How to Build a Faux Stone Surround for Electric Fireplace


Transform the plain surround on your electric fireplace into a hearty hearth that's worthy of an evening around the fire. Stone fireplace surrounds are architectural focal points in many older homes. Though electrical fireplaces are standard in new construction, it is still possible to create the look and feel of an old stone fireplace. With the use of some creative craft materials, paint and some patience, any boring fireplace surround can become a room’s focal point.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 5/8-inch-thick plywood
  • Table saw (optional)
  • Latex primer
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Light gray paint
  • Drywall screws
  • Electric screwdriver or cordless drill with screwdriver bit
  • Aluminum foil
  • Heavy duty foil
  • Light gray clay
  • Dark gray clay
  • Oven
  • Cookie sheet
  • Silicone seal
  • Drywall compound
  • Lighter gray paint (two to three shades lighter than your basecoat)
  • Darker gray paint (two to three shades darker than your basecoat)
  • Paint cups
  • Foam brushes
  • Low-lint rags
  • 2 tubes of acrylic caulk
  • Stucco
  • Black craft paint
  • Measure the width and height of your fireplace surround. Also measure the width and height of your fireplace opening. Cut your plywood sheet so that it will fit over the fireplace surround. Cut out the opening for the electric fireplace.

  • Place your plywood on a flat work surface. Use a paint roller to cover the plywood with latex primer. Paint in even strokes, working in the same direction as you paint. Allow the primer to dry completely.

  • Apply a layer of light gray paint to the plywood sheet. Paint the plywood with a paint roller by using the same technique in the previous step. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  • Place the painted plywood shell over the fireplace. Screw the plywood in place by using drywall screws.

  • Create your faux stones from aluminum foil and clay. Shape the aluminum foil into round shapes that look like cobblestones. Keep the aluminum foil flat on one end. Wrap each foil stone with aluminum foil. Keep stones rounded but not too smooth because the added texture makes the stones appear more realistic. Make enough stones to cover your painted surround board.

  • Mix together the lighter and darker shades of gray clay to create a marble-like effect. Pinch of nickel-sized balls of clay. Shape the clay into flat, stone-like discs. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Space the clay stones evenly on the cookie sheet. Bake according to the directions included with your clay.

  • Cover the back of one foil stone with silicone sealant. Press the foil stone to the plywood surround. Repeat with the remaining stones.

  • Fill in the spaces between the foil stones with the smaller clay stones. Apply silicone sealant to the back and press to the surround.

  • Divide your drywall compound into two paint cups. Add about a ½ cup of the lightest gray shade of paint to one cup. Add the same amount of darker gray paint to the other cup. Mix the paint and drywall compound together. Add acrylic caulk to each cup, and combine the ingredients. Paint the foil stones with paint and drywall, according to Do It Best. Paint the majority of the stones with the lighter color, and highlight some of the crevices with the darker color. Dip a rag into the paint, and dab it on to the stones to add additional color.

  • Mix together stucco compound, a tube of acrylic caulk and about 15 drops of black craft paint in a paint cup. Use a foam brush to apply this mixture between the stones to mimic mortar.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many home improvement stores will cut your wood to size for you, eliminating the need for a table saw. This same look can also be achieved with earth-tone stones. Just substitute tan and brown shades for gray and black paint and clay.

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