My recent clients Sara and Larry have just moved into a brand-new home and are now in the process of adding some of their own character to the space. As part of this effort, they called me to transform their fireplace surround from plain painted drywall into a centerpiece that looks like it was hammered from one giant sheet of metal.
As always, I started the process by meeting at the house to look at the space and discuss Sara and Larry’s goals.The fireplace is a gas unit with a large surround and has the television mounted above it.Even with the fireplace and TV, there is still a good amount of surface to show off the metal finish! (see picture below). After meeting, Sara also sent me inspiration images of metal to give a good sense of the look they envisioned.
With this information in hand, I was on to painting a test board. This is a standard part of my process – where I create the finish I am proposing on a 2’x2’ board to give my clients an opportunity to see it in their space before I start on the actual walls. At first, the board appeared to be a fit for what they wanted, but after seeing it in many different lighting situations through the daytime and nighttime (lighting makes a huge difference in metallic finishes!!), we decided to make some revisions. I addressed the additional input on a second board, which fit perfectly with what they were looking for.
Now that we had the perfect faux metal finish determined, I was on to creating the same look across the face and sides of fireplace surround. To create the textured and slightly aged look, I used 3 different colors applied with translucency in some areas and opacity in others to get some variation. To build on this variation and accentuate the metal look, I also used a tool typically used for plaster application to get some areas that had a machined look. While doing this, I paid special attention to vary any patterns I was creating and to make sure patterns continued from the sides to front to look like it was one piece of metal wrapped around to make the wall surfaces.
The final result was exactly what Sara and Larry had in mind, and definitely transformed the surround into the centerpiece they wanted!