Ugly Fireplace Makeover – Before and After

5 Materials
2 Weeks

This fireplace might have had a chance to win the prize for the ugliest fireplace in the history of…ever. Vintage 1979, no amount of white paint could spruce it up enough to look respectable, so it had to go. Originally we wanted to build a new wall in front of it but the dimensions didn’t allow for the new gas fireplace to vent properly. We ended up removing all that ugly (and super heavy) stone.

Here is the before. Ugly with a capital U.

To remove the stone, we started with a rotary hammer to drill holes in the mortar between the stones.    

And then a wrecking bar and some elbow grease to dislodge the stones.

We framed walls to give the new fireplace some depth and a platform to elevate the fireplace off the floor. We were limited by the ceiling height of only eight feet, so it couldn’t be too far off the floor.

A leftover Glulam beam makes a good looking simple mantle. Some sanding and a clear finish was all that was needed. 

Drywall, mantel and hearth installed. The hearth was a remnant from a local granite supply company. We also painted black the area where the TV mount will go.

Cultured stone is much easier to work with than natural stone products.

All done with the flatscreen installed. Just in time for the big game. For a more detailed look at this project, check out my blog

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Teresa Ann Ford
    on May 11, 2019

    The original fire place had real stone? If it did and it appeared that it did , I think you should have left it and used the space above for a mirror or something else. It appeared authentic and old fashioned . I guess I love that old stone, however; you can now use the space for your television which is wonderful and gets the tv out of the way and creates space. It looks great for a modern appearance and you sure know what you are doing as I couldn't have done it myself. Congrats on a great job.

    • Steve
      on May 12, 2019

      Thanks Teresa, yes the old fireplace had real stone, but it had multiple layers of paint on it. And you are right, putting the TV above really did open up the room.

  • Kelli Cook
    on Apr 30, 2020

    I have a stone fireplace that was painted ugly grey. Is there a way to paint over it or take off grey and show nice stone?

    • Em
      on May 10, 2020

      Sandblasting would probably remove paint.

  • Elizabeth
    on May 11, 2020

    Why can I not click on answers and go to them?

    • Carolina
      on May 11, 2020

      you have to click on the bubble where the number

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