Decorating Obsessed – Wall Stenciling & Fireplace Makeover

Ashley at Decorating Obsessed has been busy!  She won a stencil at Cutting Edge Stencils and chose the houndstooth pattern.  She did an amazing job.  I love houndstooth and the colors she chose are my favorites.  AND she gave her fireplace a beautiful makeover too!  Here are her posts:!
The houndstooth wall is done! Thank god.

Was it the most tedious process ever? Yes. Do I love it and find it totally worth it? Definitely.

When I won a stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils thanks to DIY Showoff’s giveaway, I knew right away houndstooth was the only way for me to go. I was nervous that the stencil would be a single houndstooth, so I was thrilled to discover how large the stencil was when I got it in the mail.

My biggest issue with the stencil was there was no way to keep the middle part flat against the wall. The instructions said to paint with a sponge roller –but not only would that get messy but I would not get the crisp lines I was wanting.

So I decided to use the stencil to trace the pattern onto the wall and then tape everything off. Yep, the project I envisioned to take me a day took me 4 weeks.

Some readers wanted to know how I fly through so many audio books last month – paint a houndstooth wall and you’ll figure it out too. ☺

Honestly though, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, once I figured out a system. I got the majority of the project done over 3 Sundays, so I don’t feel as thou

gh I was slaving away or anything.

Considering the stencil was free, I only spent $18 and that was on painter’s tape. I used leftover paint from my office stripes.


I’m blogging and drinking wine. You have been warned.

I wanted to spare the length of the previous post, and do all the talky talky in this post.

I never hated my fireplace, but I never liked it. It was this thought right there that made me take the plunge.


My fireplace was dirty. There was grout that would just fall off if you looked at it the wrong way. Brick is tricky like that, because it takes more work than running a vacuum over it (although, don’t worry, you have to do that too).

1. Use sandpaper. You aren’t using sandpaper to rough up the brick, you are using the sandpaper to get all the crap out. During this process, I recommend focusing mainly on the grout regions.

2. Vacuum. Now it’s time to vacuum, to get all the loose nasty out.

3. Wipe down. I used several damp paper towels over it, to further clean it.

I decided to use the same white paint I have been using everywhere else in my house – Ralph Lauren’s Frost in semi-gloss. I wanted to stick with semi-gloss, because the brick would suck up a lot of the shine to it and it would be easier to clean.

The brick on my fireplace is very textured and rough, because of this I didn’t use a primer. But if your brick is of a smoother quality I would recommend one.

Once I was done painting, I moved on to caulking bricks that were cracked.

Addressing the screen was the scariest part of this project for me. I decided to take my friend Leslie’s advice and spray paint everything indoors, like she did on hers.

When picking a spray paint – make sure you are using one that is heat resistant. Sure, it doesn’t come in as many fancy colors, but it also doesn’t set your house on fire. (Food for thought).

Here’s my screen all taped off and ready to go:

Unfortunately, I’m a moron and got the spray paint on my feet and neglected to realize it. And of course I walked around the family room, leaving a nice film of spray paint dust everywhere. So, if you are wanting to spray paint indoors – stay on your plastic tarp.

While it’s might be hard to tell in this photo, the shelves looked terrible once the fireplace went white. Like everywhere else in the house, the previous homeowners were a fan of beige with a yellow tint. When you pair this with white, the beige transforms into a pastel yellow.

Once the shelves went white, I painted the background a different color for a pop.


Ashley – you’re so patient and so talented!  The houndstooth looks amazing! I love the fireplace too!  LOVE the bricks painted white and the new black instead of brass.  It looks perfect with the shelving!  You did a fantastic job – what a big beautiful improvement/focal point!  Thanks for sharing your hard work and DIY talent!  Click her blog button above to see more of her beautiful home!
Niski update – I think we’re getting into a routine!  Last night she slept in a crate for the first time ever (well, she slept in a crate at the hospital.  I don’t think I told you about the time before blogging that she swallowed a thumb tack, did I?  Surgery and all better.  Scary then but we laugh now and joke that they should have put a zipper where her long scar on her tummy is.)  Anyway – she slept in the crate all night.  I wasn’t sure how she’d do since she’s used to 24/7 access to her potty so I put a diaper on her just in case.  I woke up this morning and she did just fine.  She even showed a little defiance.  Like “I’d don’t pee the bed and I don’t need a diaper” – she tore it off.   So, things are going well.  She is back in her cart for the day and currently sitting outside sunning herself. Thank you for your prayers and comments.  You helped keep me sane and have hope the past few days.  
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