Painted Wood. A Summer Fireplace Idea.

I’m a naturally curious person constantly looking for answers. Just today for example, I wondered how long I’d been walking around in public with a chicken feather hanging off my ass. A big feather. Long. Probably a tail feather in fact.

Sometimes I have to relent that some of these life questions have to go unanswered.

But others do not.  What to do with my fireplace in the summer is one of those questions I have figured out the answer to.

Painted logs.

This was an fireplace idea I implemented a few years ago. The inspiration came from Pinterest.  My niece (the one who made herself sick doing Bikram Yoga and had to go home and drink all of her kids Pedialyte.) had recently become addicted to Pinterest and was constantly sending me things.

This fireplace idea was inspired by a Pin she sent me that showed a stack of logs beside a fireplace with the ends painted.  Thank you Pinterest.  (sorry can’t attribute to where it came from … it was one of those stupid pins that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere)

When I originally published this post a few years ago Elle Decor used this image.

I took the idea one step further and displayed the painter’s palette that I used to mix my colours on.  It’s on a picture stand on the mantle.

If you’d like to get even more creative, you can print images on wood like I show you in this tutorial on printing on wood.

I just grabbed some old water based folk art paints I had in the basement and a cruddy Dollar Store brush.

Painted Logs

I sat my feather covered ass down and got to work.  An hour later it was done.  Where did the hour go?  Well … 5 minutes can be attributed to mixing and painting the logs.  The other 55 minutes involved  staring at the wood deciding which pieces to paint which colour.

Looking back on this makes me sad for one MAJOR reason.  A couple of years after this I finally succumbed to putting my television over my mantle because that was the most logical place for it. It’s ugly. I hate it. But I also hate twisting my head in a circle in order to see the television.  In the end practicality won over aesthetics.

It wood looked great, took no time at all and cost nothing.  Where’s that ass feather now you ask?  Right in my cap.


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Painted Wood. A Summer Fireplace Idea.


  1. Cindy says:

    Glad to see you back!

    I thought the first photo was the inspiration photo, followed by yours. I thought, “wow, hers looks just like it!” Duh . . .

    • Cindy says:

      That is funny cindy.. i thought the same thing! maybe it is in our name!!
      Great post karen… You make me laugh and inspire me too! Just found your blog when I saw the feature in style at home mag. Now I am hooked!

  2. Elizabeth W. says:

    Very nice, Karen! Summer does makes you itch to get anything wintry gone. Here in the Southeastern U.S. we’ve had a total of about 3 and 1/2 days of sunshine since June 1. I’m ready to paint a big yellow sunshine on several walls. My dogs don’t even want to go outside because the grass is always wet and the ground muddy.

    Some of those logs look like they need faces. Like the aforementioned devil log on top. Or, maybe it just needs to become a sculpture. With the chicken feather.
    It is so good to have you back and writing, I laughed really, really loud at yesterdays’ post and the comments that followed. This is such a wickedly fun site, and I appreciate you!
    (Also, I added my last initial since we have other Elizabeths that post comments)

  3. Pate says:

    Cute, did you have to spray the logs with anything to keep the little critters out of your LR?
    I’m particularly worried about the little horny log up on top, it’s a hoot. Doesn’t that one want a little red paint?
    I’m going to do it in my wood pile so it looks like polka dots, thanks for the idea.
    I saw a card a few weeks ago and I would have mailed it to you had I known your address, it was something to the effect,

    We all stumble and fall down. It’s getting up again that
    Is living .

    You are an amazing woman and I know that wonderful things are in store for you. Listen to Peter Pan and think wonderful and good thoughts.


  4. mia pratt says:

    Beautiful! I shall do this! Oddly, it reminded me nostalgically of those oval colored pastel buttermints my mother used to sit out on the coffee table just in case company came, along with a crystal dish of cigarettes and a giant crystal decorator cigarette lighter. I’m a fan of plants in the fireplace, I believe I might just go hog-wild and do the painted logs AND THEN a plant, too. Gawd, it’s all just too much fun, isn’t it?

  5. Ann says:

    Cute. But I would not suggest that anyone ever burn the wood that they have painted. I wouldn’t trust even a water based paint to not have fumes.

    Have you ever seen the pics of people who artistically stack their firewood?

    I am just wondering where people get their energy. Most days I am lucky to just put enough wood on the fire to stay warm!

    • Whoa, those pix are incredible! I’m wondering how the first lady gets a piece of wood out of the stack without the whole thing falling on her!

    • kate-v says:

      great!!! now that we’ve had the artistic painting of logs – to match palette on the mantle, I’m just waiting the artistic stacking of the wood – maybe a giant woodpile chicken – or a stalk of brussels sprouts – since that is the only way brussels sprouts would appear in the yard.
      — it is good to have you back —

  6. Nancy says:

    That feather is exactly where it belongs now! :)

    Your post made my day!

  7. Rose says:

    You could paint a red devil face on the face of that log.

