Asked on Jul 23, 2012

Need design help with brick wall/fireplace

Joyce wilsonLizzy LMelanie


I am at a lost as to what to do with this wall. The rustic style is not my thing. This wall is at the end of the den/dining room. We can't remove the wood insert as it has a depth of 6-8 inches. Any suggestions? Paint it?
16 answers
  • Lori J
    on Jul 24, 2012

    I would go with paint and see what you can do with the mantle to dress it up. At least you know anything you do there will be solidly attached to the wall.

  • Merry D
    on Jul 24, 2012

    You could easily attach a mantle with that nice thick wood. I think a rustic shelf would look great but you said that isn't your style, so maybe research mantles and see what you can find that appeals. Love that brick but a new fireplace screen would really work wonders!

  • Lorraine
    on Jul 24, 2012

    I would white wash the wood mantle. Also might paint the red bricks white. Remove the brass fire screen and leave the pit open, maybe with candles inside!

  • Danielle B
    on Jul 24, 2012

    Any more photos of this that would show the rest of the room? I'm with Lorraine. Paint that brick! Dover white looks great on anything. Do you use it for fires? You could also wrap the whole wall, all three sides, with board and batten for a minimalist and clean look that isn't too contemporary.

  • Z
    on Jul 24, 2012

    Yes, please more photos to help us see what else is in the room and the rest of this wall would help also. My first thought was to make a tapered mantel that would slide over this one but without a better view of this wall I'm not sure that would work. At least not on the ends.

  • Pat880866
    on Dec 18, 2014

    A real mantle in the style of your furnishings. Paint is always the cheapest way to update a fireplace. We had faux stone applied and it's great, but we live up north on a lake. There is faux stone for most decors.

  • Barbara R
    on Jan 4, 2015

    Paint the top bricks only, a neutral color, leave the bottom bricks natural. You can paint the mantle a contrasting color to go with room decor. Black would be a knock-out since I see you have black in your room. If you paint ALL the bricks, then all you will see in that room is that wall and you just want to down-play the fireplace, this is a good way to do it (from experience with my fireplace)...send pics back to us, okay?

  • Laura Romanowski
    on Feb 12, 2015

    I have that same long piece of inset wood and I'm still debating what to do with it. I have loads of ideas, but few tools or skills to do it myself. I'd love to see what you ultimately decide to do. I happen to love the red brick in my great room, so I'll not be painting mine, but let us know what you come up with!

  • Lindcurt
    on Mar 29, 2015

    Porcelain tile over the entire wall might be interesting.

  • Patty Loveless
    on Sep 23, 2015

    I had a really ugly red brick fireplace in the basement and in an effort to make a nice bedroom for my daughter I painted it. It looked amazing and took much less time than I expected. I started with Zissner 123 stain blocking paint that covers just about anything. I gave the bricks a scrub with soap and water to remove any grease using a brush and also got rid of any residue. We don't use the fireplace anymore so I even painted inside and the Zisner 123 Primer covered even the black soot marks. I added a coat of regular paint to match the walls and what a beautiful change it made. It really updated the tired fireplace and my daughter loved it.

  • Linda Johnson
    on Nov 27, 2015

    Wow. What a challenge. You can paint the brick and build a mantle. (My husband made one for our daughter and her husbands home. It's not hard to build, or you can buy a mantle kit at a box store.) I'd use small glass tiles on the wooden insert. (If the surface is uneven you may need to sand it to make the wood surface flat and smooth.) Or you could have a mirror cut to fit the area. This will make the room look larger.

  • Mary Kay
    on Apr 9, 2016

    OMG! Paint all the brick white/offwhite then stain the 'shelf' portion a darker color. Build it into a simple mantel like Linda suggests. Once the red brick is gone, you can load the room with clean line furniture (try some color like teal or orange or ??? ) and accessories for a very updated look. If you don't like these ideas, google images of interior brick painted white and see what u see.

  • Kayo Frazier
    on Apr 11, 2016

    To cut down on all the red brick, I would get a pint of white paint & mix it w/ white plaster. Then apply it to the bricks, wipe down bits & pieces so that some of the brick shows thru. You want to make sure that you can see the smoothed down texture of each brick. I would add white distressed corbels to the ends & middle of the wood piece & add a white chunky shelf mantel.

  • Melanie
    on Oct 3, 2016

    Don't know your style but two quick and inexpensive fixes. First paint the brick. Option one, mirror the wood for a glamorous vibe or attach sheet metal for an industrial vibe. Both could be antiqued or distressed. Oh and I just thought... Chalkboard or white board paint with personalized graffiti. That'd be fun.

  • Lizzy L
    on Oct 22, 2016

    Paint the brick white, then add a reclaimed wood mantel.

  • Joyce wilson
    on Oct 22, 2016

    We used an off white concrete stain which we preferred because it didn't coat the brick but stained it and left the natural finish on the bricks.

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