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In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, I’m throwing it back to 2013 when I purchased my first house and dove right into renovations! Because this happened way before was ever even a thought, these before pics are lacking in a major way…and I can’t for the life of me find the progress pics for my favorite DIY. Even so, you’ll get the idea and hopefully be inspired to update your own digs if they are in need of it.

Let’s start with a couple before pics of my townhouse. WARNING: these are ugly. Looking back, it’s crazy to think I instantly fell in love with this place. I definitely have the ability to see the potential in even the roughest of spaces. This house was built back in 2004 and was in need of some updating…but I was up to the task.

Holy smokes. Those colors and floors were in major need of an overhaul!  I took on so many renovations in that first year, including a full house paint job and new floors…but one of my favorite updates was to the black marble fireplace. While I was completely obsessed with the idea of having a mess-free gas fireplace, the outdated black marble was the total opposite of my style. Take a look at the before…

great room window wall before

Enter: Airstone. The perfect solution for my ugly black fireplace! If you haven’t heard of it, it is a faux stone finish that you can use indoors or outside. The uses are endless…I’ve seen people use is as a backsplash, on the walls of a standard bathtub to spruce it up and outside to give siding an updated look. They offer two color options, including Autumn Mountain in warm tones, which was right up my alley. You don’t have to grout Airstone and it adheres to most surfaces easily with the use of the stone veneer adhesive.

The project was fairly easy. I measured out the part of the fireplace I wanted to cover and then laid out my Airstone pieces in a pattern on the floor. You will likely need to cut some pieces to make it fit perfectly and it slices easily with a small hacksaw. There are 4-5 different tones so I just made sure to make a random pattern so it all blended well.

So with that…I had a solution for the marble portion on the wall. The next part was a bit trickier! See that large marble slab on the floor in the picture above? Well, you can’t cover that with Airstone, so I had to find another solution. I decided to get real artistic and do a faux stone finish with paint.

I picked up six different craft paints from Michaels in the following colors:

  • Martha Stewart wet cement
  • Apple Barrel beachcomber beige
  • Folk Art yellow ochre
  • Folk Art butter pecan
  • Apple Barrel nutmeg brown
  • Folk Art linen
To start, I put a blob of each color on a paper plate and also included a blob of Martha Stewart craft glaze. I applied the paint and glaze in a random pattern using a sea sponge to get that faux stone look I was seeking. I did multiple layers, allowing some to dry longer in between until I had a product that looked like the Airstone I used on the fireplace surround. After I was satisfied with the color and the pattern, I sealed the job by brushing a clear matte water-based craft paint sealer over the whole slab.
My painter used a warmer ivory for the trim and the fireplace, which really made the fireplace pop against the dark color I chose for the accent wall. And voila…

This update has held up great over the past 3 years. Happy DIY’ing!