Skip to main content

7 ways to refresh a brick fireplace

A brick fireplace is a feature of a home that many people wish they had. But what if you have a brick fireplace and aren’t crazy about it because of its looks. Brick fireplaces can look outdated and give your house a rustic feel that you may not want to embrace. However, with some helpful DIY remodeling tips, you can turn your old brick fireplace into the cozy centerpiece of the room that it deserves to be.

1. Paint the Brick

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you don’t like the way the brick around your fireplace looks, you can paint it to give it a fresh new look. Traditionally, brick fireplaces are made of red brick, but you may have a different color of brick in your home. Regardless of the original color, you can find a paint that will cover it at your local hardware store. If you want a more modern look, choose one bright color to turn the fireplace into the room’s focal point. If you want an antique look, you can find paint in the form of a kit that will give your existing brick an old-world look.

2. Refinish the Back Panel 

You can update just the inside of the fireplace to give the whole area a new look. One way to do this is to tile or paint the inside of the fireplace to contrast the surrounding brick. If your fireplace isn’t functional or you don’t use it for fires, you can fill the hearth with potted plants, a small bench, or a stack of logs. You can decorate the inside of the fireplace as you would decorate the mantle or any other shelf in your home.

3. Update the Mantle

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you don’t want to paint the whole fireplace, you can refresh the area by painting the mantle to brighten things up. You can also install an entire new mantle in place of the old one to give the fireplace an updated look. (If your fireplace doesn’t have a mantle already, you can easily install one in the form of a floating shelf.) Pairing the existing brick with a new metal or brightly colored mantle will give the room a more modern look. You can then utilize the mantel to show off cool pieces of art or family photos that will act as conversation pieces.

4. Accessorize

When in doubt, accessorize. If you want to spruce up your fireplace but don’t have the time, or money for a DIY project, you can decorate the surrounding area and mantle. Hanging a large mirror over the fireplace is a great way to add decoration, and it will make the room appear larger. Let your creative side take over and decorate the mantle with fresh flowers or purchase a fire screen for the actual hearth. The possibilities are endless whether you have a mantle or not; just don’t overdo it. You want the fireplace to be a focal point because it is interesting, not cluttered.

5. Make it Blend In

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you want to get away from making the fireplace the focal point of the room, consider making it one of many elements in the area by blending it in. Whatever the color of your walls, consider painting the brick the same color to give the wall a seamless look. The fireplace will still stand out, they tend to draw attention, but it will blend in better if it is the same color. The key is to blend the colors of the furniture and decorations in the room with the fireplace colors and surrounding area.

6. Refinish Surrounding Area

If you like the looks of your brick fireplace but want to freshen up the area, leave the brick as is and think about ways to redo the wall around the fireplace. You can paint the wall behind the fireplace a different color than the other walls in the room and create an accent wall. Consider adding shiplap or tile to the wall around the fireplace. Adding shelves or bookcases to the walls around the fireplace will create depth and freshen up the whole wall’s looks.

7. Turn it Into an Entertainment Center

Many people choose to hang a giant TV over their fireplaces, which turns the area into an entertainment center. Since the fireplace is often the focal point of the room, it just makes sense to hang the TV there. You can use the mantle to store DVD’s or set up speakers for a surround sound system, but don’t get carried away. Having a TV over your fireplace gives the whole room a sleek and modern look so you don’t want to add so many decorations or items that it looks chaotic.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelly Kaliszewski
Kelly's work has appeared in blogs and on websites. When she's not writing, she is playing with her two dogs, cooking, or…
How to remove old caulk: A 4-step guide to get this tedious job done quickly
This is how to remove old caulk the right way before slapping on the new stuff
Man caulking around window

Sealing certain areas in your home against both moisture and escaping air is a good practice for preventing heat loss and water damage, and caulk is a tried-and-true sealant to use. Whether it was used in the bathroom, on exterior windows, or on your welcoming front door, caulk can not only get grimy and stained after a while, but it can also start to break down and lose its effectiveness. That's why periodic re-caulking is a recommended practice, but you need to get rid of the old gunk before applying the new stuff. Here's a guide on how to remove old caulk.

How do you know when it's time to re-caulk?
When caulk loses its elasticity and waterproofing abilities, it's time for replacement, and knowing when it's time to re-caulk is pretty simple. Signs of deteriorating caulk include visible cracks or gaps, peeling, or a discolored and moldy appearance.

Read more
The October home maintenance checklist everyone needs
What to do in the fall to prepare your home for winter
Blue house in autumn

October is the prime time for home maintenance. Fall is the best season to prepare your home and landscape for the upcoming change in weather and ensure your family stays cozy through the colder months. This October home maintenance checklist has all the weekend DIY projects for fall you need to know about, and it will help you focus on the right tasks. Wrap up the gardening and lawn care season so your house can withstand the winter.

Why is October home maintenance important?
Following a fall home maintenance checklist is a proactive defense against a host of potential issues that could arise when the coldest weather hits. These issues could disrupt your home's functionality, safety, and value. By taking proactive steps during this season, you can prevent:

Read more
How to soundproof windows so you can finally get a good night’s sleep
Noisy neighbors keeping you awake? Here's how to soundproof your windows
three vertical windows with a view of nature

There's a lot of racket out there in the world, and if that noise is seeping in through your windows at night, it can really disrupt your life. Maybe you're hearing the noisy street down below, your loud next-door neighbors, or even the sounds of a long-term construction project nearby. Sometimes there's just a pesky flock of geese living on your lawn that love to honk the day away.

Whatever the source and level of noise you're hearing, it can really disrupt your days, and especially your nights. The good news is that we can help you navigate some home improvement ideas for window soundproofing based on the level of noise you're hearing and your budget. Here's a guide for how to soundproof windows so you can live and sleep in wonderful silence.

Read more