In many homes, the fireplace is the focal point of the family or living room, which may be the most used room in the house. Updating it can make a positive change in the look and feel of the home. From simple upgrades of the fireplace’s appearance to functional changes in how it works, there are fireplace improvements for every budget and desire. You can handle some updates yourself in just a few hours while others require professional assistance.
Every part of your old fireplace is a potential candidate for a new paint job. For example, that old wood mantle may look outdated and out of style with the décor in your home, but a new coat of white paint can freshen it up. Old bricks can be painted as well and look good in a variety of colors depending on what is around them. You may even find that the colors of the fireplace and surrounding mantle are perfect but that they look washed out because of the color of the wall around them. In this case, simply pick a new color for the wall. There are also special paints available for the inside of the hearth.
Painting is usually something you can do yourself. Keep in mind that there may be some surface preparation you need to do before painting depending on the material you’re painting over. Forgetting that important preparation can leave your fresh new paint job looking bubbled and blotchy.
Cover ugly old brick or stone with a concrete veneer or wood lath for a new look that is as rustic or refined as you like. Alternatively, you may choose to place peel-and-stick stone veneer over your old fireplace surfaces if the original surface is flat enough. This is an instant way to create a new look that will last many years. Just be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations regarding surface preparation and heat exposure.
If you’re doing peel and stick resurfacing or some basic tiling, you can likely take care of the job yourself. However more difficult or delicate materials may require the experience of a professional to ensure they come out looking great.
You can upgrade the function of your fireplace with vent-free gas logs, an excellent step up for wood-burning fireplaces in good condition. These logs are used to greatly reduce the amount of exhaust produced when the fire is going. They can also be used in vent-free fireboxes designed especially for them. Professional installation is recommended for these. Keep in mind that vent-free gas logs can’t be used in prefabricated metal fireplaces unless approved, and special pieces may be necessary to repel heat from mantels that hang over the fireplace.
The least expensive way to make a big change in how your fireplace looks is to add some stylish new accessories. You might decide that a few details are all you need. This could include a room-brightening mirror over the mantle, new andirons for firewood, updated doors, or a more modern screen. You can also add useful and decorative tools like a retro-design ash bucket or hod, shovel, poker, or other pieces. Reconsidering how you decorate around the fireplace and on the mantle can change its overall look significantly.
As you consider ways to make your house a better home for your family, don’t overlook the difference that fireplace updates can make in the coziness of your home. With beautiful new surfaces, a ventless gas log system, and innovative accessories, your old fireplace can take on new life and become something you’ll enjoy seeing every day.