How to Easily Update a Fireplace

By Laura Serino , last updated March 15, 2011

An outdated or poorly treated fireplace can seem like more of a hindrance than anything if it is an eyesore, rather than a statement in the room; should you find yourself with an unflattering fireplace, you should consider the following ideas about how to easily update a fireplace

If hiring an expert to take down bricks, stone or rebuild a custom facade isn't in your budget, there are first plenty of options for you to take on your own. A very easy fix for brick fireplaces is paint. A drab red and brown brick fireplace can be instantly modernized with a glossy coat of white or a matte gray. You'll want to first prime your bricks with an oil-based primer to make sure paint doesn't seep through any crevices. Once you've done that, use a roller designed for textured surfaces to apply your paint. It might take several coats and you will need to touch up spots with a brush, but in just one weekend, you can completely transform your fireplace - and your room.

If you're a frequent antique shopper or flea market hunter, it's possible to find an existing fireplace onlay for a more traditional, easy to install cover over your fireplace. These are often salvaged from older homes and resold at auctions or antique fairs. Installing these (provided you have the right measurements) can be as simple as using wood glue.

For those that have carpentry skills, creating your own custom facade over existing stone of brick is another option. If you don't have the budget to pay for a custom piece, you can start by cutting a piece of plywood to size to frame out the existing fireplace. Once that is nailed into place, use the plywood as a blank slate. Using thin layers of grout, you can purchase your own glass or ceramic tiles from the hardware store and create your own custom pattern for a brand new facade.

Once your fireplace makeover is complete, nestle up with a book and a cup of cocoa to truly enjoy it.

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