Is your indoor fireplace ready for a makeover? If you’re planning to update your fireplace, you know it can be a daunting task, and you might not know where to start. But with these tips and tricks for modernizing an outdated fireplace, you can find the best ways to update yours, whether you’re just touching it up or giving it a complete overhaul.
Give It a Good Cleaning
First and foremost, clean the inside and around the outside of your fireplace. You’d be surprised just how much a good cleaning can help spruce up your fireplace! Pull out any debris such as charcoal, wood, and ashes, and dispose of them properly. Then you can go in with soap, water, and a bristled brush and scrub away at the soot marks inside your firebox. Don’t forget to clean the doors and screen if your fireplace has these—they can collect just as much soot and black marks. Make sure to allow your fireplace to dry out completely, as well.
Even if you don’t use it for real fires, it’s still a good idea to clean out the inside. Cobwebs, dust, and dirt can build up in your fireplace over time, so you may want to clean and dust it out regularly, just like any other corner of your home. If you plan on renovating your mantel or hearth further, you’ll also want to remove any dust and debris for the next steps.
Try a New Coat of Paint
Since you want to update, why not shake things up with a new coat of paint around your fireplace? You could go with more neutral colors or make the wall more eye-catching with bold, contrasting colors. Whether your fireplace is surrounded by wood, metal, or stone details, you can add some paint with the proper steps.
Sand Before You Paint
You’ll need to sand the surface around your fireplace before you start painting, especially when working with wood. This goes for most types of material you might be working with. After you have finished cleaning the surface, you can either sand by hand with cuts of sandpaper or work with a sanding tool. This process helps the primer and paint stick to the surface of your wood, stone, metal, or other surfaces you are working with.
Use the Right Primer and Paint
Once you’ve finished sanding, go in with a primer first. But not just any primer will do. Choose a heat-resistant primer if you’re going to be burning real fires in your hearth. The same goes for your paint choice. A heat-resistant paint and primer will be the safest choice and will also keep your paint intact longer, even near flames. Look for heat-resistant paint and primer at your local hardware store.
Try the Whitewashed Look
While choosing your paints, consider going with an all-white color scheme. This whitewashed look is extremely effective on bricks, metals, and other textured materials that will still shine through underneath the paint. If you’re going for a modern look, try the whitewashed look.
Spruce Up the Mantel
If you don’t already have a mantel installed, try adding one yourself. Reclaimed wood can be an inexpensive and readily available option for a beautiful floating mantel. Reclaimed metal pieces are also a unique and affordable option. Stone, while more expensive, is also a great choice for a new mantel. Best of all, installing one yourself can be quick and easy if you have the right tools. You can find dependable fireplace mantel brackets for your installation process at Right On Bracket.
Add a Pattern or Texture
A pattern or texture can be very effective at modernizing your fireplace surroundings. You’ll especially want to start with a texture if you plan on going over the outside of your fireplace with a whitewash. Brick is probably the best choice for this, but there are many options for surrounding for fireplace, including:
- Metal or steel
Neutral paint colors—as well as the method of whitewashing— can help keep the beautiful texture of these surfaces alive while also bringing that updated, modern, and desirable touch to your fireplace’s surroundings.
Don’t Forget Decorations
After all your hard work cleaning and renovating, have some fun with this step! Add decorations atop your newly updated mantel or placed around the hearth (when it’s not in use). For example, you might see candlesticks, statues, photo frames, greenery, and more atop a mantel. You can add décor to the fireplace to pull in the style of the surrounding room. Consider hanging something above your mantel as well. You’ll often see people hang mirrors, large photo frames, and even flatscreen TVs above their mantel to accentuate the fireplace wall.
Show Off Your Work
Now that your fireplace is freshly cleaned, painted, and decorated, you can add some logs and start it. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your modernized space. Even when not in use, you can keep logs piled up in the fireplace for a woodsy effect, and it doubles as storage space for your future fires.
If you choose not to have a fire in your fireplace—or can’t physically light one—you can still create the effect of one. Try placing an assortment of fake flames or real candles in the hearth to mimic the flickering light and warm feeling of a fire. For soft, ethereal light, you could fill it with jars or bottles filled with fairy lights. These items can also be placed on the mantelpiece too for a cohesive design.
These tips and tricks for modernizing an outdated fireplace will take your current setup from drab to fab. The best part is that most of these techniques can be done by yourself with a little bit of time and elbow grease. So, if you’re tired of looking at your old, outdated fireplace, try some of these tips for yourself. You can pick and choose—even simply cleaning out your firebox will help it look ten times better. Soon you’ll be enjoying your own modernized space.