Spruce up 70's builders grade fireplace

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I am a 70+ lady in need of suggestions to help with fireplace.
Please excuse the mess.
I will be having some painting, flooring & general maintenance done.
At a loss as to what to do for this fireplace with a limited budget.
q spruce up 70 s builders grade fireplace, fireplaces mantels, home maintenance repairs, minor home repair, painting
  21 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 26, 2016
    The most economical solution would be to paint the fireplace.If you have your color choice for the wall chosen many home talkers have used the same color on there fireplace. Should you choose to paint,however necessary steps have to be taken prior to painting.
    • Genalady Genalady on Jan 26, 2016
      @Janet Pizaro Haven't decided on color yet, but am considering that. Also was thinking about the tall recessed area above the mantel area. Possibly using something like breadboard or similar insert.
  • The Redesign Habit The Redesign Habit on Jan 26, 2016
    I would paint the frame of the fireplace and the mantel shelf a contrasting color to the walls surrounding it so that it stands out more as a feature in the space. You could either re-tile over existing tile or simply paint them out to a nice, clean new color. If you decide to paint and you are using the fireplace make sure to use high-heat paint on the tiles. You can ask at your home center store and they can help you with that.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 26, 2016
    I think painting or staining the mantelpiece rather than the fireplace surround itself would definitely add contrast to this wall. Give the tile work a good cleaning and consider a decorative screen in front of the firebox as it could add some interest and texture to the hearth area.
  • Dfm Dfm on Jan 26, 2016
    i would be tempted to stencil/stamp/rub on transfer the lower set back of the mantle... add a bit of pattern and colors. the other areas i'd paint an accent color to your main color scheme. the tile is a nice neutral, i'd work with it.. is the grout grey or a brownish? the area above the mantel...recessed in? i would do glass shelves and light it from above. display family photos in frames, or a collection of personal treasures.
  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Jan 27, 2016
    Faux paint to look like stone of some kind. Stone comes in all colors and then later you could repaint when you change your room decor.Maybe put a down light in the center and hang art work there so will be focal spot/ area. Then add stuff on mantel in groups. Do you have one thing you collect? Put Out collection there. Right now to much stuff on it can't see anything really good. If you want photos then get several frames and put in groups on either side .
  • Lisa House Lisa House on Jan 27, 2016
    If it were me...I would paint the fireplace a slightly darker tone of the wall color, I would then stencil a simple over all pattern in a high gloss version of the wall color. The upper recessed area I would add mirror tiles and glass shelves, on the shelves I would display my favorite pieces of Fenton glassware. That's what I would do. Since it's not mine...I would suggest the same paint but then you could paint the tile in an accent color, maybe a light teal or lavender. Paint the mantel a darker neutral like brown, gray, or black. Be sure to use a color with coordinating undertones. A bigger piece of artwork would look nice in the recessed area. You could do it yourself with canvas and water colors or ship lap in shades of the accent color you are using. Whatever you end up doing, just relax and enjoy yourself, don't stress over it. Make it something that speaks to you and makes you happy!
  • Jennifer Jennifer on Jan 27, 2016
    Because you have a limited budget I would suggest going over the tile with a stone. You could also take the stone all the way up to the ceiling in that top section over the mantel if there's extra. Oh and move the bird ;)
  • Deborah Conard Deborah Conard on Jan 27, 2016
    Because the top of the mantel is so big and heavy, I'd try larger pieces on the floor to balance the space. Maybe a standing potted plant and a larger basket, maybe a Karen rug in a bold color. I'd pull the fireplace shovel things away from the opening, too. Try keeping the top of the mantle very simple.
  • Nichole Greenwood Nichole Greenwood on Jan 27, 2016
    How about covering the mantle part and the smaller piece just under it with thin wood? Stain it the color of your choice. That alone would make it stand out. Paint the built out sheetrock parts. If you want to save even more, you could paint the tile, tho I would go over it with new tile. :)
  • Genalady Genalady on Jan 27, 2016
    A lot to consider. Maybe this is a little better perspective. I'm sure all the surround is just sheetrock, but not sure about removing it. In thinking about the tall recessed area above the mantel area. Possibly using something like breadboard or similar insert then painting a contrasting color. Was wondering about maybe using some kind of simple crown molding to soften the transitions of the large built out frame. It is such a massive feature it's driving me nuts. Does anyone know of a website I could load a photo and try different things? I know I've seen similar sites used for furniture placement & color before.
