Stenciled Tile DIY Fireplace Makeover

Welcome friends! I’m so happy to finally be sharing my family room stenciled tile DIY fireplace makeover with you!! I’ve wanted to update this fireplace since we moved here four years ago.  Well, I finally got inspired over the summer and just went for it!  Friends, I am so happy with the results I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!! Let’s take a look at the before:

Yup, pretty typical 90’s fireplace with beige tile and brass accents.

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step 1: get rid of the brass

If you have a fireplace like this and you’ve been on the fence about painting out the brass, just do it!! I promise you will not be disappointed! My brass slats actually pop off, so it was an even easier job than I expected.

This Rust-Oleum high heat worked like a charm. I gave each slat a good 3 coats outside.  If you’re working indoors, make sure you have good ventilation and cover and tape off all other surfaces, floors etc.

step 2: prepare, prime, and paint base coat

With the brass gone I was really encouraged and motivated to get going on the next step, preparing the tile. I wiped it down with a bit of soapy water and rinsed well. Then I taped off all areas that needed protecting: around the fireplace insert, hardwood floor, walls etc.

I applied 2 coats of primer meant for tile: cutting in with a brush then rolling it out. I allowed that to dry overnight, then applied one coat of my base paint. Things were looking better all ready!

Step 3: apply stencil

The stencil I used for this project is from Cutting Edge Stencils. They have so many amazing styles to choose from, step by step instructions, and how to videos on their website. I chose Abbey wall stencil in their smallest size, 6 x 6. It was a good choice for this project, as I only had to trim it slightly. I also wanted the ’tiles” to appear smaller than the original tiles, which I think were too big for this space.

Once you have your stencil in place, use painters tape to secure. My tips for success are: 1) don’t overload your roller with paint (too much paint can cause bleed) and 2) apply light pressure, going over stencil thoroughly, but not pressing too hard.  Figuring out the placement of the stencils did take some time and I was happy to have my hubby’s help with this project. Are you ready to see the after?

Ta da!! Do you love it as much as I do?!? Honestly I can’t believe this is the same fireplace! I’m so happy with how this project turned out!

I hope you found my stenciled tile DIY fireplace makeover helpful.  Not only has it given my fireplace a whole new look, but the whole room just feels so much brighter!  If you’ve been thinking of giving wall or floor stenciling or painting over tile a try, I say go for it!! I’d love for you to share your experience or any questions or comments below!




  1. Donna Nance
    October 11, 2018 / 5:31 am

    The fireplace is gorgeous! Wow, what a difference! The accessories on the mantel just make the makeover pop. Well done!

    • lifeisbetterathome
      October 11, 2018 / 2:58 pm

      Thank you so much Donna! πŸ’—

    • lifeisbetterathome
      October 11, 2018 / 3:01 pm

      Thanks Tana! πŸ’— Super happy with how it turned out!

  2. Deb
    October 18, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    Hey Judy~ I just stumbled on to your blog today. Oh HAPPY day! I love your home and all your decorating ideas. Love ’em all!
    Blessings! Deb πŸ™‚

    • lifeisbetterathome
      November 6, 2018 / 12:57 pm

      Hello Deb! So kind of you to say and thank you for following along!

  3. October 18, 2018 / 2:01 pm

    Ohhhhhhh yeah, sister! GREAT job! I love how this turned out!

    • lifeisbetterathome
      November 6, 2018 / 12:59 pm

      Thank you so much Marissa!!I’m so happy with this project turned out!

  4. Stacey May Borcsok
    November 6, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    this looks amazing, this is exactly what i am looking for! so easy too…do you think herringbone would be difficult to do? looks like we have the exact same fireplace?

    • lifeisbetterathome
      November 6, 2018 / 7:06 pm

      Hi Stacey, thank you πŸ’— I think a herringbone pattern would be lovely! Yes, I think this style of tile was very popular 🀣

  5. November 11, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    WOW! WOW! WOW! Simply stunning and you make it look soooo easy!

  6. Linda Christensen
    May 6, 2019 / 9:55 pm

    How permanent is the paint. Just wondering how well it woll wear. I love this and want to do it, but need to convince my husband.

    • lifeisbetterathome
      May 23, 2019 / 7:36 am

      Hi Linda! I used wall paint from Benjamin Moore, so very durable. My husband was sceptical at first too but he loves it!!

