Don’t paint stone fire­place; dec­o­rate in­stead

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DEBBIE TRAVIS

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.

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