I love it when people reach out to me with a project and start with “I don’t know if you can do this, but…”. This was the scenario when one of my contractor friends recently reached out to me with a unique challenge.
They were re-doing a room in a Brookline home that included sanding and refinishing the floors. Unfortunately, when the floors were sanded the edge of the fireplace hearth was nicked by the sander. The hearthstones had a great patina of browns, reds, yellows, dark greys and black that was completely ground away – leaving obvious blemishes of of bright, light gray.
The homeowner was very understanding, but the contractor wanted to make it right. Of course, he also knew this could be a challenge – as these hearthstones were many decades old. Finding something to match exactly would be extremely difficult if not impossible – not to mention the additional disruption of pulling out and replacing bricks in an otherwise perfectly good hearth.
This is when I got the call: “I don’t know if you can do this, but…”. The contractor sent me some pictures and I jumped right on the project. For this one, I used my artist's acrylic paints for the durability, sheen and mix-ability. I knew that matching all of these various shades and replicating surface pitting that was ground flat and smooth would take more of a fine-art approach.
I loved the challenge! Crouching on the floor with a wide variety of brushes, I thought of the ground-down areas as a canvas where I was creating a painting of old, patinaed hearthstones.
When I sent a picture of the completed project to the contractor, it was fun to receive his response of “WOW!”.
Below are the before and after shots of this project... Enjoy!