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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 Brick fireplaces can look outdated and give your house a rustic feel that you may not want to embrace.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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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…
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