We painted the dated, rock fireplace in our kids’ playroom! Our third home had a wonderful garden-level space that we used for the kid’s playroom, but the giant rock wall made the room feel dark.
I went back and forth for months trying to decide if we should paint the rocks and I am so glad we went for it. It was the main feature in the space and I was pretty intimidated to take on this project since it would be hard to hide if it turned out terribly.
I am so glad that I overcame my fear of such a permanent change because the fresh coat of paint made all of the difference in this space and it was super simple! This dated fireplace is now a fun focal point for our kids’ playroom. Today I am sharing our step-by-step process for how we painted the fireplace in one (long) day.
Fireplace Before Paint
Here is a reminder of what it looked like before we painted. The large rocks made the room feel dated and dark. There was even moss growing on them which caused a mess when you rubbed up against it.
There really was no escaping the 70’s vibe in this room.
Step 1 | Use a Wire Brush on the Rocks
Step 2 | Clean the rocks with TSP
Step 3 | Paint the Wall with Kilz
Next, we painted the wall with KILZ to seal the rocks and provide a base for our wall color. We used a 3/4 thick roller cover and fat, old paintbrushes to get in the cracks of the rocks. The primer required two coats before the wall was ready for the interior paint.
On this particular weekend, my parents were in town to celebrate my birthday. I am so lucky to have hard-working parents who are always offering to help with our projects. We spent our entire Sunday working on this wall and we all had so much fun transforming this 1970’s eyesore into a bright fun wall feature.
Step 4 | Paint the Rock Wall
Choose the paint color and apply the paint just like you would for a standard wall. We used standard interior wall paint in an eggshell sheen. We carried the same color on the walls (Sherwin Williams Eider White) of the room onto the fireplace and applied two coats. I wanted the lower half of the fireplace to pop so I chose a dark gray paint color (Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray).
That was all it took to completely transform this space! This room is brighter and looks much more modern than the dated rocks on the wall.
If you are considering painting a dated fireplace too, my advice to you is to take that leap of faith! I know it can be a tough decision because painting is so permanent, but if it really will brighten your space, I say go for it.
- Protective glasses
- N95 Mask
- Wire brush
- Sponge / Scouring Pad
- Interior paint
- 3/4 inch thick nap roller & roller frame
- Paint tray
- Thick, old paint brushes (fat paint brush)
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