire place is amazing and I might have to “copy” a couple of your techniques for my own home.

  5. Erin… I LOVE this! It looks great!! Love the glaze … nice tones!!


  6. Beautiful! Simply Beautiful!

  7. I love it. You did a fabulous job !
    Great blog……..

  8. You did a great job with your faux fireplace! I love the huge scrolly thing above the mantel!

  9. I’m inspired after reading your post. I have an ugly apricot tiled fireplace that I’d like to cover up but didn’t actually think it was possible… maybe I’ll think again!

  10. Um, this is incredible. I have three real fireplaces and none look this good. Great job!

  11. Erin, I found your blogsite and I love it! You are “my kind of girl for sure!!” I found you through Rhoda’s site. I am a fifty something soon to be retired nurse and I am a “do it yourself kind of gal”. I know I will love keeping up with your blog. Thanks for your great ideas!!!

  12. This looks amazing!

  13. Way later and pretty sure a different house, but I love this fireplace. 🙂

  14. Anonymous says

    I’m about to do a dresser. Thanks for the pictures and advice. I’m sure you already know this or have a fireplace in the house someplace else but they sell amazing fireplaces now online pretty affordably that are gel fuel but they look more real than the fake ones in the past. You could probably add one to it if you wanted. Here are ideas of them.!1063498%2Cn%3A1063278%2Cn%3A1063284%2Cn%3A3735451%2Cp_n_style_browse-bin%3A262968011&bbn=3735451&ie=UTF8&qid=1340422543&rnid=256652011

  15. What kind of finish is the white paint….flat, satin? Beautiful job!

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