Basically, all month long I've felt like a 5 year old waiting for Christmas morning.
First things first, a little back story and a before picture.
As many of you know by now, I have this little 1970's river rock fireplace situation going on in my living room. And by 'little', I mean it dominates the whole room. While there have been times that I've thought about painting it or redoing it with something more current, at the end of the day, I guess I've kinda grown to love the little fella. Plus, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I could work with what I had.
Feel free to feast your eyes on my first attempt at stacking logs.
So, after a lot of work and craftiness, here is my fireplace today.
I barely even have the words to explain what's going on, because I'm too excited. You guys know I usually just roll around in paint and feel like I'm McGyver, so pulling something off of this magnitude is totally new territory.
Can we just crawl inside the logs for a minute and sit down and talk woman to woman?
Anyways, I absolutely love the way it turned out, and I love the way it looks with the rest of the changes I made to the living room last week.
I've redone most of our living room using thrift store finds, (You can see the rest of the living room reveal from last week here.) and the fireplace area is no exception.
You may have noticed that there's a sassy new mantel hanging above my stacked logs. We looked everywhere for an affordable mantel and came up completely empty handed
WHO are these people who expect me to fork over $400 for a mantel? Uh uh. I will NOT.
So, instead Jesse built one for about $20-$30.
It ended up being pretty easy to build our own, and I'll share the full mantel tutorial very soon.
But seriously, didn't Jesse do such a great job?
Update: See the mantel tutorial here.
So, let's break down the styling details on the mantel.
Like I said, most of them are thrift store finds.
Ya'll know I'm still trying to figure out this decorating thing, so my first time EVER IN LIFE styling a mantel was kinda rough. It took me about 10 tries to make it work. And when I say 10, I mean 72.
You may have witnessed my excitement on Instagram when I found this little deer/antelope/whatever-it-is wooden carving for a dollar. I also found that little ornate gold frame and a few bits of random art. I originally planned to use the floral print on the mantel, but ended up using that small painting of the lake instead.
I painted the little deer with my favorite gold spray paint I use on everything (affiliate link).
And I paired him with a few mercury glass candlesticks I found at Marshall's.
I put my thrift store painting in a mirrored frame I've been hoarding for awhile now, just waiting for the perfect victim.
That poor little Bob Ross-esque painting never saw it coming.
I added a pretty silver stoneware vase with a few stems cut from whatever plant the Kroger lady cut it from.
And I also added a little handmade painting (similar to the large one I made here). It's the perfect fit for my little thrift store frame.
Oh, and remember a couple of weeks ago when I found all of the gold mirrors at the thrift store? Well, that big one ended up being the perfect size for the fireplace.
However, it was a little too orange for my taste, (You can see what it originally look liked much better in this picture that I took when I was trying to figure out how to style the mantle).
So, I painted it (using an awesome tip my new neighbor gave me that I'll share soon).
So, now let's get back to the stacked logs and talk about how to do it.
I've wanted to put stacked logs in our fireplace for years now, but always thought it seemed kinda impossible.
Basically, I saw pictures with 5 million perfectly stacked logs, drooled with longing for a minute, and then promptly ran the opposite way crying with inferiority.
But then, I saw this gorgeous version a few months ago, and I realized that there was a much easier way to do this.
Great news. Even us normal people can do this.
That being said, I must keep it real, you should know that this took me forever.
It wasn't easy.
I wanted to quit 5 times.
I got Liquid Nails in my hair....twice.
Jesse wanted to move to Hawaii and never look back.
But, in the end, we're living happily ever after with an amazing faux fireplace.
It's the American dream.
So, here's how we did it.
STEP #1: Cut logs.
Basically, you're going to need a million more pieces of wood than you think you could every possibly need. At one point, I was Scrooge McDuck rolling around in my money pit of tiny logs, and then I used them all and still had 99% of my board to fill.
Don't count your McDucks before they hatch.
STEP #2: Bleach logs.
My logs were kinda a hot mess and all sorts of different colors. Bleach totally saved the day. Just dip your logs in bleach and lay them out to dry in the sun for a few days. This lightens them up and makes them pretty and gets rid of any critters that are hiding out in your wood.
Don't skip this part.
Sooooo many critters.
STEP #3: Paint board black.
This was the gamechanger for me. It made this entire project feasible. Rather than stacking a million whole logs, you can cut little pieces and glue them to a board that is cut to fit the opening of your fireplace. We actually cut our board into two pieces and attached hinges in the middle since we had uneven stones on the edges of our fireplace that made it difficult to fit a board inside in one big piece. One the board was cut, I painted it black with chalkboard paint. I chose chalkboard paint since I had it on hand, and it's really dark and has a flat sheen. Basically, the black paint creates the illusion of shadows and makes it look like your log pieces are actually real logs, stacked deep within the fireplace.
STEP #4: Nail larger logs to board.
I placed about 20 larger logs around the board and had Jesse anchor them with nails.
A sweet reader pointed out that Jesse is using screws. And now you know why I let Jesse take over during this phase. Because I'm clearly out of my element. :)
I chose to do a mix of big and small logs evenly spaced throughout the board. I attached my big logs with
nails screws first, and then once those were all in place, I started filling in the gaps with the smaller logs.
I attached all of the smaller logs with Liquid Nails (affiliate link) and it worked like a charm.
Here is a view from the side of the board after I had glued a bunch of logs into place. You don't see any of the glue once the board is in place, so glue 'til your little heart's content.
And that's all there is to it.
It's a really time intensive project, and although it isn't easy, it is do-able. And the best part is, between the mantle, stacked logs, and thrift store styling, I think this entire makeover cost me under $100. And that makes me feel like all of those late hours by myself in the spider garage with tubes of glue was totally worth it.
Emphasis on the spider garage and emphasis on the totally. :)
Thanks so much for stopping by today, ya'll!
I'm so happy you're here!
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