Coastal Collective Co.

How To Whitewash Stone: DIY Fireplace Makeover

Home Blog Posts, Living Room, Our HomeAnneke McConnell

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Hi friends! I'm can't WAIT to share today's before and after with you!  It has actually been a few months since I finished this, but I'm finally able to share all of the details with you.  And with Spring just around the corner, I think a lot of us have some house projects on the brain.  


Thankfully this project was incredibly easy, not too messy, and took just a couple days to get done while the kids played and read books.

Ta-da!  Haha! We're so happy with the results!

Ok so here's the before you guys. You ready for this???

And now to see them side by side!

Thank you in advance for pinning and sharing my little ol' blog ideas you guys!  This is going to save people so much money and trouble!

Ok, so honestly over the years of sharing some home tours and whatnot, many people would say how much they LOVED our stone fireplace.   Every time this would happen, I'd check my attitude at the door because I have wanted to rip that thing down and out for awhile now and add beautiful wide white horizontal planking and marble and ALL things white and bright and coastal.  Did you know I love white? Lol


My husband and I go back in forth in our conversations about how much money we really want to invest in this home when we have different financial goals.  The options have ranged from "just live with it as-is" to "tear the entire thing down and rebuild a new home" to less extreme tangible options in between. ;-)

So here are some further details.

The fireplace has a funky hearth that is raised and sticks out that we still have yet to deal with.  This 18 inches or so will make a huge impact in our ability to place furniture in a more user friendly way in the long narrow space.

I've also personally never cared for the way the stone is recessed with sheetrock surrounding it, BUT without cutting into the sheetrock (which is an EXTREMELY messy endeavor) and giving the fireplace a more welcoming look that goes with the vibe of our style, whitewashing the stone was the perfect option.

Now our kitchen is open to the living and dining rooms, to to tie the spaces together I decided to paint the mantle the same color as the cabinets, Simply White by Benjamin Moore (we used Advance semi-gloss).  You can see our Kitchen Makeover series we did last fall here >>>>> kitchen makeover.


Ok so the process of whitewashing the stone is SO easy you guys.  

*some of the following are affilaite links. 


Here's a breakdown of supplies and the steps:


Staining Pads >>> (this is THE SECRET to epic results. They are super absorbent, little to no drips, but great transfer of whitewash mixture)

Paint Brush >>> I use my trusted Purdy brushes. ;-) You want to make sure it is angle and medium to stiff bristles.

Plastice tupperware container

Chalk style Paint you can choose whatever color you'd like for your project (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen for the first layer, and then Vintage Market and Design Chalk Paint in Dove for the final layer)

***Two alternative white colors I recommend are Rustoleum's Chalked Paint in Linen White OR Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White.

Water: to mix with the chalk paint

Work Towels >>> to clean any drips that may happen

Work Glasses and Rubber Gloves >>> YES, you should wear these!




1. Clean your stone with warm soapy water.

If your stone or brick is super glossy and slick or pretty dirty (unlike ours which was very porous and relatively dirt/soot free), you may need to use a product like TSP to get the job done. 


2. Take your paint, water and tupperware and create your whitewash mixture.

It doesn't matter what your ratio is, but you DO need to mix the same ration every time you make more mixture. I personally created a ratio of about 1:1  Too much water with create drips and lighter color.  Too much paint will not look translucent on the stone, but rather "painted on" and coated over the top of the surface.  If you're concerned about the paint not adhering, add a little more paint and always do a test spot first to see if you like the color and the way it looks when applied.


3. Apply the whitewash mixture one small section at a time.

Don't be afraid to really push your brush into the stone and brush with X-like motions to evenly cover the surface.  Working in a small section either one stone at a time like I did with our stone, or if you have brick working with a small area (for example 2 feet by 2 feet) is about right to brush on the mixture.


4. Use your staining pad to wipe any excess whitewash mixture.

Once you brush the whitewash mixture onto your small section, use your staining pad to wipe away the excess and even out the color.  This process moves along at an even pace, so you don't have to wipe the excess away quickly and you don't have to wait a bajillion hours either.

Just brush on, wipe off. Brush on. Wipe off.


******An alternative is to simply use your staining pad to apply the whitewash mixture if your stone is not too rough.  You can always test an area, but a rough stone will simply rip the material of the staining pad. A bristle brush really gets into the cracks and crevices of the stone more easily.


5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 section by section until complete.

6. If you are layering colors, wait for the first layer of your whitewash to completely dry.

I personally waited a day in between doing a base gray-wash layer, and a top white-wash layer.  Meaning I finished the first coat late at night, went to bed and woke up to start the second layer.  You likely don't have to wait that long, especially the more porous your stone is.


That's it! Easy peasy.  Thanks in advance for pinning and sharing this post and supporting this blog.  I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and hope this helps give you the confidence to give it a try!


Our Living Room

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