Fireplaces are an extremely cozy decorative element. Of course, their main purpose is to warm us on cold days, but in many cases, we simply add them to get a more elegant look in our room. However, not everyone can build a high-quality one, either because of the materials or because of the design itself. Today we will see how to make a brick fireplace makeover from the foundations, and we hope you can achieve the style you always wanted.

Image source: Alair Homes Green Bay

The tricks to making a fireplace the focal point of our room are not few. We can choose the simple way to just paint it, or even more extreme changes. However, we will try to stay within the options that involve brick fireplaces, making these fireplace makeover tips as simple as possible.

Brick fireplace makeover: tips and ideas

May the old world decorate your fireplace

Image source: Acanthus Architecture, PA

European charm can be defined by worn patterns in many of its constructions. The old continent has decided to preserve its history as well as possible, so it is common to find worn brick textures.

We don’t have to wait several centuries to get this style. Nowadays it is easy to recreate it from a wet mortar.

Use ceramics to accentuate the paint

Image source: Toledo Geller

A painted brick fireplace can gain an interesting contrast if it is complemented with the right tiles. Combining a white wall with another striking color in the background is a classic of decorators.

Brick fireplace makeover to take advantage of our budget

Image source: Lenox House Design

You can give life to a cheap and old fireplace with the right paint. If we do not have a very large budget, the use of cheap bricks can be an option during the construction of our fireplace, and with a layer of white paint, you will be able to hide their quality. This is also ideal for those who enjoy the minimalist style.

The decoration of the living room must match the fireplace

Image source: Ashley gilbreath Interior Design

The problem that exists with most chimneys is that their construction looks out of place with almost all the furniture we use. Before planning our fireplace, it is best to see what furniture we have available to combine it.

Before redecorating, try cleaning

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If we are not fans of the German style, then we must do constant maintenance. By this, we mean that we should not let so much dust and ashes accumulate in the chimney.

The brick pieces that are falling are also not very aesthetic, although the repair of the latter will require a sanding job. If you see broken pieces, use 120-grit sandpaper to gently remove these imperfections.

Image source: RiverCity Cabinets

For the stains that the bricks may have, we can use a homemade solution based on a mixture of vinegar with warm water. This works very well as a solvent and all we have to do is apply it on the stained surface with the help of a hard brush. Remember to pour clean water and dry the chimney at the end.

Give a new face to your painted fireplace

Image source: Southern Grace Interiors

Whether our fireplace has a coat of paint or is in the original state with red brick, we can always choose to give color to our construction.

We must be aware of how to use colors and their different shades. For example, if we want our chimney and its environment, in general, to look bigger, we should use bright paint. Dark colors have the opposite effect, making the spaces look smaller.

Image source: Airoom Architects-Builders-Remodelers

Before painting, we must clean our bricks very well, and then apply a coat of primer on which we will work. The paint will not adhere well if the primer does not dry out.

Remember that if we decide to use paint, the combustion chamber (that is, where the fire is lit) should be treated with special paint for heat.

Also, if we don’t want to use paint because it’s a lot of work, then some imitation rock tablets can be useful for retouching the chimney.

Add utility with a shelf

Image source: Lenox House Design

The top of the fireplaces is perfect for adding extra storage. Our brick fireplace makeover can include an additional shelf in the budget, which is a small constructive change that does not cost much money.

For a complete set, we can use a whole frame that encloses the sides and the top of the chimney. Again, the color will play an important role in the result we are looking for. Black will give us sophistication and an elegant aura, while white offers us a modern style.

Install additional accessories

Image source: Godwin Foust

One way for a fireplace to gain contrast and notoriety is by installing accessories in it. The installation of a flat-screen television at the top may look like a trap, but we can get additional utility depending on what we install.

If we lack lighting in the living room, we can place a lamp, or if the environment looks very small, placing a mirror will greatly expand the feeling of space.

For a more homely and warm look, plants are ideal. Place them in ceramic pots or baskets. Moreover, if what you want is a romantic touch, a couple of candles will be ideal.

Steps before any remodeling

Image source: Dave Fox Design Build Remodelers

No matter what we decide to do to touch up our fireplace, the first step will always be to clean the brick so that our work can be maintained.

It is normal for chimneys to be filled with so-called soot, which is very fine dust generated by smoke. As if this were not enough, the common dirt will seek to get between the joints of the bricks, so this could be a cleaning challenge.

In general, a basic cleaning with a little warm water should be enough to remove the most superficial layers of soot and dirt.

Image source: Dave Fox Design Build Remodelers

For large-scale cleaning jobs, we will need to get, at least, elbow grease, which serves as a solvent. In case the soot stain that we are going to clean is small, we can treat with a homemade solution of baking soda and water.

As for the precautions that we must have when cleaning the soot, we must use the corresponding protective equipment (gloves and glasses), since we will be constantly exposed to irritating agents.

Handling the cleaner should not be done lightly either. As we will work on a hard surface, we will need a wire brush to not directly manipulate the chemicals.

It is time to repair the structure

Image source: Teakwood Builders, Inc.

Once the cleaning is finished, we have to continue our brick fireplace makeover, determining what we are going to fix. For this, we will brush the brick very well and see where there are cracks. We will fill these spaces with a mortar repair tube, and before the material dries, we must clean the excess. We must get a caulk gun to fill the small holes.

For more extreme repairs where the brick is more compromised, we must fill it with professional paste or concrete. In this case, you will most likely have to repaint the bricks once repaired.

Is it better to paint or to seal?

Image source: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

As with the colors, this decision is related to the finish we want to achieve. The sealant is perfect to preserve the condition of the chimney for a longer time, in addition to enjoying a glossy finish.

The painting has its advantages. The only way to apply textures is with them, but before that, we need to place a primer layer, or else we will lose all our work.

Steps to reconstitute our fireplace

Before seeing the steps we will follow to paint our fireplace, we must get the following materials and tools:

– Wire brush

– Protective equipment consisting of rubber gloves and safety glasses

– Roller and paintbrush

– Old rags to clean

– Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

– Painter’s tape

– Brick primer

– Paint

– Solvent or cleaner


– Step 1: We must clean the surface where we will apply the paint very well, as previously mentioned, or else it will not adhere properly. The first thing is to remove all large garbage, such as dust, using a brush.

– Step 2: when we no longer find dust, we will apply a little TSP. We must be very careful when handling this chemical, and at the end, we must wash the bricks with water.

– Step 3: Prepare the area to be painted with tapes, so that we do not accidentally paint areas that we do not want.

– Step 4: Apply the primer, preferably oil-based, as this will prevent stains in the medium term.

– Step 5: With the dry primer, proceed to paint the brick. Make sure it is special heat resistant paint. If you want a textured finish, we recommend using the roller. Needless to say, the areas that we do not reach with the roller should be painted with a brush.

Customizing our fireplace

Image source: Sarah Finney Interiors

It may seem insignificant, but retouching a fireplace helps us generate an important focal point in our room. The traditional red brick can be our ally if we take care of it, but you should know that you can change it whenever you want. With a little work, you can design a fireplace for your liking.

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