Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How to Update Fireplace Tile

In the past I have posted my fireplace makeover however I did not really focus on the great tile update. Without this piece of the puzzle, the fireplace would not look near as great as it does now. This is the part of the fireplace makeover that I'm most proud of and I want to share this with you. 

There are others out there who have ugly outdated tile (you know who you are) and I want you to know, you can change all that in an afternoon.

Maybe your fireplace is still beautiful but the tile just needs a facelift. 

Maybe the whole facade is terrible and you want a drastic change as I did.

I did a little research before I attempted to paint mine. I thought I was the only crazy person who considered painting her tile. I was wrong thankfully. I'd love to go back to Lowes and show this picture to the guy that looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Why haven't men figured out we're always right yet? It's baffling.

Ok first off, let me apologize upfront for the crappy photos. I took most of these on my phone a couple years ago before I ever decided to start a blog. So I guess I'm just lucky I even have photos for a tutorial, but anyone who knows me understands I take pictures a lot. Plus I wanted to show all my family what I did.

To update your tile you'll need oil based Kilz, oil based color of your choosing, painters tape, 2 small paint rollers, a trim brush and a mask to protect yourself from the fumes.

First, clean any dust or soot from your tiles. After that's dry, tape around your tile so you'll have nice clean lines and protect your fireplace or mantle from paint. 

This is how my fireplace looked beforehand. At the same time I was also updating my mantle and brick facade, but you can read all about that here.

I primed all the tile with Kilz Interior Oil-Base using the small paint roller. I used the trim brush around all the edges. It took 2 coats to achieve total coverage. And in case anyone notices, no I did not tape off my carpet under the bottom tile. Why? Because I didn't care :) The carpet was scheduled to be replaced so I "colored outside of the lines". It felt great.

Let the Kilz dry fully according to the instructions. Now it's time for the fun part, color! I chose Almond by Rust-Oleum Oil-Based. 

I applied the almond around all the edges using a trim brush. Then I applied a good coat over the rest using the second small roller. If you see any areas that need more coverage go ahead and apply a little more. Your goal here is to have complete coverage the first time around. Oil based paint covers easier than latex so applying only 1 coat should not be an issue, especially since you have primed it so well. 

The last step, and most important, is removing the paint from the grout lines while it's still wet. This is how you will achieve the look of beautiful updated tile - "that hasn't been painted" ;)

You will need a good handful of Q-tips. Carefully wipe away the wet paint in the grout lines with the Q-tips. You'll probably get about 1-2 passes on each end before you have to toss that Q-tip and reach for another. You don't want to smear wet paint from the Q-tip back onto your tile. If you mess up, no big deal. The paint is still wet. Roll over it again with your small roller and then wipe the grout line again with a fresh Q-tip. 

The paint has really held up well. I have 2 children that constantly play on the bottom tiles and run hotwheels across it or set up Barbie furniture. 

The best compliment I received was from my Uncle Victor. He thought I had replaced the tile...WOW! He always was my favorite ;)

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