Budget DIY Fireplace Makeover Before and After

Article may have affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Big thanks for supporting my small business.

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.

Our mission?

To give it a more modern look without spending a lot of money or time.

diy stone fireplace makeover before and after
The original 1950s fireplace was in desperate need of an upate!

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.

DIY Fireplace makeover, stone fireplace from 1950 that we painted white
Once we painted the walls white, the old fireplace stood out like a sore thumb!

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.

DIY Fireplace makeover, stone fireplace from 1950 that we painted white
By removing the wood storage holder on the side of the stone fireplace, we were able to install an interior door 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!

DIY Fireplace makeover, stone fireplace from 1950 that we painted white
Once the fireplace stone was scrubbed clean, it was time to 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.

DIY Fireplace makeover, stone fireplace from 1950 that we painted white

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.

DIY Fireplace makeover, stone fireplace from 1950 that we painted white
We mixed 75% Greek Villa with 25% water to create a slight lighter look than the wall color

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. 

DIY Fireplace makeover, stone fireplace from 1950 that we painted white by mixing 25% water with 75% white paint
Mix water and paint with a paint mixer attached to a power drill

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. 

diy fireplace makeover

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. 

DIY Fireplace makeover before and after with white paint
diy fireplace makeover

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. 

diy fireplace makeover

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.

diy fireplace makeover with sherwin williams greek villa SW 7551 white paint

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.

Below is the fireplace at our own home that we renovated 4 years ago by removing the granite mantel and installing a wood mantel.

This by far was the best decision for this stone fireplace and I absolutely love how it turned out.

diy fireplace makeover - How to install a wood beam mantel with rebar | chocolate stained pine beam
This DIY fireplace makeover project and mantel hanging trick caused me a lot of stress but well worth it!

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

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.

Meet Jessica

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *