Over time, fireplaces can often become stained from use or can fall out of style. When this happens, homeowners often look to options for updating the look of their hearths so they can once again be the focal point of the room, rather than something they want to hide from view.
Painting and Staining. Both of these techniques can go a long way in updating the look of a fireplace without significant cost or labor. The key to painting or staining brick is to make certain that bricks are clean and thoroughly dry prior to applying the new color. For stains, consumers will need to make certain their brick has not been previously sealed, as the stain will not penetrate; if sealed, consumer will have to use a sealant remover prior to cleaning and staining. Some helpful products are listed below.
- Drylock Masonry Waterproofer (ready-tinted or tintable) http://www.drylok.com/formulas/latex-base-drylok-masonry-waterproofer/
- Behr Masonry, Stucco, and Brick Paint http://www.behr.com/consumer/products/specialty-paint/behr-masonry-stucco-and-brick-paint-satin
- H&C COLORTOP Water-based Solid Color Concrete Stain http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/products/catalog/h-c-colortop-water-based-solid-color-contrete-stain/?referringCategory=exterior-paint-coatings/masonry-concrete-products/decorative-concrete-products/&N=908795780
Re-facing. For those who don’t like the look of brick, but want to keep a fireplace, re-facing the fireplace is a great option. With a variety of materials available, consumers can match their personal style. Options include reclaimed wood, tile, metal sheeting, drywall, stucco, or even laminate flooring used as a wall treatment. Additionally, stone veneers can be applied to give the look of substantial stone hearths without the weight or expense of quarried stone; two examples of stone veneer products are AirStone (http://airstone.com/) and NextStone (http://www.nextstone.com/). With each of these re-facing techniques, the fireplace will have to be prepped for application, which can include cleaning and sealing bricks, or building a framing structure where the new materials can be attached.
Updating the Mantel, Fire Screens and Surrounds. A final way to update a fireplace is to do what designers sometimes call “changing the jewelry”—replace or add a mantelpiece, and remove or replace the fire screens and surround. Reclaimed wooden beams or stone shelves are great for a rustic or antique look, while metal can add a contemporary or modern flair. And for screens and surrounds, a coat or two of a high-temperature paint, such as Rust-Oleum’s Ultra High Heat specialty spray paint (https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/specialty/high-heat-ultra/), can bring a tired unit up to date.
For some ideas of what consumers are interested in, check out this Pinterest gallery https://www.pinterest.com/explore/update-brick-fireplace/.