Stone fireplace surrounds are a feature that people will either love or hate. If you have moved into a home with an existing stone fireplace, then you might be wondering what color you should paint the walls that are going to look good next to the stone.
The answer to this question is going to depend on the type of stone used in your fireplace surround, as natural stone comes in a variety of shades.
The paint color you should use will also depend on whether you want to make the stone stand out as a feature in the room or whether you want it to blend in with the rest of the surroundings.
Here we look at paint colors that go with stone fireplaces and how you can use certain color combinations to your advantage.
Stone Fireplace Colors
Natural stone used to create a surround around a fireplace will have a neutral color, so you would think that you could put any color paint next to it.
However, even neutral colors have undertones, and you should figure out whether your stone fireplace has a warm or cool tone in order to make a better decision about which paint to use.
A cool-colored stone surface will have undertones of blue, green, or purple. Typically, cool stones will predominantly look gray.
In some types of stone, a cool tone might be obvious. For example, in gray stone that has clear blue waves rippling through it; however, in some cases, it might be less obvious.
If you are struggling to determine whether your gray stone is warm or cool, hold a piece of white paper up against it and see how the color appears next to the white. This should help you see the truest shade of the stone.
If you see subtle hints of blue, green, or purple, then your stone fireplace has a cool energy.
Warm stone will usually be more obvious to spot. It can have an overall brown, beige, tan, yellow, orange, or red color.
In some cases, you will find gray stone that has brown, beige, or yellow undertones, and this will mean that it has a warm temperature.
Some stone fireplaces will be made from stone that has both warm and cool undertones in it, and in this case, you will need to judge whether the majority of the stone is warm or cool.
Disguising a Cool Stone Fireplace
If you have a stone fireplace that you’re not a big fan of but you don’t want to have the expense or mess associated with replacing or refacing the fireplace, then your alternative option is to decorate the room in a way that plays down the fireplace, so that it hopefully won’t appear to be such an eyesore in your space.
One way to do this is to help the fireplace blend into the room by choosing a paint color for the walls in a similar hue. For a cool fireplace, opt for a paint color that is the same hue as your stone, but choose it in a shade that is one or two shades lighter or darker.
For example, if your stone is a light blue-gray color, choose a paint for the walls, which is either a very light blue-gray or a medium blue-gray.
If you were to choose a shade that was identical to the stone, then this could make the room look too flat, and if you choose a shade that was a lot lighter or darker, then you would be creating a contrast and drawing attention to the fireplace.
By opting for a shade that has a very subtle difference, you will help the fireplace to blend in while still ensuring there is depth and dimension in the space.
Farrow & Ball- Dimpse
This is a really classic and delicate gray that has blue undertones, making it a good pairing for a cool-toned stone fireplace if you want to help it blend into the decor.
Sherwin-Williams- Grizzle Gray
This is a mid to dark shade of gray which has green undertones, so it will help a cool-toned stone fireplace with hints of green fade into the background while keeping a fresh and modern style.
Highlighting a Cool Stone Fireplace
If you love your stone fireplace and want to make it the standout feature in a room, then there are ways you can achieve this. Essentially what you’re going to be aiming for here is a contrast between the paint color on the walls and the stone itself.
For a cool stone fireplace, one way to create a contrast is to choose a paint color that has a warm base. For example, if the stone fireplace is gray with blue undertones, then choose a tan-colored paint for the walls with an orange undertone.
Since blue and orange are opposite colors on the color wheel, this means they contrast heavily against each other, and the result will be that your stone fireplace really pops.
If you want a more subtle contrast, then a shade of greige paint will be great because the warmth in the color will contrast against the cool stone, while the presence of gray in the paint will help to create a sense of continuity with the gray tiles.
Alternatively, you could choose a cool color of paint to go with your cool stone fireplace, but opt for a shade that is several levels lighter or darker than your fireplace. For example, if your cool stone fireplace is medium gray, then choose a dark charcoal gray for the wall paint or a very pale soft pastel blue.
Benjamin Moore- Revere Pewter
This is a shade of greige that is ideal for helping a cool stone fireplace to stand out while maintaining a classic contemporary look. It has beige undertones but still feels crisp and fresh.
Disguising a Warm Stone Fireplace
Warm-toned stone fireplaces are one of the main things that people purchasing a pre-owned home want to change. These tend to look quite old-fashioned and can really drag the look of a room down; however, there are some tricks you can use with paint colors that will help to make your warm stone fireplace feel more modern and subtle.
For any stone fireplace that has warm undertones of yellow, orange, or brown, choose a greige color for the walls. Greige is a cross between beige and gray.
It has predominantly warm tones, which will help a warm stone fireplace blend into the wall, but it also has some cool tones from the gray, which ensure that the space feels fresh, crisp, and contemporary. This is a trick that will work with any warm-toned fireplace that you want to disguise.
Farrow & Ball- Elephant’s Breath
This is one of the most popular neutral shades from Farrow & Ball. It is a greige shade with beige undertones that make it well suited for both cool and warm decor themes.
Highlighting a Warm Stone Fireplace
If you love the look of your warm-toned fireplace and want to allow it to shine as the centerpiece in the room, then you can do this in one of several ways.
Firstly, think about the atmosphere you want to create in the room and use this as the basis for choosing your wall paint color. Do you want the space to feel modern? Dramatic? Cozy?
For a stone fireplace that has yellow undertones, then choose a cool gray wall paint to pair with it. Gray and yellow are a gorgeous color combination, and they make for a look that is very contemporary.
Paint walls in a charcoal gray against a yellow-toned stone fireplace to achieve a look that feels intimate while helping the fireplace to stand out.
Alternatively, light gray walls will make for a more easy-breezy feel in the room which will also allow the fireplace to take center stage. For a stone fireplace with red tones, you can make it stand out by choosing a contrasting color for the wall paint.
Red and green are contrasting colors as they face opposite each other on the color wheel, and this can make for a natural and earthy color scheme. Choose a subdued shade of green paint for the walls so that the stone fireplace will stand out without being too bold or startling.
Olive green walls next to a rust-red stone fireplace will ensure the fireplace is a primary feature in the room and create a look that feels modern and earthy since these colors are found naturally outdoors.
Benjamin Moore- Tree Moss
This pale shade of sage feels both refreshing and comforting. It has enough cool tones in it to contrast against the warmth of a red or orange stone fireplace, but the hint of green is subtle enough to prevent the contrast from being overstimulating.
It has an earthy vibe that lends itself perfectly to modern natural decor themes.