How to Update Your Fireplace for Under $50

Have a fireplace in your home that when you look at it you feel like you jumped back to 1975 or earlier? Tried of seeing this fireplace? If you answered yes to any of these questions you can easily give your fireplace a makeover without breaking the bank. All it takes is some time, patience and paint!


We have flipped more than one home that has had a dated fireplace. Here is an example of a 1955 home we flipped a few years back. The living room looked like it was still in 1955. The fireplace wall had pine wood paneling, the mantle was also pine, the fireplace doors were bright gold and the hearth had a thick flagstone.



I decided the living room was too dark with all of this wood and stone. It needed an update to the 2020s. The easiest and most cost effective way to do this was going to be with paint!

The first thing I did was remove the fireplace doors. These got sanded with steel wool and then spray painted with a black, heat resistant spray paint.



The pine wood paneling wall got sanded. There was a polyurethane coat on the wood. The same coating was on the mantle as well. After both were sanded they received a coating of stain Kiltz to prevent the dark wood from coming through when I went to paint with the final colors.

I decided to paint the wall panels a light gray – this particular paint color was called chic gray from Behr. I purchased the paint at Home Depot. I made sure to use painter’s tape on the mantle first to prevent bleed through or any mistake paint strokes from hitting the mantle. After painting the wall and letting it dry I pulled off the painter’s tape off the mantle and then taped the wall to prevent the white paint I planned on painting the mantle hitting the wall.


After the mantle paint dried I then taped the mantle yet again so I could use the chic gray paint to cover the red bricks.


Finally, the flagstone on the floor got coated with a white paint.

For everything I painted I needed to do two coats to prevent any bleed through from showing.


The finishing touch was placing the fireplace doors back on and giving them a nice clean with window cleaner.


Although it was very time consuming to do this update (I think I spent a lot of time waiting for paint to literally dry for this project), the finished product came out great and it cost me under $50 to update. The paint that I did have to buy I used for other walls/projects in the house.


Now the living room finally looks like it stepped into the 21st Century!

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