Get step by step tips for using Rustoleum’s Chalked Paint to paint a marble fireplace surround.
When we purchased our home in 2005, there weren’t a lot of options for customizing our gas fireplace. You can read about how we upgraded the mantel here:
We chose a cream marble surround that worked perfectly with the warm colors that were popular that decade. But ever since we painted our downstairs Revere Pewter the cream surround has looked off.
My husband and I have been talking about what to do about the surround for about three years now. We’ve considered completely removing the marble, adding a hearth, raising the firebox, and doing a completely new surround. But since the money tree in the back yard has yet to start producing Benjamins, that wasn’t going to be happening any time soon! 🤣
We also researched covering the marble with tile. But we were nervous about doing tile ourselves for the very first time on something so prominent.
After some more researching, I stumbled across the idea to paint a marble fireplace surround. My curiosity was piqued! First, it would only cost about $25 in supplies (counting tape and a new paintbrush)! Second, it would be easy enough to do ourselves. And third, if we didn’t like it we’d only be out $25.
Before making the decision to paint the surround I tested out how it would look! A little black cardstock and tape were all it took to help us see that it would look great.
How to Paint a Marble Fireplace Surround
Have you ever heard of chalk paint? This stuff is some kind of wonderful, miracle-working paint! It was developed by Annie Sloan for furniture refinishing and distressing. It’s very thick, has a matte finish, and it adheres to most anything!
I decided to use Rustoleum’s Chalked Paint because I wanted to be able to seal it with a protective top coat. It also can withstand the heat from a fireplace. 😎
I selected Rustoleum’s Charcoal Chalked Paint because I knew a black surround would provide a truly neutral palette for any decor. I ordered it from Amazon because I’m an Amazon-Prime-a-holic. Me and my UPS man are tight. 🤣
Supplies to Paint Your Fireplace Surround:
- Rustoleum Chalked Paint in the color of your choice
- Rustoleum Chalked Protective Topcoat
- 1-1/2 inch angled paint brush
- painter’s tape
- 100 grit sandpaper
Step 1: Prepare the marble
One of the best parts of chalky paints is they adhere really well to just about any surface. Primer is never necessary! And while sanding is generally not required with chalky paints it will improve adhesion.
As you can see, the marble was polished to a high gloss. It was really simple to rough up the surface with 100 grit sand paper.
See the difference?
I used a wet sponge to clean up all the marble dust. Then went over it with a tack cloth to remove any residue.
Step 2: Tape your Edges
I used Frogtape to protect the wood mantle and the carpet. And then a drop cloth for the carpet too. I’m not the neatest of painters… 😉
Step 3: Paint the Marble Surround
The Chalked paint is very thick, and it dries very quickly. You’re going to want to use a stir stick to get the pigment thoroughly mixed into the paint. Shaking just doesn’t do the trick since it’s so thick.
Because it dries quickly, you’ll want to work quickly. I didn’t mind if some brush strokes were visible because I felt like they could provide some texture to make the surface look somewhat like slate. But if brush strokes bother you, you can use a foam roller instead.
Y’all? I was SO NERVOUS! But as soon as I painted the first little part of the marble surround, I was in LOVE! I’m talking major heart eyes!! It looked SO GOOD!
I started with the top section and did short horizontal strokes to cover the surface. Then ran the paintbrush lightly over the surface from one end to the next to make the strokes look even.
Next, I painted the two side sections with vertical strokes using the same technique.
I finished with the marble on the floor. I could NOT believe what a difference it made! Buh-bye, cream marble, helllllooooo black beauty! 😍
After the first coat, you can see there were some spots that needed a bit more coverage. I let it dry for an hour, then went back to do a second coat. It probably wasn’t necessary to wait that long because this paint dries SUPER QUICKLY.
Then I removed the tape right after I finished the second coat. I didn’t want to risk the paint possibly peeling!
Step 4: Seal the Chalked Paint
Before you seal the surround, make sure you clean the surface. You don’t want any stray hairs, dust or lint getting sealed in!
Make sure you stir the topcoat sealer. I was amazed at how much the consistency changed from stirring it! I applied the sealer using the same process that I used for the paint.
It isn’t nearly as thick as the chalked paint. It goes on looking gray, but it dries to a completely clear matte finish.
I applied three coats of the sealer, letting it dry for a full day between each coat. I wanted to make sure my beautiful new surface was well-protected!
And that’s it!
I only used about 1/4 of a can of the paint and 1/4 of a can of the sealer for this project, which means I’ve got a beautiful new fireplace surround for less than $10!
Everyone loves a good before and after, so let’s take a look back at where we started before upgrading the mantel and painting the marble surround:
And here it is now!
So if you have an outdated marble surround on your fireplace, this technique is an inexpensive and simple option to give it a facelift. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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