DIY Marble Fireplace Makeover
The day is here! Our DIY marble fireplace is officially DONE! I feel like that needed to be in all caps, because I’M SO EXCITED! This is a project I’m really proud of and I’m eager for you to see these before and afters (oh so dramatic)!
Last we checked in, I shared the step-by-step for building the mantle and adding trim for a high-end look on a budget. Once all of the wood was on, we were in the home stretch. Finn and I were happy to put the saws and nail gun away for good (our home felt 10x lighter without them taking up valuable family room space), and we whipped out the last few supplies for this project.
Filling Nail Holes & Caulking
When it comes to woodworking projects, it’s always a good idea to use painter’s putty and paintable caulk for the finishing touches. For the painter’s putty, just take a bit and roll it into a ball. Then, go around and fill in all of the nail holes on the wood. You can use it almost like an eraser…going back and forth until the hole is filled. It gets a bit messy, but it’s worth it. Once that dries, take a sanding sponge and sand away any excess putty.
Then, it’s time for caulk. You’ll want to caulk all of the seams of your wood, so you don’t have any gaps anywhere. This really makes all of the pieces look cohesive as if they’re built in. I’m always amazed by how much better a project looks after caulking. It’s such a great finishing touch.
Again though, this gets suuuuuper messy. Here’s my best tip. Use a caulk gun and run a finger directly after the bead of caulk as you go along. That way it gets smooth and you don’t use too much. Keep lots of paper towels handy so you can keep your finger clean. Then, take a damp cloth and go over the caulk line so it doesn’t get on any areas that don’t need it. It took me at least an hour to caulk the entire fireplace, so give yourself some time for this step.
Priming & Painting
I was lucky enough to have some primer and semi-gloss paint leftover from our bathroom project, so I didn’t have to buy anything new. I love this Zinsser primer because it goes on really smooth and works well for so many projects.
Here she is with one coat of the primer. I let that dry and then followed it up with the white trim paint in semi-gloss. It took 3 coats (!!!) to get a perfectly even coverage, but I was grinning the entire time because it was looking soooo good!
DIY Marble Fireplace – Before & After
So you ready to see this before and after? I sure am!
Isn’t it wild?! It was a sad dark hole of ugly granite before and now it’s soooooo white and bright. I can hardly believe the transformation.
Plus, wrapping the wood around to the right side made a huge difference. It looks so strange with just the black granite on the front and the drywall on the side. Now it looks much more intentional and prominent.
Craftsman Style Woodworking
The lattice and molding came together beautifully on the face of the fireplace. I love that we kept the design fairly simple with straight lines. It matches the DIY bifold doors in our kitchen area perfectly.
The new baseboard and shoe also came out really nice. We ended up having to replace the baseboard on both sides of the fireplace and near the door, but I’m happy we did. It’s now all fresh and flows together.
DIY Marble Fireplace
I’m still really pleased we used marble subway tile on the hearth and fireplace surround. It brightens up the area and actually ties together well with our dining room table and the marble in our bathroom. As I mentioned in the tiling post, we sealed the marble so I’m hopeful that it stays looking nice.
I was having all the heart eyes when we finished the tiling, but seeing it next to the white woodworking has me even more obsessed!
New Entryway Accessories
We ended up keeping the little landing spot on the top of the fireplace. It’s so handy for an entryway because we both plop our keys into that bowl right when walk in the door. Super convenient!
The tray was a new purchase from Target and I adore it. Love the muted color and size. The bowl is old from HomeGoods, and the vase is old too (from Target). Corraling items on a tray like this really grounds the space (especially amongst all of the white!).
A Worthwhile DIY Project
In terms of budget, I think this was around $500 or so (between the marble tile, cement board, wood, and small supplies). We already owned the paint, saws, and nail gun so that saved some cash for us. I’m sure this would have cost at least $1,500 if we hired it out, plus the cost of supplies. So I believe we saved a lot of money going the DIY route!
There were a few times throughout this process that I thought we were crazy for taking on this project right now. We’re looking to move and adding this to our plate seemed like a lot. But, I’m really happy we did it. Not only does it make our family room look 10x better, but it will certainly be a great feature for buyers.
Plus, Finn and I had a blast doing it together and it gave us so much confidence as we look at these fixer-uppers in need of tons of work.
I’m honestly kinda sad we didn’t tackle this DIY project sooner though. I would love to live with the results for years to come! But we’ll definitely put what we learned into good use in our next home.
Thanks for following along throughout our marble fireplace makeover. It was full of lots of ups and downs, but you guys were cheering us along the entire way.
Fireplace Makeover Posts
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.