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1970’s Fireplace Makeover Before & After

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Our 1970’s fireplace makeover before and after has been a long time coming. My parents bought our house over 30 years ago and this fireplace has been a bit of an eye sore for all these years. My mom loved the stone but combined with the outdated brass insert and abundance of stone, it seemed to lack character and screamed 1970’s. My dad and I spent about 4 weekends (about 8 hours each weekend) updating the fireplace and giving it a new wooden surround.

1970s Fireplace Makeover Before and After

1970 fireplace makeover

Here is the before fireplace. This room has undergone a MAJOR transformation.

1970's dramatic fireplace makeover

My dad is in love with this fireplace now and if you have been following us through stage 1, 2 and 3 of this makeover journey, you know he wanted no part of this makeover. Every night when he gets home from work, he goes in this room and just stares at the fireplace. It makes me giggle every time.

1970 fireplace makeover-3

Here is the room before when it was used as the kids playroom. A complete hodge podge of furniture, mis-matched shelves, cabinets, toys and whatever else didn’t have a home.

1970's dramatic fireplace makeover

The entire room is shaping up and the fireplace is by far, one of my favorite DIY projects yet. The impact that the wooden surround has added vs the previous stone is dramatic. I used Sherwin Williams Extra White Pro Classic paint in a semi gloss finish. Sherwin Williams provided complimentary  paint for our study makeover but all opinions are mine. The paint is super smooth and gorgeous.

1970 fireplace makeover

I will share with you next week how I added the decorative molding trim as well as how we constructed the mantle which was the final touch to bringing this fireplace to life.

1970 fireplace makeover

1970 fireplace makeover


1970 fireplace makeover

When I first thought about updating our 1970’s fireplace, I wasn’t thinking it would end up being such a big task. Honestly, I thought we could get it done in a weekend, maybe two. My dad is a genius when it comes to structural aspect and how to make it work. However, he is terrible as visualizing and figuring out the design aspect.

We might have cursed a few times at each other during this month long project and maybe even shed a few tears (on my part) but in the end, we figured it out and achieved what he said, was impossible.

If you missed any of the updates for this diy project, click through these posts, Fireplace Framing Stage 1, Fireplace Stage 2 framing vents and Fireplace Stage 3 covering stone with wood to see all the progress and installation tutorials.

We are planning to put a pellet stove with the insert as we don’t use the stove because the burning wood aggravates my allergies. Be sure to check your local and state code when renovating a fireplace. Adding wood to the side of your fireplace can be a fire hazard so be sure to check your local fire code.  I am happy check this baby, the fireplace makeover, off of the renovation bucket list! 


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    1. Thank you Grace! I think it looks good with the stone plus having potential sparks on the wood wouldn’t be good so the stone stayed ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. This is awesome!
        How did you deal with the gap between the wood and uneven characteristic of the stone edge? Did you fill this gap with something, so debris does not fall in?

  1. What a great transformation! I love that you kept some of the rock there.

  2. This turned out great Jessica!! You also styled it so well! It’s amazing what can be done these days to update a dated fireplace! I’m actually working on the one in my kids’ playroom today!!
    Well done friend!!

    1. Thank you Monica! I have had a mantle before so this is a benefit for sure! Good luck on your project ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. WOWZA, absolutely gorgeous! Such a beautiful transformation.

  4. It looks AMAZING! I’m so impressed and so jealous, as I stare at the pile of stone I’m putting together like a puzzle to put up on my fireplace. Like you, I totally underestimated the amount of time and effort it would take to pull this off! But I WILL get there! Can’t wait to see how you did the mantel!

  5. Janelle C says:

    Wow, your makeover is amazing, the room is beautiful!! What a fantastic job by you & your Dad, in spite of the “differences of opinion” that may have come up! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. My goodness… the old fireplace was truly much worse than I expected it to be! You and your father did an amazing job – it’s beautiful now.

  7. Wowza!!! Jessica that is a seriously amazing transformation! All of your hard work paid off big time and it looks gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Danielle. Hope all is well and I love your latest dresser makeover ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Patti Palilla says:

    Love it!! Well done!

  9. Jessica, I’d be staring at it all the time too! Well done – it’s very pretty!

  10. Debra Ruffing says:

    I love your fireplace! I can only have electric…but would love to have a fireplace like yours. I need my kitchen first though…I have none right now. We are waiting for cabinets.

  11. Looks amazing, Jessica!

    Your old fireplace looks a lot like mine does now, but it takes up the whole wall and unfortunately, the raised hearth step (an oak beam painted pink, lol) continues across the room into the dining room. I would love to do something like this, but trying to imagine how without a stand alone hearth. Thanks for providing some great inspiration….what a wonderful job! I love how you noticed your dad admiring his work. He must be so proud of BOTH of you!! :0)

    1. Thank you Julianne, we do love it. Good luck with yours and I appreciate you sweet words. I am glad it done! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Wow, Jessica โ€ฆ such an amazing transformation! I love it and can only imagine how excited you all must be to have completed this project. Look forward to seeing it dressed for the holidays!

    1. Thanks Becca, we like the room so much better! ha. I don’t cringe anymore when entering ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Looks great. How did you get the stone on the hearth to be a lighter color than what was there. It appears a milkier color versus the brown/tan?

  14. The new fireplace really looks lovely. I would like to cover my stone fireplace with another stone.. do you have to cover the stone with wood and then apply the new stone to the wood or can you just put the stone on top of stone?

  15. This is a beautiful result. My fireplace looks like the “before” picture, but this is now at the top of hubby’s “honey do” list.

  16. Beautiful work. Did you ever share throw you did the decorative trim and mantle?

  17. Directions for fireplace redo

  18. Diane Lavoie says:

    What a beautiful difference that made !

  19. Veronica M Georges says:

    Am getting ready to redo my fireplace. . .Love what you did! Can you tell me where you got the stone for the hearth? I really love it. thanks

    1. Thank you! You could try a local stone or landscape company. Full service landscape companies or masons will be able to help you ๐Ÿ™‚