The fireplace is the focal point in many rooms and an ideal spot to begin a decorating metamorphosis. Colour changes to the fireplace surround are a fast way to make a budget conscious design alteration. Changing a single surface colour can alter the way surrounding colours are perceived. Adding a decorative pattern can make a fireplace surround come to life.
Paint Tile Surrounds
Paint tiled surrounds for a quick fireplace colour update. Choose a solid colour from a patterned textile or accent colour found elsewhere in the room's decor. Clean the surface of the tile using an oxygen cleaner. Roughen the surface of the tile with a 220 grit sandpaper and vacuum away the dust and debris that results using a suction attachment.
Tape off the grout using painter's tape or paint the grout the same colour as the tile. Use a spray primer made for ceramic tile and then an oil based enamel paint for the final colour. Protect all surrounding areas from over painting by placing dust sheets and painter's paper over them.
Change Mortar or Grout
Stain the grout in a tile surround or remove and replace the mortar in a stone surround. Colour variations can make a tile or stone pattern more noticeable or cause it to recede. Grout stains are easy to apply. Use an oxygen cleaner to remove grease, oil and dirt from the grout. Allow the grout to dry for 48 hours before you apply the stain. Use a small, stiff artist's brush to apply the stain colour and wipe away any stain that spills on the surrounding tile. The mortar can be removed and replaced with a different colour.
Create a stronger contrast and colour pattern by darkening the grout used with a lighter tile colour or darken the grout with a darker tile to create a more solid coloured surround. Grout stain can only darken the grout and not lighten it.
Add Tile To Wood
Add decorative tile across flat surround surfaces to change the palette of the surround. Consider the room's decorating scheme and choose tile patterns that are appropriate. Measure the height and width of the area where you planto install tile. Use the measurements to figure how many tiles will be needed and at what size.
Use a latex modified thin set mortar on the surround surface and apply a thin layer to the back of the tile as well. Place the tile and allow the mortar to dry overnight. Mix and bag grout (just like bagging and using decorative icing on a cake) to draw a smooth line of grout between the tiles. Smooth the grout with a grout tool and wipe the tile surface clean. Consider imported patterns found through tile dealers or custom tiles created by local artisans. Contact local art schools with ceramic and pottery departments, or visit arts and crafts fairs to locate artists. Tiles can be applied at the corners of the fireplace surround, at focal points or used as borders and trim.