How to update an ugly sand stone looking fireplace?


I have this really ugly fireplace face that I am thinking about painting and adding a wood mantel to. What are your thoughts?

q update an ugly sand stone looking fireplace
  10 answers
  • Cindy Cindy on Feb 09, 2019

    Hi Joanne. I'm Cindy. I like the fireplace as is, but I can understand wanting to change it too. Pick out a color that will go with your beautiful floors. Be sure to use paint made to withstand high temperatures. A new mantle would be great. A big mantle with large corbels would instantly become the focal point in the room. Wishing you well Joanne. Good luck.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Feb 09, 2019

    I really like it too. What if you change out the black to a lighter color than the sandstone. Paint the inside fire brick heat resistant black. Will add depth and not show fire marks.

  • Teacup8885 Teacup8885 on Feb 09, 2019

    Maybe sand all the paint off, n find a stain of your choice to have a nice wood grain finish then possibly add some tile, rocks, pennies... just to the outer or innner of the frame n seal it with high temp sealer!!??!

  • Karen Brunck Karen Brunck on Feb 09, 2019

    Go for it!

  • I think changing out the mantel to wood is a great idea. You can make your own floating faux beam wooden mantel following this tutorial from Sand and Sisal or you can buy one premade to the size you need.

    As for the sand stone surround, I can tell you like industrial decor (from seeing the curtain rod). I do too. :)

    I think changing the color of the sandstone to look like concrete would update it and you wouldn't have so much brown going on. I'm attaching a picture that shows how well a wood beam mantel looks with a concrete surround that I found here in this post.

    Since sandstone is usually very porous (if not sealed), you could try doing a 1:1 mixture of gray paint and water to do a gray wash over the stone so you change the color without losing the texture of the stone. Good luck! I think it'll be beautiful!

  • Connie Connie on Feb 09, 2019

    I painted my white enamel surround using a granite paint in a custom green with some streaks of black in it. It looks beautiful and the texture has held up Well after ten years.

    Choose a color that is neutral. But, in a magazine published recently, I saw a hot pink fireplace surround. It was amazing.

    yes, use a fireproof black on interior.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Feb 09, 2019

    I can see how this project is really a challenge because of the curved sides of the surround. I definitely agree with painting the inside high-heat black and to replace the mantel - probably higher. There was recently a post from a woman who made large beams for only $20.

    You can source large corbels super cheap - like $20! You can do a distressed paint finish or whatever.

    Do you plan to place your tv above the fireplace? Take that along with the necessary wiring, into account with your planning.

    To be honest with you, if it were me I'd opt to knock the entire facade off! It just looks like a large picture frame to me. Or, depending on how you'd like to style it, you can actually frame out your new surround right over it!

    Decide you much you want to spend on this project. Take a trip to a gigantic tile supply company to look at everything, along with prices. Your choices are endless from stone tiles or slabs, to glass tiles. Do you want something that is strong and seamless looking? Think concrete slabs or tiles. Do you want something smaller but with intricate detailing, think small tiles set into a design.

    Have fun! Do your research. You'll end up loving your new focal point and that you did it yourself!


  • Dsouther Dsouther on Feb 09, 2019

    Hi. Is your frame made out of wood? What is under the fireplace frame? If it is glued on to sheet rock you might need sheet rock repair if you remove it. I would get a professional for a removal Job. If the frame is stainable, try using a paint stripper to get off all the old paint and find a stain to match your floors. Paint removal and restaining are not easy tasks so be prepared to take some time on this project if you go that route.

  • Sharon Gott Griffin Sharon Gott Griffin on Feb 09, 2019

    Paint it! You could even use the paint that comes in a rough texture. Lots of options.

  • Em Em on Feb 12, 2019

    It is a nice fireplace. If you ever decide to sell the new owners may hate you for painting the stone. Since it is a neutral, why not add trim in wood around it and paint that to match your décor. A new chunky mantle or keep old one and add decorative posts that look like mantel is being held up by them. You could top the old mantle with just a new longer piece of wood to compensate for adding trim. You could add a flat frame of wood around the opening and just top with decorative dentil molding or the trim that looks like twisted rope all found at Home Depot.