  8. Shelley says:

    I like the look of the painted logs but I love the palette on display – it looks like flowers!

  9. Sue Ann says:

    Love it, but my favorite is the color pallet on the mantle. Hope you’re doing well. I love your blog and have missed you.

  10. Lynn says:

    Love the look….draws the eye to brightness! That feather looks great in your cap by the way!

  11. Maureen Locke says:

    Love it, looks incredible though to be truthful, my eyes were instantly drawn to the colourful palette. That’s a super great idea too. Not hard to tell I’m not an artist, because I NEVER would have thought to mix colours to get the shade I wanted. lol Duhhhh

  12. mimiindublin says:

    I love the “log with horns” on top of the pile, guarding the rest of them!

  13. Candace says:

    Fun colors! Looks like a box of colored pencils.

  14. SJ says:

    Edit: Click the image to expand it before dragging to the desktop.

  15. SJ says:

    Discovered how to find articles on Pinterest that don’t go anywhere.
    Click the image then drag it to your desktop (double-click the title bar of your browser to give access to your desktop).
    Open, click on Images on the menu bar, then drag the saved jpeg from the desktop to the search field.
    Double-click the browser’s title bar again and you’ll see lots of links to the item. Hopefully, you find what you want somewhere there.

    • Karen says:

      SJ – I can’t WAIT to try that! ~ karen

      • Shauna says:

        Karen, I think this can be a post for you. We need step by step instructions of this with pictures.

      • Karen says:

        I’ve already tried it Shauna. it worked and it didn’t work. It does tell you where to find the picture on the Internet, but doesn’t tell you where to find the original posting of it. :( ~ karen

      • Stephanie Hobson says:

        You have to be a true detective (or like a dog with a bone, as a friend recently described me) to find the truly original source. Every place that picture was ever posted will come up… every Pin, every Facebook post, usually with pages and pages of results. But if you keep going you *might* find the original, only to find that was in Sweden or (gasp) maybe even Canada! (ha ha… I’m soooo funny!)It’s all good though if you’re simply wanting to give props to the originator; not so good if you are looking for a tutorial.

      • SJ says:

        Further to this, I’ve been consistently getting to what seem to be the originals by clicking the image to enlarge it, then clicking it again. I don’t know if it works all the time but I’ve been clicking away just now and they’ve all worked so far. Might be worth trying.

      • Karen says:

        Hi SJ – That sometimes works, but generally speaking it doesn’t take you to the original. It just takes you to wherever the person from Pinterest got it. So if someone takes a picture of my painted logs, and puts it on *their* website (and doesn’t give me credit for it) suddenly it seems like the logs came from that person … when they didn’t. After a few more people do that it gets to be almost impossible to find the original source. ~ karen!

      • SJ says:

        Ah, ok. Pinterest needs to have something in place then so that the original is preserved. Darn! :)

  16. Jerrica says:

    I’ve seen that pin – I thought they’d used chalk. I like yours better, using paint. I’m pinning your feather ass :)

  17. Vanessa from New Zealand says:

    wahahahahaha in my cap…..I’ve been a silent observer and maybe its just cause I’m over winter and need some sun but the chook feather on your butt and now in your cap had me rolling around and yes I’ve run out of oestregen* estroegen* oestroegen* achhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh cream
    and welcome back your oyster awaits

  18. Barbie says:

    Interesting….makes me wish I had a regular fireplace instead of a gas one. Love the Palette on the mantle!

  19. dana says:

    Love it! So glad u are back! Many times it crossed my mind what if she never returns? Where will I get my chicken fix?

  20. Claire says:

    Love it! Probably wouldn’t burn them come winter though….unless the paints are non-toxic ; )

  21. Emily says:

    Hooray! You’re back!

  22. terry says:

    brilliant – great colors love the palette art- summer no longer so lonely for the fireplace- must try this

  23. motherhen says:

    That devil looking log on the top left scares me, or is it a bat, or an upside down pig?
    The palette is clearly the winner here.

    • Emily says:

      It DOES look like a upside down bat-pig. LOL

    • BarBee says:

      Oh, now I get it.

    • Mary W says:

      I thought it was a log wearing a ‘pussy’ hat – but it wasn’t pink! It was the first thing I saw instead of the paint. I l also loved the white bark logs on top. In FL these would just be a perfect home for bugs and spiders in the summer so I can’t get too attached to the look even if it’s a good look. Spiders rule by life – except for that really cute one on YT. That hat on a log does look a bit evil!

    • SusanR says:

      That’s a Siamese cat log, with it’s eyes and mouth shut. The reason you probably didn’t recognize it is because they almost NEVER have their mouths and eyes shut during daylight.

  24. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    Welcome back from another lurker. I feel like I’m in LA (Lurkers Anonymous). My name is Lauren and it’s been two years since my last comment…

    This is a cool idea. And if you don’t like the effect, you can always burn the logs and start again :)

  25. elaine says:

    artist’s pallette is a nice touch, too
    brings it all together

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