Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Writing on the Fireplace Please!!!

Earlier this year I decided it was time to update my fireplace.  Through much trial, error and reader feedback, I finally found inspiration. 

I loved this fireplace for the simplicity and timeless look of the surrounding slate.  Imagine my surprise when I read that it was actually a recycled blackboard.  A Craigslist search revealed a few sheets of "vintage blackboard"...but at prices I didn't want to pay. 

About that time Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms was completing her awesome chalkboard wall when it occurred to me....

If original chalkboards are slate.... 

And chalkboard paint is made to replicate the look of slate chalkboards....

Then why can't I use chalkboard paint to paint my fireplace surround?  

Well Hubby quickly told me why...because it should be fireproof incase we ever want to hook up the gas logs.  {Yes, we had to remove the gas logs because they had become the children's favorite toy}. 

Finally, the solution came to me as I was watching HGTV....

Cement board {AKA Durock, Wonderboard, Hardibacker} was just what I needed.  Fireproof, waterproof, and less than $20 at any Lowes or Home Depot...OH YEAH!

After reviewing my share of chalkboard paint, I choose the Valspar Chalkboard paint because it guaranteed a "slate-like finish".  Exactly what I wanted and at $13 a can, it was still within my budget. 

So after cutting the cement board to size, rolling two coats of chalkboard paint and applying a coat of matte finish's what we ended up with.

I love it!  

Take a look at the boring BEFORE:

Now the awesome and affordable AFTER:

As you can see, the neutral color and simple design of the chalkboard "slate" allow the fireplace's beautiful woodwork take center stage. 

So there you have it, another use for chalkboard paint.  Whoever would have known?

For more great chalkboard inspiration check out Beth's Chalkboard Party at The Stories from A 2 Z.  Enjoy!

Sincerely, Lisa


  1. Nice. One of my fireplaces is similar in that it has single brick going around the edge but then I have painted wood instead of the natural. So why didn't you just use the paint on the brick itself--or do you think it would not give the right look--I am just curious. Yours looks great.

  2. ps. you visited my spindlecottage blog

  3. It looks great! I remember when you were debating what to do with your fireplace. So glad you found an affordable and creative solution that didn't break the bank :). Thanks for linking up Lisa!

  4. That is amazing Lisa! See, perseverance does pay off! It looks so much like your inspiration photos, love the creative way you took to get to this end result. Looks beautiful, enjoy! Janell

    p.s. Thanks for the mention! Janell

  5. Hi Lisa,
    So good to hear from you! I hope you're enjoying your summer with your kids.
    Your fireplace looks amazing. I love your solution for creating a "slate" fireplace surround. Great job.
    Have a great weekend.

  6. Great idea and a wonderful transformation!

  7. Lisa,
    What a wonderful transformation! I know this surround has been perplexing you for some time now, but your final product is fantastic! Can't wait to see what you do with the rest of your room!
    Dee Dee

  8. While I like the new design, I liked the old brick design as well. Both look great.

  9. Oh wow!!! I love it....great idea:)

  10. Holy transformation! You rocked it girl!!!

  11. What a clever solution! I never would have thought of that.

  12. I came across your post this morning while browsing interior design blogs and the topic of window treatment selection was very interesting to me. Which window treatments go well with this "slate" look? It is true that you must dress your windows appropriately to bring out their true beauty. Thank you for writing and as a special thanks to you and your readers, I would like to offer a 20% off coupon using this code upon checkout: BLG20.

  13. I have those similar fireplaces at my home. You kept it in perfect place as well as I found a beautiful candle stand in your first photograph.
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  14. Those wallpaper 's of wall is very unique. I visited so many blogs, but never seen this much beautiful art in any blog, I really enjoyed in my first visit.

  15. been looking everywhere for someone who's painted hardibacker as a
    .i just have to find out if it'll actually a chalkboard!

  16. I appreciate what you folks are for the most part up as well. This kind of cunning work and scope! Keep up the superb works folks I've added you folks to my blogroll.
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