How to Transform an UGLY Fireplace

Jennifer —  August 31, 2011

I am in the middle of reorganizing the laundry room right now and I have lots to show you in that room, but I am not quite ready yet. Today, I wanted to share with you an EASY rehab I did in the house the hubs and I flipped.  I have told you before that we literally gutted this house…new windows, floors, bathrooms, roof, heater, central air, gutters, updated exterior…you name it…we did it.  I would have love to do something fun to the fireplace but the moolah was just not in the budget to do so.  We had to have the fireplace checked during the inspection and it was functionally working well but it was soooo ugly to look at that I could not stand NOT doing something to it.  Here it is in all its glory.


That brick..yeah its fake brick.  The mantle was wood, the fireplace box was sturdy but worn out, and part between the brick and the mantle was painted drywall.  It was a random array of materials and quirks. I figured I could unify all the random materials by painting it.  So I grabbed the extra white paint from our kitchen cabinet painting project, went to Lowes to buy some Rustoleum “High Heat” white spray paint, and grabbed a tube of liquid nails we had.  While I was there I bought one piece of small wood trim for $2.97.  Here is what I did:

  1.  I taped off the fireplace.  I did so around the firebox door, and I put a trash bag on the inside to protect the inside of the fireplace box from being painted.  I sprayed the firebox door with 4 coats of Rustoleum “High Heat” Paint.  (You have to use “High Heat” here…no short cuts.  This will get hot.)
  2. I painted the faux brick, the mantle, and the drywall white. I used regular semi-gloss white, latex paint. It took four coats and a lot of patience. (You don’t have to use high heat here.  This part of the fireplace does not get hot.  Just make sure your paint isn’t flammable.)
  3. The drywall part looked bland.  So I gave it a little umph with some trim.   I measured out two symmetrical rectangles with a level and a pencil.  I then cut and mitered the pieces according to my measurements.  I attached them to the drywall with liquid nails and I used tape to hold it in place.
  4. I painted the trim with two more coats of paint and this is what I got.
Here is the only close up of the fireplace I have.  I am sorry for my poor camera skills at this time.  I wasn’t thinking about blog pics when I took this:
Of course I would rather have done a fun tile or installed a nice molding surround but there was no money.  This transformation cost me $9.00…literally.  So, if you have an ugly fireplace that does not make sense or is an eye sore…would a can of paint help it?  Maybe some simple trim could give it a little more depth and texture.  Whatever it is…don’t be afraid to try it.
Thanks for reading,
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2 responses to How to Transform an UGLY Fireplace

  1. Thanks for sharing. We are trying to figure out what to do with our ugly fireplace.