How do I update a fireplace and mantle?

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Im planning on painting the brick and the fireplace surround. However, the mantle is concrete and I'm not sure how to upgrade this myself. Suggestions on painting, covering, or replacing and how to's for each would be greatly appreciated. Here is a picture of brick fireplace and concrete mantle.

q fireplace and mantle update
  19 answers
  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Mar 17, 2019

    You can get some wood that will work with your decor and attach them using a construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails.

  • Suzan Suzan on Mar 17, 2019

    I painted my fireplace even before it became popular. Easy and make a room look new. I have also painted concrete. Look or ask for concrete paint. Like to do a garage floor. They have it in lots of colors and even sprinkle s to add in it if you want

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Mar 17, 2019

    reclaimed wood can be put over the concrete you have there now here are ideas


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgK5VZBQFE8

  • Barb Barb on Mar 18, 2019

    If the concrete mantle isn’t sealed you might be able to stain it. You may want to consider tile.

  • Jean Jean on Mar 18, 2019

    You could paint the walls a white color, the fireplace may look a letter. It is pretty!!

  • Michelle Baumeister Michelle Baumeister on Mar 18, 2019

    It took me too many years to finally paint the bricks on the fireplace wall white. The mantle was already dark, so I left that alone and put a long piece of white lace over it (shows both the lace which dips down every few inches and the dark mantle). I love it and people always say how cozy the look is. Good luck and have fun!

  • Cindy Cindy on Mar 18, 2019

    I would white wash the brick (not solid paint), take high heat spray paint to the brass and then use reclaimed wood with Liquid Nails to cover the concrete mantel.

  • Yes you can paint concrete with any old paint but I think the fireplace looks great but I would change the color on walls and floor in the beigy sandy type palate and I'm going to try to attach a photo of my concrete patio I painted (in 5 days) if you really want to paint the mantel.

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Mar 18, 2019

    As a person who really likes natural brick, I am always a bit dismayed when people paint natural brick because it is so hard to undo that once it's done. But I do know it is the current fashion....so my advice is to make sure it's really clean, seal the brick with a clear sealant before painting so that someone in the future will have some sort of chance to unpaint it if they prefer a natural brick, and start by using a brush in the mortar joints, then paint the bricks themselves. Watch for drips.


    Covering the concrete mantle with wood adhered with construction adhesive definitely seems the best way to go for that. Basically, build a box the right size that has a top, one long side, and two short sides to cover the mantle. Dry fit it to make sure it will actually fit and sit level. Shim it if needed. Remove it, leaving any shims in place (in fact, glue them in place with the adhesive). Stain or paint the mantle as you wish, and then attach it using construction adhesive (like Liquid Nails). One extra note: make sure you sand whatever wood you use really smooth. The mantle in my house is a beautiful piece of rough hewn lumber that is truly lovely, but nearly impossible to clean.

  • Pam Pam on Mar 18, 2019

    We have (had) a similar looking fireplace. My handy husband gave ours a total facelift and it totally transformed our family room.


  • Dsouther Dsouther on Mar 18, 2019

    Hi, My fireplace has a light coating of whitewash on it. It was like that when we moved in. I am a lover of natural brick and natural wood furnishings, I would not have painted the brick. However, I must say that I can't imagine it not being white washed now that i have lived with it. The white washed look softens the bricks while letting the natural look come through. I think the trick is to "white wash not paint. There is a product called German Smear that would give this look.

  • William William on Mar 18, 2019

    Paint and a chunkier mantle shelf. Paint the hearth a contrasting color.


    https://www.hometalk.com/search/posts?filter=paint%20fireplace

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Mar 18, 2019

    I too would apply a white wash over the bricks and consider an old barn beam as a new mantel in its natural color. It will be a welcomed new look that will work with any decor you choose in the future. Best of luck

  • Em Em on Mar 18, 2019

    Just about to put my two cents in and read Diana's comment. I'm totally in agreement. I do like the brick. A sponged on white wash that allows some of the natural brick to show thru would look nice. If your mantle is wood you can attach a front piece by screwing in a fascia board to make it look much bigger. Attach a pretty trim like a dentil molding or twisted rope wooden design. All the big stores like Lowe's carry the strips. Want to go further buy porch supports or look for pillars in an antique shop and add to the new fascia board attaching it underneath to look like supports. A new wider frame on the mirror would look great. You could probably just attach thin pieces over the edge of the original frame since reframing could get very expensive. Good luck.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 18, 2019

    Hi, I would paint the brick grey, and you could put ceramic or slate tiles on the surface of the lower mantle, slate would look great as a contrast, or paint it all a solid grey.

  • Dpbeee2 Dpbeee2 on Mar 18, 2019

    Whitewash the brick. Beef up the mantle in a darker wood.

  • Dee B Dee B on Mar 19, 2019

    Our's is still a work in progress but I white washed the brick and painted the built-in shelves and mantle. We wanted a quick and easy fix to brighten the room. (For all you wood lovers - we placed a piece of thin plywood over the original wood behind the shelves so it would be easier to paint and easier to remove in case we ever want to go back to the wood.) Will be adding floating shelves to give it a new look. We left the top wood since we have a matching pine half-wall at our entry way. Once I decorate, it won't be as prominent.


    Regarding your mantle, see what colors come out of the brick if you choose to white wash it. Then maybe paint it or tile it to match. Covering it with wood would also look really nice if you're handy.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Mar 21, 2019

    Covering the dated brass with black paint will quickly modernize it.