How do I update a 1974 brick fireplace?

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Fireplace and mantelgoacross the entire wall. Where the framed picture, lower left, is covering a wood storage area. Wood fireplace is functioning .
q how do i update a 1974 brick fireplace
  13 answers
  • Bijous Bijous on Nov 11, 2017
    What a great fireplace and firewood storage. How about making that a feature wall with a different wall color -- perhaps something dramatic? With all your pictures, a dark background would make them really stand out. I have an entire brick wall in my house. What I did was build bookcases under the mantel making them look build in. You could put a small one where the side table is and one the same size on the other side. Those would make storage for you. I also painted my fireplace enclosure with spray paint designed for high heat. It helped not draw the eye to the shiny brass. Good luck.
  • Holy cow! That is one beautiful fireplace and mantle. I love it as is, but understand you want a change. Not sure what to suggest. If you change the brick, make sure to change the mantle so that it stands ot and does not appear "flat." If I think of anything I will be back!
  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 11, 2017
    I think I would put or build bookcases on either side of the fireplace opening above and below the mantel to look like built ins, easiest would to hunt on Ikea for bookcases that would fit and adapt them.
    I think I would whitewash or German Schmear the brick.
    Paint or paper the backs of the open bookcases for a pop of color.
    I would group the paintings to have a more dramatic effect and maybe change the mat color to the same or coordinating color as the back of the bookcases,
    If all those things are your collectibles, I would arrange them on the bookcases.
  • 27524803 27524803 on Nov 11, 2017
    I have seen several of the DIY folks build out over the front (ferring strips) of the fireplace just enough to cover it with cement board / hardy backer and give it a smooth appearance. Then you could apply tile sheets or leave it totally smooth..The brick is still "there" just covered over. You could then put a thicker, chunkier mantle top in stained wood, still leaving the one you have but extending it forward to balance out the proportions. You could also cover over the brick hearth with granite, concrete (like a counter top) soap stone, slate, etc.
    Find a look you like at DIY network, HGTV, or Pinterest and make it work for you.
  • Peg Peg on Nov 11, 2017
    I lover it and wouldn't change it if it were me.
  • Jwe31614474 Jwe31614474 on Nov 11, 2017
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  • Donna Powell Donna Powell on Nov 11, 2017
    For starters, I would clean up the toys and extra clutter in front of it so you can get a clear view of the entire space. It really is an awesome looking fireplace and mantel and it deserves to be the main focus in the room. Then I would change out the old brass fireplace screen to a more updated oil rubbed bronze color and style. I would also suggest painting the mantel and the wall the same soft white color to blend the two surfaces as one. Since the brick has so many colors and textures, the wall and mantel don't need to compete with it. You might also want to consider one large piece of art instead of lots of little ones to further clear up the visual clutter and make the fireplace the focus.
    • Barbara Barbara on Nov 12, 2017
      Thank you for your input. The toys are temporary, I watch my granddaughter. I’ve recently purchased storage.
  • Ginny Ginny on Nov 12, 2017
    It's gorgeous...don't make any huge changes.
  • Roxy blue Roxy blue on Nov 12, 2017
    You can put new tile directly on the brick. Just skim coat with thinset to make sure the surface is flat. Let that dry really well. Then set tile on that surface. Then repaint the mantle to match or contrast.
  • Dottiewilkie Dottiewilkie on Nov 13, 2017
    You could always paint the brick (pretty drastic move) but i think it would be beautiful in a white wash brick. Then paint the wall a rich color so your art work and pics would really pop. But it lovely the way it is!
  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 13, 2017
    I would paint the mantle black, but the brass on the fireplace doors a pewter or hammered steel paint would modernize it. 😇
  • Lokie Lokie on Nov 14, 2017
    I also have a red brick fireplace. I have been wanting to update for the longest time but husband won't let me touch it. Watching here to see what ideas you get.
    • See 1 previous
    • Barbara Barbara on Nov 16, 2017
      I’m hoping to cover bricks with Stacked Stone Ledgers. It will update the look and by using a lighter color brighten up the room.
  • Rhonda Rhonda on Nov 16, 2017
    i would totally paint my bricks a whiteish or antique white color the. Paint my mantle a deep rich color then a coup,e shades lighter for the wall. You have such a beautiful wall there and so much you can do!!!
    • See 2 previous
    • Barbara Barbara on Nov 24, 2017
      Thank you , I’m thinking the same thing about the mantle and wall.
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