  • Pat Pat on Jan 27, 2016
    I think your fireplace is lovely. A suggestion....take all the things away from the top of the fireplace mantle and in front of the fire hearth. Put your picture back up and put it in the middle. Put one of your red flowers on one side and your clock on the other side. Leave the rest of the mantel with nothing on it. Leave your fireplace tools beside the firebox on the hearth. I like the way you have the mantel painted white and the walls a different color. I think with a good cleaning the tile looks fine.... While you are painting, you could paint the part behind the picture a little darker version of the wall color to make it stand out.
  • Susan Susan on Jan 27, 2016
    I think if you put new, contemporary glass tile (which works with all styles, including traditional) where your existing tile is (very easy install, btw) you would be amazed at what it will do for your entire room. Then paint out the entire fireplace protrusion in whatever color works in your room. Leave the recessed part the same color as your walls. As to the large mantels, sand smooth (so it doesn't look like sheetrock) and add crown molding or picture frame molding as you suggested. Could even be a different color than the rest of your sheetrock surround so that it looks more like an intentional mantel. Nothing prettier than a crisp white mantel.
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Jan 27, 2016
    I would definitely paint the wall the picture is leaning on a nice warm color, it will really help high light the area. Keep it simple is always a good rule. I think I might put in some different tiles if the budget can stretch that far if you can't clean what is there.
  • Teresa Teresa on Jan 27, 2016
    Simple and cheep with a good brand of paint for tile paint the tile it freshens the look and If you are painting any way that is a low cost way to freshen up the tile. if you had more money then just replace the tile its not a lot of tile and would change the hole look of the area. Hope this helps!
  • Ranger Ranger on Jan 27, 2016
    Maybe just clean the tiles and get a nice fireguard in front of it. Apart from the fire tools, move all the clutter and give a clean look in its own right. It's really quite nice.
  • Debora Debora on Jan 28, 2016
    You can spend $ to remove mantle and rebuild but resurfacing with texture in wood or stone is less hassle. We do all updates ourselves choosing what we like instead of what others want to look at. Enjoy and make it yours.
    • See 1 previous
    • Debora Debora on Feb 01, 2016
      @Genalady There are both Online tools & smartphone apps depending on your needs.Search online for "best online free home redesign websites" and check a few out. (Planner 5D, Space designer, Home Styler, or Home by Me) Pick one that looks easy and simple. Upload your photo to their site and use it to play with color and design. Definitely...replace the tiles & repaint -or- a bit more $ remove the double mantle & replace with a understated simple wood mantel. Best place to start is empty the entire wall starting with a blank slate- Enjoy the creative process.
  • Dee B Dee B on Jan 30, 2016
    Paint the Mantle some contrast color that you like. Maybe one of the accent colors you are already using. Or, a darker shade of the wall color. That would make it pop.
  • well if you ever switch to a flat screen tv, you could mount it in the recessed portion. You could also think about putting flat mirror pieces in there (or one piece cut to size) It would bounce light around and be a nice backdrop for the item you place in front of it. Maybe put some wood (reclaimed wood) shelving in the niche. You could paint it a darker color and put pics in the niches. A lot of options. go to Houzz or Pinterest and search "fireplace niche" and see what comes up. Paint and tile on the rest of it will update.
  • Linda Y Linda Y on Feb 04, 2016
    You could get tile decal stickers to add a decorative border to the plain tiles. With the style of your fireplace I would go for either a Mexican style or maybe an art deco pattern. The heart would have to be retiled or covered with something flameproof if you want to have an open fire. If you could get an end of range box of tiles retailing could be an option, maybe your decorators could retile for you.
  • Teresa Teresa on Feb 05, 2016
    I like the decal idea that would be good or even a stencil with some oil based paint would also work on tiles.
  • Susan Rawlings Susan Rawlings on Feb 20, 2016
    You might also try looking for a deal on actual tiles. I think the shape and style of the fireplace would be perfect with tiles.
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