Goodbye 1970's Dark Brick Fireplace...Hello Mantel Makeover!!


We had a dated 1970's era fireplace, complete with dark, stained-brown built-ins. It was brown from floor to ceiling...an entire wall of dark brown...very much like a cabin...but in our house --which is not a cabin. It was surprisingly easy to completely change the look of our fireplace...easy enough for two DIY'ers to tackle in about 48 hours.
This is the new and improved fireplace. Gone are the dark built-ins and floor to ceiling brick. Hello to freshly painted glossy white built-ins, covered brick with painted drywall, and a traditional mantel.
Here is the dramatic 'before and after' photo. All it took was a little paint and some imagination to transform the 1970's into something fresh and updated.
This is the "before" photo taken at Christmas...It reminds me of a cabin...For me, it was just too dark for the room and a little too rustic for our decorating style.
Here we are adding the drywall. We wanted to leave some brick showing... It is a gorgeous reclaimed brick...we just wanted to see a little less of it. It only took two sheets of drywall, mounted onto furring strips.
Here is a first coat or two of the white paint on the built-ins.
The wall is painted and ready for the mantel and surround to be added.
The mantel and surround goes up in pieces...each section is sold separately. You choose the mantel and surround style. By adding or not adding pieces, you can create the mantel look that suits your home and decorating style. Our local hardware store had many mantel options which were available for purchase in-store.
This is the Christmas just after we finished the fireplace update... what a difference!!

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Karri @ Blue Ribbon Kitchen

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

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Karri @ Blue Ribbon Kitchen
    on Oct 12, 2016

    Hi Phyllis, could you please tell me what part you are referring to as the ledge?? The only piece we removed was the original mantel. We added drywall and a new updated mantel...everything else remained the same or got a fresh coat of paint. :)

  • Gail Simmons Hooper
    on Oct 26, 2017

    This looks similar to our fireplace, including the brass doors. i can't tell in the photos if you removed the doors or painted it black. Which is it?

Join the conversation

2 of 15 comments
  • S
    on Jan 25, 2019

    Looks beautiful! It looked beautiful before with the brick, too. You do a great job with decor!

  • Denise
    on Jan 30, 2019


    WOW!! What a transformation! LOVE ❤️ ❤️❤️❤️

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