If I moved the couch to the wall with the railing (literally the only other option) there would be no wall for my pictures. (Split-level problems!!) Over the years I have accepted loving half of my living room (the half with the couch on it), but within the last two weeks I have decided to change that.
I want to love my entire living room and I want to feel like I am cozied up in a cottage whenever I take a seat and relax. This lead me to my next DIY project- a DIY fireplace! (Every cottage needs one!)
The fireplace (140.00):
Click her for the full tutorial http://ana-white.com/2012/09/plans/mimi039s-faux-mantle
Total this project was about 150 DOLLARS - A deal when compared to buying an electric fire place at the store.
AND without that fake glass screen with the fire light show, you can decorate the inside with birch wood or even candles for a REAL, granted smaller, fire.
Aside from the wood and the paint for this puppy, I spent money on the 'hearth.' I wanted this to feel as rustic as possible so I thought why not throw some stones at it. :) I found, at Walmart in the fall, discounted patio pavers. They were on sale for 24 cents a piece. After I measured the dimensions I would need to create a hearth for the fire place to sit on I ended up investing only about 10 bucks in patio pavers! That was CHEAPER that it would have been to buy another large piece of wood to use as the hearth (it would have had to have been the size of the mantle to look balanced which was around 17 dollars). And it makes it feel more real! BONUS!
The Hearth (10.00):
The paint job was a fun process. I was really afraid of distressing because I thought it would be hard, but it was seriously one of the easiest paint jobs I've ever done! I didn't even have to sand!! It took LITERALLY 2 hours to complete. I'm an instant gratification girl so I am all over that. So I heard about using wax or Vaseline for distressing from a neighbor and decided I'd give that technique a try (can't pass up projects that require less sanding) Here are the results:
Distressing with Vaseline:1. Paint a base coat on bare wood- a color you want to show through when you sand. I chose Glidden Duo tintable tester 2 @ 2.99 in the color: Wild Truffle from Home Depot.
2. Rub Vaseline on all of the edges and places you want to have the under color show through.
3. Paint over everything with top color. I used left over white trim paint (Dutch Boy Dura Clean Latex kitchen, bath, and trim enamel in a semi-gloss). This is where something amazing happens. Without even sanding your piece will start to look distressed. The paint won't stick easily to the Vaseline and the way it dries over it LOOKS like natural distressing!
4. OPTIONAL: Use 300 grit sand paper to lightly sand over the edges or the places you want to see the color beneath. I did not do this, but am contemplating it.
I cannot wait to try this on more things!! Here are a few shots of the progression of the piece: