DIY fireplace: how to transform your hearth using just paint

This Instagrammer's DIY fireplace upgrade is the perfect autumnal weekend project...

Tiled black and white fireplace hearth in neutral lounge
(Image credit:

If you are looking for a DIY fireplace idea that will update your hearth quickly and cheaply, you are in the right place! We love having a good scroll through Instagram to find all the fab upcycling, revamping and transformative DIYs you guys have going on, and it's generally a great place to get inspired for your own projects. So, we thought we would start sharing some of the fab projects that we've stumbled across...

Today we are showing you how Negi of has transformed her fireplace for under £50 using just leftover paint (and apparently a fair bit of patience, but the result is SO worth it). Keep scrolling to find out how to get the look yourself...

You will need: 

  • Paint 
  • A foam paint roller and a paint tray
  • Stencils - Negi used stencils from Dizzy Duck Design 
  • A small paintbrush – if you can get one designed for stencils you will have the best result 
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors 
  • Scrap paper for a practice run 

R E V E A L! Ahh after 2 days of hard graft I’m ready to share the results with you lovely folks. What I’ve learned is that stencilling a fireplace is tricky! Ok it’s not actually that hard but I’m always so eager to start a project i just jump in and neglect the prep work. This time I had to fully re- do the whole stencilling because I didn’t read the instructions before starting and the pattern looked weird 😹🤦🏽‍♀️ any other eager beavers out there who skip the prep? . . So I’ve undertaken a mini update of the front room, which is now on it’s 3rd remodel in 2.5 years! This was done on less than 50 pounds (although I had some of the paint already). I’ve made my own “art” (😂) (all the art you’ll see in these pictures were made by yours truly mainly using a sharpie!). I’ve also stencilled the fireplace, painted the floors and created a (half finished) macrame . . Most other rooms in the house are just on the verge of being finished but need the final touches just like this room did. Im going to continue finishing rooms this year and on a shoestring as my spending is limited by something important we’re saving up for- our wedding next summer 😬👰🏽🤵 . . Swipe for the evolution of this room! . . @myhousethismonth - saving up for... a wedding 🤑 @storyofmyhome - jump in without the prep! . . #homeinterior #interiorstyle #frenchicpaint #interiordesign #showmeyourboho #interiormilk #howihome #myinteriorstyletoday #scandi #realhomesofinstagram #myfabhome #realinstahome #myspaceanddecor #myinteriorstyle #stylishhomevibes #scandiinspo #victorianterracerenovation #myhousethismonth #periodhomesofinsta #storyofmyhome #myperiodhomestyle #myinteriorsquares #walltowallstyle #scandimaximalism #howimonochrome #rockmystylishhome #mynordicroom #livingroomdecor #myfabhome #logburner N E G I ♡ Interiors

A photo posted by on Aug 29, 2019 at 10:43pm PDT

Step one: practice your stenciling first 

Use a bit of scrap paper to test out your technique and to check how the pattern looks. For this just tape down the stencil and try out the stencil brush and the roller to see which works best with your pattern. Sometimes with more detailed patterns you might need to use just a brush. 

Step two: plan your pattern 

Measure the size of the space you are stenciling and see how many of your stencils will fit neatly inside the area. You might even want to use a pencil to lightly mark where each stencil will go so you know where to position each one as you move along your walls. 

Step three: start stenciling 

If you want to be absolutely exact you can use a tape measure and a spirit level to get your first stencil totally straight. Use masking tape to secure it in place and then get painting, moving the stencil gently along as you go. Let the whole thing dry and you are done! New 'tiles' using just a can of paint. 

Top tip: use a very small amount of paint to begin with and this will ensure it the pattern doesn't bleed and you get a really clear design. If using a roller, roll over your stencil very lightly – thin coats will get the best results. 

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A photo posted by on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:13pm PDT

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.