  7. Jennie Elliott
    June 1, 2019 / 8:02 am

    I just happened upon this blogpost today and you just blew my mind! You can paint tile?! I have a very similar looking fireplace and I really wanted to re tile it but the budget says no… I will definitely try this! Your fireplace is stunning by the way πŸ™‚

    • lifeisbetterathome
      June 1, 2019 / 8:18 am

      Thank you so much! YES you can paint tile πŸ™ŒπŸ» Just make sure to use a primer meant for tile. Your local paint store should be able to help. It totally transformed this space, so glad we did it! You will love it!!

      • Jennie Elliott
        June 16, 2019 / 8:07 am

        Hi again! So Im planning on starting this project today and I was doing a little internet research – some people are recommending sanding down the tile before priming it, to get the paint to stick better. I was hoping to skip this step, how has your paint been holding up? I dont expect we will actually use this fireplace as we live in SoCal! Thanks πŸ™‚

        • lifeisbetterathome
          June 16, 2019 / 8:25 am

          How exciting Jennie πŸ˜ƒI didn’t sand, but I used a good primer meant for tile and it’s holding up really well!

          • Michelle
            June 3, 2020 / 6:46 pm

            Hi! How do you get the brass panels out in order to paint? I can’t wait to get started.

          • lifeisbetterathome
            June 15, 2020 / 9:12 pm

            Hello Michelle,
            My brass panels were removeable and popped out fairly easily. If yours don’t, you can always tape off the surround with brown paper. Hope this helps!

  8. Catrina Broussard
    June 2, 2019 / 2:23 pm

    Hi! I love this look so much! I am curious about what type of paint you used and if you actually use your fireplace? Other posts I have read tell me to use non flammable paint if I am going to use it and some just mention the primer. Some just painted their fireplace for decor, and I want to actually use mine. I am planning on painting mine and want to ensure I get the right paint. Thank you in advance!

    • lifeisbetterathome
      June 2, 2019 / 9:59 pm

      Hi Catrina! I used Benjamin Moore primer and paint. We do use it and haven’t had any issues at all. I would ask at your local paint store for their advice. We’ve been so happy with the results!

      • Catrina Broussard
        June 3, 2019 / 8:46 am

        Thank you so much! I am headed to the paint store today! Your tutorial was teh most helpful one I have found and I cant wait to get started!

        • lifeisbetterathome
          June 3, 2019 / 10:10 am

          Yay and thank you so much! Keep me posted πŸ˜ƒ

  9. Lindsey
    August 10, 2019 / 8:06 am

    What sheen did you choose for the paint?

    • lifeisbetterathome
      August 11, 2019 / 8:48 am

      Hi Lindsey! I used BM in eggshell. Hope that helps!

  10. Trenae
    August 11, 2019 / 5:59 am

    Hello! I was just curious as to what color grey paint you used for the stencil. I love the color! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • lifeisbetterathome
      August 11, 2019 / 8:50 am

      Hi Trenae! I used BM Grey Owl in eggshell. The white base is same colour as our walls, Cloud White.

  11. Keri
    March 2, 2020 / 4:21 am

    Hello! Thank you for this amazing idea! My fireplace looks stunning! Did you seal the tile?

    • lifeisbetterathome
      March 2, 2020 / 8:37 am

      Love hearing that Keri, thanks for sharing! I didn’t seal the tile but imagine if you did it would probably extend the life of it πŸ™‚

  12. Sonya
    May 21, 2020 / 8:39 am

    Can’t wait to try this. Did you a poly or top coat?

    • lifeisbetterathome
      June 15, 2020 / 9:15 pm

      Hi Sonya,

      I did not but after a year a did notice a bit of black staining from the gas fireplace. It washed off but I think a top coat would be a great idea!

  13. Erika Brooks
    May 24, 2020 / 5:32 pm

    Do you think I could follow your process for painting over marble?

    • lifeisbetterathome
      June 15, 2020 / 9:13 pm

      Hi Erika,
      I would ask at your local paint or hardware store for a primer that adheres to marble. Good luck with your project!

  14. Karen
    June 17, 2020 / 3:48 pm

    This is beautiful! Thanks for the encouragement to do it myself

    • lifeisbetterathome
      June 29, 2020 / 9:48 pm

      Aww of course!! Please let me know if you have any questions πŸ™‚

  15. Jenn
    April 16, 2021 / 8:10 am

    Hello I saw this pretty fireplace and would like to ask of i can do the same since my fireplace has no tiles. It is just the box around which is painted. Can I stencil it? It is a gas fireplace so I am not sure if heat would do any harm to the stenciling. Thanks

    • lifeisbetterathome
      June 10, 2021 / 2:42 am

      Hi Jenn, I think it would work just fine especially if there is already paint around your fireplace. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

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