I have this REALLY outdated fireplace from the 70's with feux white stone (if it's even that) and would really like to give it a facelift. I have practically no budget. What do you suggest I do to give it a makeover? Can I paint it? And what about adding a mantle? I kind of like the idea of a railroad tie as a mantle.
Paint your black mortar a light grey to start with and then see what you think.
Niklee, welcome aboard!
My first suggestion for you is to repost your query under Decorating in the following 2 threads: Faux Finishing and General Decorating. You'll probably receive many responses there. Incidentally, nobody from HGTV or DOD monitors these boards.
WRT your question, I would investigate the faux finishing both online and at your local big box hardware store. (They often offer free classes.) In addition, I would practice it with some mortar/plaster on plywood to get the feel. If you cover the rock, it appears you'll want to chisel away the center ornament. (BTW, don't know if you intended to faux paint the rock itself or cover the rock entirely and then faux over top.)
For another option, have you priced out inexpensive slate? It's available in numerous tones.
WRT the mantle option, if that works with your style, go for it! If you like a more contemporary style and want to emphasize the height of the room, you might also consider omitting the mantle.
Your hearth looks a little small, given the height/size of the f/p. When you take on this project, if you have the space and a few extra **$, you might also consider extending that. The actual opening also appears small but that'd be a much bigger project, IMHO.
Good idea of metwo's to paint the mortar light gray. Personally, I would try it on only a small portion to save time. If you don't like the rock or faux rock style, I doubt that will be sufficient.
That's all JMHO. Good luck with your project, Niklee -
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