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Fireplace Makeover

Last night, seeing a break in the rain that had been falling all day and stopping my gardening plans, Ian and I headed up to our local pub for a drink.

This drink soon turned into a few, accompanied by a cheeseboard and a hard-fought game of scrabble!

I even wore my lucky ring!

Our lounge is very nearly finished and today I wanted to share the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of the fireplace. I think every room needs a focus and a fireplace is perfect for that and obviously adds that cosy factor on colder days.

When we moved in, it is fair to say we had a challenge on our hands in terms of decorating!

We had a lime green and white wall, with a very ugly and dated glass brick fireplace which was screaming out to be knocked down!

Thanks to Ian’s Mum and a sledgehammer we soon got rid of the blocks and were left with two holes in the floor and a wall that needed filling, smoothing and painting.

The grand plan in the long term is to knock through to expose the original fireplace and fit a log burning stove, replace the current flooring with oak floorboards and purchase an antique hearth. However, what I have quickly come to realise is that these things take time and money and in the meantime we need to live here, and enjoy living here, so we needed to make some compromises and find the middle ground. For us, that meant giving the current fireplace a makeover!

Our new fire arrived but wasn’t quite big enough to hide the holes in the floor and so I made us a new hearth.

I used a piece of MDF which the very helpful men at B&Q cut to the size I wanted.

I then used a PVA wash to seal the MDF and stop it ‘sucking up’ the paint I would put on it.

After the PVA wash had dried, I applied 3 coats of the paint that I would eventually use on the fireplace wall. (Lavender Grey by B&Q)

When this had dried, I applied a top layer of clear varnish to protect the wood and give it a shine. You can probably see from the photos that I did a lot of the painting outside which was lovely and it also meant the paint dried much quicker. However, I would strongly advise against painting outside when using varnish…no sooner had I applied my top layer, I went inside to make myself a cup of tea to reward myself for my hard work. When I stepped outside again, I was very annoyed to discover at least 15 flies that had landed on the sticky varnish and had become stuck! Cue me having to remove this top layer and start again! So, just a little tip from me to you!

I painted the fireplace wall in the same Lavender Grey colour (matt emulsion this time) and then it was time to put everything together and add a few finishing touches like candles.

I am still in two minds whether to leave the space above the fireplace free or to add a piece of artwork or a mirror.

I think I will leave it blank for the time being and then decide on any extra additions once the rest of the room is finished.

This is a somewhat temporary solution but I love it and think it brings the room together perfectly. A wood burning fire isn’t anywhere near the top of our to-do list at the moment and so until then we will enjoy what we have.

I am currently putting together a very exciting cooking challenge which I am halfway through writing and will announce tomorrow…see you then! xxx


About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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