Fireplace Refresh

Fireplace Refresh

It’s getting chilly out there! If you’ve been thinking that your fireplace could use a facelift, there’s no time like the present. Here are a few suggestions on how to give your fireplace a makeover before the coldest days of the year set in, so you can enjoy the new look all winter long.

1. Paint it
Nothing transforms a space more quickly and easily than paint, and that applies to fireplaces too. If you have outdated red brick on your fireplace, a few coats of white, black, or gray paint can transform it from an eyesore to a showstopper. You can knock this project out in an afternoon. First use a wire brush to clean the brick, then apply an oil-based primer, then apply the paint color of your choice. Done!

2. Whitewash it
A subtler touch than paint, whitewashing can lighten up a dark fireplace and brighten up a room in the process. With whitewashing, you’ll skip priming the brick surface and simply apply a mixture of white paint diluted with water. Just make sure to test the mixture in an inconspicuous location on your fireplace before painting the entire surface.

“While painting over brick with 100 percent latex paint will give the brick a solid, opaque color, whitewashing mutes the brick’s natural color with a translucent finish. The technique preserves the bricks’ natural, random variations,” says Bob Vila.
3. Consider a stone veneer
With manufactured cast stone masonry blocks, you don’t need to be a stone mason to get an incredible look for your fireplace. Cast stone blocks are manufactured in a variety of shapes and styles that mimic natural types of stone. The product looks like real rock but is easier to cut with a saw at home and is designed to bond to a surface with mortar.

While not exactly an afternoon project, adding a stone veneer to your fireplace can be tackled and completed in a weekend’s time.

4. Add a floating mantel
Create a decorative focal point for your fireplace by adding a mantel. Options here are endless: use a solid wood beam for a cottage feel, match existing furniture with a manufactured shelf, or double up with an upper and lower deck. A floating mantel can be installed in an afternoon; just make sure to use proper anchors in whatever surface you’re attaching to.

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