By Judy Schumer A fireplace often serves as the centerpiece of the home: It’s what families gather around during holidays, and where memorable photos sit above on the mantle. But sometimes, it may be more of an eyesore than anything else. Let’s say it’s outdated, or the color of the brick has faded or doesn’t match the rest of your decor. Luckily, it’s easy to transform a brick fireplace by painting it.Compared to removing or refacing the fireplace, painting is a minimal-mess project that’ll only take a few hours. You’ll avoid toxic brick dust and chunks of mortar everywhere, all while beautifying your space. Painting your fireplace is also much less expensive than calling a professional to tear out your fireplace. For the cost of a few tools and paint, along with a bit of DIY know-how, you can have a completely revived focal point in your room. And if you aren’t fully committed to a complete painting, consider whitewashing your fireplace for a farmhouse look that allows the natural brick to peek through.Use our guide to find out how to prep the brick for painting, what paint you should use, and how to paint or whitewash your fireplace for a stunning update to your home.