DIY It – Painted Palm Leaf Tile Fireplace Surround

We moved into our current house over three years ago, and from the moment we moved in I knew I wanted to replace the tile around the fireplace with the same herringbone marble tile we used on the kitchen backsplash. After about a year I finally got around to replacing the hearth, but the surround still remained with the tanish tile. Not that anything is wrong with the existing tile, but it was very builder grade and just not my style.

So, since three years have passed with me putting off actually doing the tile work, I figure I would put it off a bit longer and paint the existing tile for a quick refresh. With only about 15 sqft of tile to paint, this project was surprisingly quick. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish. And just look at this perfectly pretty summer fireplace I have now!

Not only is this palm leaf pattern perfect for summer, but because it only took 2 hours to paint, I can easily repaint it come fall with a different pattern!

  • Teal latex paint (I used eggshell finish)
  • White latex paint (again I used eggshell finish)
  • Large angled paintbrush
  • Small angled paintbrush
  • Stencil (optional)

The tile around my fireplace was matte and very porous, so I didn’t need to prep it at all. I just cleaned the surface with a damp rag and then used the large angled brush to paint the tile white. Once dry I came back with the small angled brush and freehanded teal palm leaves on each tile. I tried to make each tile self contained and kept the teal paint only on the tile and not on the grout to keep the tile looking like tile.

The key to free handing the palm leaves is to start at the stem top and in a fluid motion, swoop upwards. By using the angled brush, you can a nice tapered leaf shape.

If you don’t think you can handle freehand work, try a small stencil and a sponge pouncer to add your pattern.

All that was left after the paint was to add a few balloons to the fireplace (because who wants to look at that dirty, empty void during the summer?) and a few more tropical plants to make this space summer ready! And since this tile is on the wall and won’t be stepped on, there was no need to seal it!

So, what do you think? Would you paint your tile? Or am I just a little bit crazy? Hahaha!

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  1. Ursula Rosien

    June 22nd, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    You are the master painting fairy! It turned out so good 🙂 I would be scared to paint on the tiles… ha ha


    June 27th, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Awe! Thank you! I plan on tiling over it one day, so I wasn't too scared!

  3. Natashalh

    June 23rd, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Wow – what a total makeover for the fireplace! I really love the balloons, too =)


    June 27th, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Thank you so much!



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