Wainscot Fireplace Part I

When we moved into our first home, it was like it had been hit by a giant orange peach. The beigy orange color that covered the walls was also found on the fireplace surround tile and mantle. That was all about the change. I have to pre-apologize for the lack of pictures on this post, but I hope it’s still helpful nonetheless 🙂


I had a vision for a deep, dreamy blue wall, offset by a clean, white fireplace. My mom was kind enough to help me with this project.

The first step in accomplishing this to chip off the existing tile. Removing tile is a messy, not so fun job. Theres no one right way to do it. My best advice is to wear goggles, and use a combination of a hammer and flat head screw driver to pry the tile off.


Here’s what laid behind.

The next step was to create the backing for the wainscot. We could have used plywood for this, but since I had leftover drywall, we used that.

We cut the drywall to size, measuring out three pieces. One for the top, and two for the sides. Using drywall screws, we screwed the drywall into the wood frame of the fireplace.

Next came the glass tile mosaic. We used a method called “back buttering” to butter the tile itself with pre-mixed tile adhesive. Pre-mixed was the way to go on this because it was such a small tiling project. After the tile dried, we grouted it.



Here is how it looked with the tile and drywall up.

Next came the trim work. We used 1/4 x 2″ poplar hobby boards for the trim work.

We trimmed out the edge of the fireplace with these pieces using liquid nails.

FullSizeRender (18).jpg


Lastly, we tiled the base of the fireplace with some shiny black tile I found on discount at home depot.

After everything was up and ready to go, I did a final coat of white paint over everything, including the mantle.

And the bottom was complete. Now for the top!

See Fireplace Makeover Part II: Covering the Hole Above Your Fireplace

Leave a Reply