Should We Paint the Stone Fireplace?

April 27, 2010

We are building a home in Texas; our very first starter home. We were brave and opted for daffodil yellow walls which look quite striking with glossy ultra white trims and crown moldings. However, the builder built the fireplace with cream-colored stone. As you see, we opted for a minimalist white mantle to go with the overall theme of the house.


But what do we do with the stone fireplace? Can we paint the stone white? I would’ve preferred a smooth white masonry finish but we are stuck with this for now. Any suggestions as to how we can make the stone as white as possible will be greatly appreciated.

I sent the above question to Apartment Therapy for their ‘Good Questions’ section and they featured it today in their Los Angeles section. The question generated 62 comments at the last count and plenty of excellent suggestions were offered. However, responses to the primary question whether to paint the stone fireplace or not was split right down the middle.

Ash and I have decided to wait until we move in and see rest of the stuff fits in before making a final decision. Right now, we are leaning toward letting the stone be and changing the mantle at a later date. The existing one didn’t turn out as we had hoped to since the builder didn’t get what we were trying to achieve and now it is too expensive and time-consuming to replace.

However, if you have an opinion please feel free to share it in the comments.

PS. The yellow isn’t actually that bright as seen in the photograph.


  1. @ckunte: Nice to see you around :) And yes, I would hate to paint the stone too. I think we are now leaning toward changing the mantle and stain it instead of painting it. Might just make it a DIY project. We were trying to go for a contemporary look and the builder didn’t get it. We should’ve stuck with the original.

    Your mantle is indeed majestic and I hope it has an equally large room to match.

  2. I’d keep the earth, fire and their immediate surroundings in their natural colors–so the place would stand on its own, even if they are different from the color on the wall. If the mantle doesn’t fit-in, then I’d say change the mantle to match the stone colors in future. Also something to think about is – what the fireplace’s radiation would do to the paint – discolor it, lose texture, bleed, etc?

    This is ours, as an example–also limestone, but no paint.

  3. @Sherene: three words – location, location, location. Never gets old :)

  4. Look at the amount of space there! Clearly not a place in London, I don’t think even millionaires living in the city here have so much space…

    Envious, just a tad bit ;)

  5. @Pat: One word: London! :D

    Worth the sacrifice, for now :)

  6. I am glad its less yellow hehe ;)

  7. @Sherene: Exactly my point :) Tradeoffs.

    @Supremus: Admittedly, we have rather colorful preferences. That’s what makes owning your home such a delight.

  8. This is a special appearance, LOL, no seriously, just been busy offline; plus work got a lot more interesting than the internet since last year, so I’m enjoying the good stuff.

    Re: our mantle, I must hasten to add that we take no credit for it—it’s a rented house. The living isn’t large, and yet it somehow seems to fit well without looking like it’s allover the place. Something to think about when/if we build our own in future.

    Happy to see the progress of your new future home, seems pretty fast—typical when you use steel for load bearing and floors. But are you?

  9. @ckunte: I know you mean about the work/offline being more interesting than the Internet. It is seeming that way at my end too. Keep dropping by sometime even if it is to say hi.

    re: steel, the only reinforced steel we have seen go in our house is in the concrete driveway. Rest is all wood and sheet rock.

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