Hi Joan, here are some ideas on making your fireplace look more modern. 32 Ways to Refresh a Brick Fireplace - The Spruce
Jun 16, 2019 - Paint a red brick fireplace a deep shade of matte blue. ... The moody living room in this modern farmhouse by Andrew Flesher ... Get the look of antique brickwork with a painting trick by Jennifer Allwood at The ..... Read More ...
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You could paint the mortar joints a colour or the whole brick facade in a matt shade - or Dry brush on a colour, or more than one colour until the required effect is achieved. Enjoy the process. You could also use a Brick and concrete paint too.
Here are 12 fireplace makeovers: https://www.loveandrenovations.com/fireplace-makeover/
Joan: PAINT! First a coat of PRIMER... then two coats of a good latex.
Here's a photo of my painted brick fireplace: