It’s fair to say that this isn’t my first rodeo with the fireplace wall.
The “before” isn’t even a true before pic because you can’t see the floor-to-ceiling rock wall that is residing behind the sheetrock. (The early 80’s kind of rock wall.)
A few years ago (pre-blog), we framed over the rock wall with 2 x 3’s and that may have been enough for the normal person, but I had to go and mess with it. After a failed attempt at some built-in shelving (not shown), I put the whole wall on the back burner. Ok, so actually, I had put a bookshelf unit on each side of the fireplace, realized my fail, and then decided to stare at all of it for the next 2 years. (Maybe it would just go away?..) For approximately 730 mornings, I walked into this room only to be met with the depressing rain cloud of reality… there is no project-fail fairy. Those two, obviously out of place bookcases, were going to stay there until I moved them.
That is where I left off in this saga, and now this is where I pick up. I removed said bookcases, and snapped the before photo you see above. Those bookcases left a green shadow and some incomplete segments of crown moulding in their wake, but I didn’t let that scare me. I was going to fix this.
First, I tore down the segmented moulding (upper and lower). That was fun. Then I replaced it to look exactly as it did before segments of it were cut out to fit those darn bookcases.
I wanted to use a gloss paint on the entire wall, so that meant sanding it till I couldn’t see straight. Gloss paint highlights every imperfection of a surface, and smacks you in the face with it, so after I sanding it for an hour, I sanded it some more. I wanted minimal orange peel texture under that glossy white.
To give myself a break from the sanding, I spray painted the fireplace insert.
I used RUST-OLEUM High Heat spray paint because it’s a fireplace, and this paint is for use on things that get hot.
This spray paint is flat, not glossy. I decided to act like that was all part of the plan. It actually ended up awesome, so I’ll call it a happy accident.
Because I am all about leaving my signature paint splatter, I left a paint splatter. I used the tall bucket to stir the gallon of paint, by pouring it back and forth from can to bucket, stirring each time. (The glossy sheen can be inconsistent on the wall, if the paint isn’t stirred often and evenly.)
I wanted this paint to go on super-smooth, and I knew that a paint sprayer would get the smoothest application results. Since getting out the paint sprayer must have sounded like the hardest thing in the world that day, I chose to take a ridiculous amount of time, and paint it in little sections, by hand. I did a linen-weave type of technique, because nothing says: “I meant to do that. Those brush marks are visible on purpose”, like a linen weave texture. (I had decided since foregoing the sprayer meant I’d get orange peel with a roller, or brush lines with a brush, I’d go with the latter. Keep in mind that gloss makes any texture 10 times more obvious. There was no getting around it.)
I was going for a whiteout, so I painted the tile too.
At this point everything was white, but the “high gloss” paint, wasn’t as glossy as I’d hoped it would be. So guess what? I got out my compressor, an automotive paint sprayer, and some high gloss automotive clear coat. (Like the automotive clear coat I used on my high gloss dresser.) This all set me back another day, but I was too busy laughing about my inevidable use of the paint sprayer.
The automotive clear coat dries incredibly fast, so I didn’t have much time to figure out how to build the shelving I had in mind. Count on Ana White to come up with a plan. Within seconds of sitting down to surf her site, I found that perfect plan to build four floating shelves. Here’s a brief picture summary below. (plans for floating shelf on anawhite.com)
It plugged right into my phone, and it is easier to read than anything I’ve used before. Can you get any clearer than the words “STUD CENTER” lighting up at you?
I took a photo of this laser level setup. The device plugged into and clipped onto my phone, and then mounted to a tripod. (Just like a camera would mount onto a tripod.) There is a free Phone Works app that keeps screen captures, notes, and measurements as you go, and makes them shareable.
After all four shelves were mounted, tv put back, and my giant letter “e” in place, I was done.
Oh, and the giant period after the giant “e”. There’s that too. (It doesn’t do much.)
For the tutorial on this Decorative Ammo Box, visit Pretty Handy Girl.
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