Super quick fireplace makeover – Part One

Redecorating and entire room can seem like a daunting project, but how about just decorating one element? All it takes is a weekend – and a little imagination…

Fireside makeover – Part One

It’s the weekend and the last thing you want to do is to whip the paint brushes out. But giving a living area a makeover is cheaper and quicker than you might think.
Hilary transformed the fireplace in this room (pictured left) in one weekend. Even if you don’t have an open fire you can create a festive focus around a blocked in chimney breast, a feature wall or by papering a couple of room alcoves.
Hilary even found time to create some seating using an old cupboard, white chalk paint and scatter cushions!

The wonder of wallpaper

The key to the transformation is a roll or two of beautiful  wallpaper. And because you’re not tackling the whole room you can afford to go for something a little more expensive – or possibly something that’s been marked down in price because it’s the last roll of a particular design.
This is what you’ll need:

  • Wallpaper – exactly how much will depend on the dimensions of the space you plan to transform. We chose this lovely butterfly design from Homebase
  • Preparation is important so make sure areas you plan to paint or wallpaper are cleaned thoroughly with sugar soap, removing any loose material or flakes of paint.
  • Wallpaper paste, brush and paper smoother.
  • Sharp scissors and wallpaper trimmer.
  • Tape measure and plumb line.
  • Pasting table or other table protected with plastic sheeting.
  • Ladder.

Measuring and cutting

Rolls of wallpaper are usually 0.53m wide and 10m in length. Measure the space you plan to wallpaper carefully.
You need the total width you plan to cover in metres divided by 0.53 and then the height of the space mutiplied by the number of widths. This will give you the total amount of wallpaper needed.
If you have a large or complex pattern your will need to match this up, which will take extra paper. Good decorating and DIY outlets will allow you to take extra rolls and give you a refund if you return them unopened.

Hanging wallpaper

If you were papering a whole room you’d usually start a window and work into the darkest corners of the room. This is because very few walls are entirely true and you can find you pattern ceases to hang completely straight after a while. A plumb line can tell you how out of true your walls are before you start.
If you’re simply going to do a section of the room, start in the centre of the space you plan to paper and work outwards. The joy of a fireplace is that the wallpaper will curve around the chimney breast and any lack of alignment will be hidden in the dark corners at the edge of the chimney.
Follow the paper hanging instructions for your particular wallpaper carefully and apply the paste thoroughly. Cut lengths of wallpaper so there’s enough at each end to trim it carefully into the ceiling or dado rail at the top and the skirting board at the bottom. Smooth out any bubbles as you go.

Super quick fireside makeover – Part Two

In the next article in this makeover we’ll give you some fabulous ideas for dressing your fireplace feature to add a little magic and sparkle. Read Part Two here.


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