A fireplace can be the centerpiece of a house. It provides a gathering spot, a place to cuddle up with a loved one, and a cool design feature. Sometimes, though, a fireplace can be an eyesore.

Out of date style and design on a fireplace for some people can be a deal breaker when they are looking for a new home. Many people see a fireplace and don’t know exactly what they can do to improve it, so they pass on a diamond in the rough.

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Photo via Diynetwork.com

Wait! A fireplace can be spruced up, and even transformed into a different look. Sure it might not be the easiest of DIY projects, but a fireplace you love, will make a massive difference in your home.

 Recladding the Fireplace

If you are feeling a bit ambitious in your DIY fireplace project, then try recladding the existing brick. It’s not quite as difficult as it sounds, and you have a couple of options.

The first is to cover your brick with a thin stone veneer. Something like slate can still give your fireplace a rustic feel, but bring in a much more subdued color palette. Other people will cover the bricks with a wooden frame, just leaving a six to eight inches of exposed brick around the fireplace opening.

The process is generally going to be the same. First thing you want to do is sand down the bricks so that they are all even, and then clean the area. Next apply a layer of tile adhesive, lay your stones and then cover with grout.

Get the Paint Out

Some of the fireplace purists out there are anti-paint. But, I say, if you really dislike that fireplace, painting it is one of the easiest and best options you’ve got.

The process is pretty simple. Make sure you get about double the paint you think you’ll need because the bricks are going to absorb. Wash down the bricks to clean any dust and dirt out of those crevices. Next, get a nice big roller and get that paint on there. You probably will want to get a brush too to make sure the paint gets in everywhere.

A caveat to keep in mind, once you paint you can’t go back. So be very sure that you love the look of a painted fireplace and the color you pick!

Work with the Mantle

Another way to get the fireplace looking good is to focus on the mantle. This will give the fireplace a focal point, and will allow you to share some of your favorite photos, candles and trinkets.

If the fireplace didn’t come with a mantle, then you can make one pretty easily. If you do decide to go this route, check with local coding requirements for the space you are going to need around the firebox before you get started. If the fireplace isn’t operational, then you’re not going to need to worry about that.

Now you’ll have a few options, you can build a full on mantle piece that will go around the firebox opening, or you can install a floating mantle. The design and options are really up to your own personal preference and skill level.

For some creative ideas, a lot of people used reclaimed wood for their pieces. When you do get started, get a big slab of cardboard and cut it out to the size of the mantle you want, hold it up to the fireplace in order to get a good idea of the scale.

Photo via Diynetwork.com
Photo via Diynetwork.com

From there, you can get started building, to install a floating mantle the process is pretty simple. You want to have your desired wood, and then prep both it and the fireplace. You’ll usually be able to get the pieces you need to hang the mantle in kits, but you’ll need a masonry drill, lead sleeves, lag bolts and high temperature silicone glue.

As always, measure twice and drill once and in a few hours, you’ll have a beautiful new mantle.

Have you Changed your Fireplace?

If so, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever spruced up your fireplace with paint or a new mantle!