Options for Updating a Fireplace

A fireplace serves as the primary focal point for many homes. Although it no longer provides for the sole source of heat or method of cooking as in centuries past, the fireplace is none-the-less just as valuable to a home today as ever. Motivated homeowners constantly seek out opportunities in the home to update and appeal to their style and liking, why should the fireplace be an exception? It is often overlooked when decorating or updating the rest of the home, but it has the greatest potential for changing the overall décor of the room or living area. The options available to bring about such a transformation are just short of endless.

Painting a Fireplace Surround can Instill New Life

One of the most cost effective updates for a fireplace is to paint the surround. As most fireplaces are either brick or stone, they can quickly become outdated and tired. Regardless of whether the fireplace is still commonly used or not, the correct preparation of the surround can produce a painted finish that will rejuvenate the entire space.

The two most important steps in preparing the fireplace surround for painting are cleaning and priming. The surround should be cleaned and prepared by simply brushing the facing lightly with a wire brush. Brushing the surface will also expose the porous surfaces of the brick and improve adherence of the primer to the surface. Selecting a primer specifically formulated for the type surface being prepared is the best option. There are paints and primers today designed for just about every type surface and application imaginable. A latex based variety paint and primer base will allow the coating to expand and contract along with the painted surround.

Add Character to a Fireplace by Adding a Mantel

A fireplace framed with a mantel can make a dull brick box stand out as a masterpiece. Better still is the homeowner’s many available options when selecting mantel designs and materials. Prefabricated mantels of assorted shapes and sizes are today available at most home improvement centers or special order warehouses. Materials range from cedar, oak, maple, and pine to name a few. Moreover, there are free plans available from resources all over the internet for building an entire surround mantel of any shape or size.

Refacing a Fireplace with Tiles or Stone Veneer

If the fireplace brick or facing would be better served with an entirely new look that paint just can’t provide, there is an assortment of re-facing options available. Some of the more popular options recently include tiles of various materials as well as stone veneers. Either option can be installed directly over the existing fireplace surround by using the old surface as a base, and applying mortar or adhesive directly to it. Sources such as This Old House are great for providing a range of ideas to fit just about every homeowner’s taste and budget.

A home’s fireplace provides a wealth of opportunity when it comes to updating, modernizing, or just redecorating a living space. A fireplace that appears lifeless and dull doesn’t have to be a drag on the entire room. These are but a few of the options available to make any fireplace new and exciting again.