Don’t paint stone fireplace; decorate instead
Dear Debbie; The fireplace wall in our ’70s home is stone. The flat-faced natural stones are various shades of gray. My husband loves the stone but I find it very dark. Is there any way to paint the stone so it doesn’t look like we just covered it with latex? Mary Dear Mary; Your stone wall is part of the architecture of the room. I can understand you feel it is dark or heavy, but there are better options than paint. Painted stone will look like just that, and I would not recommend it; you would not be happy with the results. In the farmhouse dining room shown here, the stone wall was given added interest with the addition of items that related to life in the countryside. It is lovely as it stands, but I sense you need a bigger transformation.
I would brighten up the area around the fireplace to complement its moodiness. Build in some character that relates to you and your husband on a personal level. Start with a shiny white mantel above the fireplace, This will give you a place to show off colourful pottery, candlesticks, pictures or artwork. Play with your arrangement to get the proper proportions. Display pieces should be large enough, or grouped to balance the large stone. Prop up or hang a large mirror over the shelf; this will reflect light and brighten your room. Add some white velvet or chenille cushions to the décor and the room will feel much lighter. Dear Debbie We are remodelling our house, taking down walls in the living room to make it into a great room that flows out to the kitchen, which has a vaulted ceiling. I would like to paint the vaulted ceiling and the far triangular wall. There are exposed cross beams I would leave bright white.Diane Dear Diane Thank you for attaching a photograph, it’s always helpful. I love the cross beams in white — far less heavy than wood. To make the white beams stand out as a feature, I would paint the vaulted ceiling and far triangular wall in a delicate shade such as a soft peppermint or buttery yellow. Not as harsh as all white but not as ‘chopped up’ as a darker colour. I hope it works. Send me a picture when you are done. Dear Debbie; I have a cabinet painted in a low lustre black melamine. Is there a glaze or something I could paint over to make it look more like espresso rather than pure black? Thank you. Lorna Dear Lorna; Melamine is essentially a hard plastic surface. While there are paints that are manufactured to adhere to a slippery surface, I recommend you prepare your cabinet before you add paint to get a more durable, professional finish. Sand the cabinet first and wash with a heavy duty detergent such as TSP. This will give the surface grip. Apply a high adhesion primer. Since you are going to cover with a dark shade of paint, it is helpful to tint the primer with a little of the paint. Now apply two base coats of colour to ensure solid coverage.
The dominant stone fireplace wall makes a suitable backdrop for exhibiting antique
collectibles of country life.