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Ready to give your fireplace a stunning transformation? A DIY fireplace makeover with paint isn’t just an affordable project; it’s your chance to creatively update a key piece of your home. I’ll break down the process step-by-step, showing you how a little paint and some DIY enthusiasm can make a world of difference.
When we first set foot in the 1950’s ranch fixer-upper, the living room greeted us with an old fireplace that was crying out for attention.
The fireplace had character but was far from the beautiful fireplace we envisioned.
To give it a more modern look without spending a lot of money or time.
As you can see above, the fireplace was dark with built in heat vents.
This was very popular from 1950-1970 in fact, we had a similar fireplace at our previous house that we renovated by covering the fireplace stone with wood paneling.
How Can I Update My Fireplace Cheaply?
Do you have a fireplace you want to update but not spend a lot of money?
Well, I’ve got you covered!
I know some of you are going to cringe that we decided to paint over the original stone but it was necessary to tie it in with the new modern look of the home.
The first thing we tackled was the size and shape of the fireplace.
The existing fireplace had a stone wood storage holder (here is the image below for reference), which we decided to remove to make room for a new door leading to the garage.
This marked the beginning of a transformation that promised a whole new look for the living room.
Would you have removed the wood storage holder and installed the new garage door in its place?
DIY Fireplace Makeover With Paint
A common question among DIY enthusiasts is, “How can I update my fireplace cheaply?”
Well, here’s a great idea, paint!
The good news is a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference, and it’s a cost-effective way to update an outdated fireplace.
We chose a fresh coat of white paint to brighten up the entire room and match our white walls.
But here’s a twist, our old fireplace was made of real stone, which posed a unique challenge.
Stone surfaces can be tricky as they tend to absorb paint, making it look dirty or yellow over time.
Our initial plan was to whitewash the stone using a 50/50 mix of water and white paint.
That plan would have worked out perfectly if the stone wasn’t so old, full of oil and impossible to get 100% clean.
This fireplace really needed to be power washed but that wasn’t an option, considering it was inside the house.
After the first few coats, we noticed the stone’s natural color bleeding through so I added more paint (less water).
Would you believe me if I told you I was tackling this project 2 days before the open house and putting the final coat of paint on it at 1am the night BEFORE the open house.
Yeah, that was not a fun 48 hours, especially when I realized it was going to take a little longer than I anticipated.
Step By Step Process: How To Paint A Stone Fireplace
Step 1: Clean stone
Using a scrub and wire brush clean the stone with TSP.
This will help loosen any pieces and remove the grease and oils from the stone.
Let stone dry for one day.
You can purchase stone cleaner at your local hardware store.
Step 2: Sand The Stone
Day 2. The next day, lightly sand any stones that are still appearing dirty and vacuum up any dust.
Step 3: Paint The Stone
If you are looking for a whitewash feel, mix 50% water and 50% paint in a bucket using a powered mixer.
We painted the fireplace the same color as the walls, Sherwin Williams Greek Villa.
For a whitewash effect, apply mix with a sponge and wipe off as you go.
Ultimately, I decided on 25% water and 75% paint for a more solid looking paint feel but still a tad lighter than our walls.
Apply to stone with a paint brush as if you were painting a wall.
To integrate the old stone fireplace with the new modern look of the house, we decided to paint the fireplace the same color as our walls.
By mixing in 25% water with the paint color, the fireplace was just a little lighter than the walls creating a cohesive feel.
Greek Villa by Sherwin Williams was the perfect choice for the wall and fireplace.
Step 4: Paint Inside Firebox
We all know the inside firebox where the wood burns is typically nasty, gross and full of old soot.
To clean up the inside of the fireplace, we cleaned as best we could and applied 2 coats of high heat paint in the color black.
The was the final step to remodeling this dated fireplace into a more modern, aeshetically pleasing fireplace.
What do you think?
Would you have painted it white or left it natural?
Fireplace Makeover Before and After
Now, let’s talk about the dramatic before and after.
The entire fireplace, including the opening of the fireplace, was completely transformed.
What was once a dated stone feature now stands as a testament to what a little DIY spirit and a paint sprayer can achieve.
The white paint not only gave the fireplace a more modern look but also brightened the entire living room, making it feel more spacious and welcoming.
We used high heat paint for the inside of the fireplace to ensure safety and durability.
This is an important step for any beginner fireplace makeover, especially when dealing with an old fireplace that will be used for cozy fires.
Fireplace Makeover Ideas
When it comes to giving your fireplace a facelift, the possibilities are endless.
Whether you’re considering a full-blown fireplace remodel or a simple fireplace update, the key is to align it with the overall style and vibe of your room.
This by far was the best decision for this stone fireplace and I absolutely love how it turned out.
You can see this full fireplace reveal by visiting this post, how to hang a heavy wood mantel, to see the full transformation and step by step guide.
Looking for more fireplace remodel ideas?
You’re in luck!
From painting to adding a new fireplace mantel, there are countless ways to upgrade your fireplace.
More Fireplace Makeover Thought Starters
- Stone Fireplace Makeover with a new mantel (this post is a great example of how swapping out a granite mantel for a wood mantel can totally transform a fireplace)
- DIY Fireplace Remodel Post (a 1970’s fireplace makeover with wood surround plus how we covered dated stone with a wood panel look)
- Refacing Fireplace Kits – these kits provide everything you need to remodel your fireplace. I personally have never used one but have heard great things about them. Just do you research!
- Whitewash a brick fireplace for a modern update
- Add a new mantel (see how we turned an old wood beam into a new stunning mantel)
- Create a tile fireplace surround for a modern classic look
- Create an accent wall with shiplap in the same material as your mantel to create a seamless focal point
- Add built in storage on the sides of the fireplace for functionality
- Renovate the inside firebox to accomodate a gas fireplace insert or electric insert
Get caught up on the rest of our ranch home remodel by visiting the links below.
More Ranch House Renovation Series Posts
- Cute ranch renovation house project (the start and full tour of the home before we started remodeling)
- The day we gutted the interior (see the demo process of the entire house)
- White kitchen cabinets with white countertops (kitchen before and after)
- How to elevate a ranch interior with arched doorways
- How to add curb appeal with a new front door (see how we installed a wider front door)
- How to build wood shelves in a closet (see how we transformed an old coat closet into a pantry)
- DIY Fireplace Makeover (how to paint a dated stone fireplace with white paint)
- Small ranch house exterior makeover
We love how this fireplace turned out after painting it – a quick, cost-effective transformation we’d recommend to anyone with a dated fireplace. This project showed us that remodeling a fireplace can be both budget-friendly and time-efficient, making your home feel even more uniquely yours.
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.