Thursday, 28 July 2016

Brass Fireplace Insert Makeover

When I originally completed this project I had no plans to blog about it so I didn't take any pictures and now I'm regretting that decision. This project was SO easy and made such a huge difference in our home that I just had to share it.

Here's a photo of our very plain and very boring gas fireplace as it was when we bought our house and before I made any changes. I took this photo when the ceramic birdie stocking hooks I ordered came in, aren't they just the cutest?!?! Too bad they leave sparkles everywhere, Mr. B just hates sparkles LOL 🤗😏...

The fireplace insert had those awful brass accents for the heat vents and I have made it my personal mission in life to banish any and all brass from our house... Originally I thought we'd have to replace the entire insert  but when I gave my head a shake and really looked at it I realized the brass was only an accent and the remaining insert was black. Ok, so easy fix right? Just paint it! I headed on over to the Home Depot and bought a can of high heat spray paint in a flat black.

And then I put the spray paint in the closet by the garage door and there she sat for...... 18 months! OMG the thought of taping everything up and attempting to spray paint only the brass in an area with all that was so daunting that well it just didn't happen LOL.

I have a bad habit of parking projects until I buy something else for the general area of said project and suddenly having a renewed sense of  GET ER' DONE. Oh how I drive Mr. B crazy :)  So this summer in my garage saleing adventures I found a gorgeous mirror that perfectly matches my future vision for this fireplace and I just didn't have the heart to mount it with this hideous brass because I'm crazy that way so out came that can of spray paint! Here's that mirror for a sneak peak at better things to come...

Soaps I got ready to attack the brass I made a major discovery. This is life changing folks!!!! That brass, that hideous 90's lifts off!!! No taping. No spray painting over carpet. No nothing! Just lifted off the whole front cover and we are ready for action!

Now this brass isn't REALLY brass, it's more like a shiny painted plexi-plastic type product so to prep it for painting I cleaned it with water and TSP and then scuffed it up with some sand paper to help the paint adhere. I then spray painted (2 coats to ensure I got all the brass from every angle), let it dry and back onto the fireplace she goes! Oh my god it was soooo easy I can't believe I waited so long! Just look at the difference this super easy project makes -

And another side-by-side

Not bad for an $8 can of paint! Eh?!
So if by chance you're not loving your gas fireplace insert, take a closer look and maybe, just maybe, you'll get lucky like me!

Vintage & Varnish
<3  Kelly

Friday, 22 July 2016


I love art. Colours, patterns, textures, layering different palettes - anything and everything design or decor related. In July 2014 my husband and I bought our forever home, which we have lovingly nicknamed our 1990 poster child - floor to ceiling oak, brass and purple flowered linoleum *grimace*. Mr. B made me promise before we signed the papers that I would not attempt to refinish the house in a week... He knows me so well LOL.

I completed my first major home renovation in 2010 after I bought my first house. Ya'll are so lucky the camera can not capture smell LOL! What a dump! I bought the place after my beautiful sister who just happens to be my mortgage broker informed me of a little thing called a "renovation mortgage" yes folks that'a really a thing! The bank WILL allow you to buy a dump and  mortgage the renovations AMAZING. My property search just blew up! Here's a quick peek at some of the before and after shots of that gem!

There's a running joke in my family going back to when I was 5 or 6 years old. I insisted on collecting little scraps of wrapping paper from Christmas and every birthday party. I would cut out hundreds of little squares from the paper so that I could mix and match and glue them up into my own little masterpieces, I had BAGS of the stuff. This was the beginning of big things my friends LOL!!!!

There I am!
A crazy haired kid with big design aspirations ;)
By 13 years old I was "refinishing" furniture with
anything I could get my hands on. I literally repainted my night stands, by hand, with glitter and nail polish. BEDAZZLED! I can't believe my mom didn't ground me for life, she's so supportive :)

At 15, I refinished all my bedroom furniture with REAL paint, I have a soft spot in my heart for army prints so I hand painted my dressers desert camouflage and even finished them off with a varnish (go me!)

And here I am 16 years later turning a life long passion into a full-time job! I'm one lucky lady to have a husband who supports me in my new endeavour and backs me every step of the way!

I am definitely a big believer in DIY and I'm an even bigger believer in a good deal so I have created this blog so I can share with you my many design adventures as well as some money saving hacks and do-it-yourself tutorials.