Because Tile is Expensive

I kinda hate my fireplace.

I’ve never actually used it for fire, unless candles count, and the tile is UGLY.


2014 - fire place detailIt’s icky, there’s really no way to describe it. And once I painted the living room gray it stood out like a sore thumb.

So I did some research by reviewing these tutorials:

Tutorial #1

Another One

Tile painting tutorial

After picking up my paint and taping off the edges I got to work. First up I used some leftover beige grout from the bathroom tiles and filled in some gaps in the brown grout. After cleaning that up I started with the first layer using this white latex primer from Zinsser:

photo 3(1)And the first layer looks crappy:

photo 2(2)Second coat was much cleaner:

photo 3And after several coats on the vertical tiles I cleaned the hearth and started on the horizontal ones:

photo 2(1)



The bottom was much harder, both to keep the dogs off and to stopping the dog hairs from messing up my white paint. Even after 3 coats it wasn’t quite perfect.

photo 1(1)So I taped off the carpet and did another few coats:

photo 1Finally done. And it’s a pain since Zinsser is oil based. Which means using mineral spirits on the paint brush or keeping it in the fridge so it doesn’t have to be cleaned.

Now, the tutorials were very clear that you should use a water-based polycrylic to protect the tile. And using an oil-based primer would turn the tiles yellow.


photo 3

Yeah, I was stuck with streaky, yellow protective finish.

So I busted out the sand paper and did another layer of primer and decided to leave it for now.

Here’s what it looked like when I was “done”

photo 5Great, except those gaps were driving me crazy. Yes, it’s the little things.

Even if I’m the only one who will ever see it.

So I picked up this plastic quarter round primed white and cut it with my hand saw to fit. Using clear liquid nails I glued it in place and secured the quarter round with painter’s tape.

photo 1Fill the edges with caulk and it’s finally looking better.

photo 2One last before/after:

photo 4

Of course it was messy and took forever which begs the question “why not just re-tile?” Well, because tile is expensive. And messy. And even more time consuming.

Did you notice that the mirror also got an upgrade? I’ll share that soon!


2 thoughts on “Because Tile is Expensive

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