How To Give Your Fireplace A Quick Update

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A fireplace can add so much warmth (literally and figuratively) to a home.  In the winter months, lighting a fire is the fastest way to get cozy.  It draws us in and begs us to sit and stay a while.  Dim the lights and nothing is more inviting than the warm glow of a fire.  Not much can ruin the effect.  Except brass.

Is your fireplace dated with red brick and brass trim?  Are you desperate for a fast, easy and affordable way to give it an update?  Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!  I am a beginner level DIY-er and I was able to completely transform our fireplace for less than $75!!!  Honestly, it could be done even cheaper if you already have primer/paint and such on hand.

My apologies in advance, these photos were taken before I had a blog or decent camera so they were all taken with my cell phone.  I had not planned on sharing them at the time so please disregard the TV being on and the poor photo quality.

This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a very small commission at no additional charge to you if you choose to buy thru the link provided.  Thank you for helping me cover the costs to keep this blog alive!


This is what I was working with-a builder grade gas fireplace with lots of brass (sigh).  I stared at it everyday for two years wishing away the ugly while searching Pinterest for ideas to update it.  I finally decided on painting it white and went straight to Home Depot to find the perfect shade.

I chose Behr’s Marquee paint in Polar Bear with Eggshell finish.  This quart was more than enough to paint the fireplace with several coats and cost about $35.  You will need to prime the brick before you paint so be sure to pick up a quart of Kilz Latex 2 in white.  It is less than $9!

If your fireplace has brass trim like mine, you will also need Rust-oleum Specialty High Heat spray paint in matte black.  It’s less than $4 bringing the total so far to $48.  Grab some painter’s tape, stir sticks, and paint brushes and you’re in business!!!

The very first thing I did was sweep off the fireplace and wash the brick with a wet rag then let it dry completely.  I then taped off the fireplace to keep paint off the walls and floor.  The brass just happened to be removable to access maintenance points so those were removed and taken to the garage to be spray painted (finally, no more brass!!!).  We spray painted 3 coats of the high heat black spray paint for full coverage.  Back to the fireplace, I taped newspaper over the glass to protect it from white splatter and I was finally ready to paint!

Photo via Sarah Sherman, click the image to view her page!

Side-note, if you have a wood burning fireplace, consider using the high heat spray paint inside the fireplace.  It will take a small amount of time but provides so much beauty and contrast! Don’t forget to sweep it out and wash the brick first!


I applied two coats of primer and knew without a doubt I had made the right decision.  Just the white primer was such an improvement over the red brick but I wasn’t going to stop there.  I ended up doing four coats of the white paint, not because it needed that many, simply because I was enjoying the process and was paranoid I would miss a spot.  Honestly, with this specific paint, I could have stopped at one coat, it is that good.  Totally worth every penny.

It has been done for a year now and I have been able to truly enjoy decorating the fireplace each season.  This simple project has vastly improved the look of the entire room.  I cannot wait to add a wood beam mantel (I will post as soon as we do this), remove the trim around the awkward TV box and paint the walls!

Is a white fireplace not what you’re after?  Take a look at these ideas for inspiration!

Photo via Design Sponge with Susan and Parker Hutchinson. Click the image to view the page.

Photo via Bright Green Door.  Click the image to view the page.

Photo via Nelly Freidel.  Click the image to view her page.

Photo via Edith and Evelyn Vintage French Interiors. Click the image to view their page.

Photo via Apartment Therapy with Laura and Ray.  Click the image to view their page.

Thank you so much for checking out my blog today.  It means the world to me!!!  If you give this a go, I would love to see your before and afters!!!!

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