Ugly fireplace?

by Symea
My fireplace is tan...gee I don't know..rock? Weird brick? To me, it's an ugly tan boring thing. Do y'all think so too"? What could I do? Leave it? Whitewash it? Can I stain it? Didn't really want to "paint" it, just jazz it up a bit. Whe walls are "pale moss" green, it's called Koi pond but that doesn't help. Thanks!
  14 answers
  • Shari Shari on Oct 23, 2014
    Oh gosh, can I ever relate! But I don't think yours looks that bad. I've got an even uglier fireplace--a massive 14 foot long wall of stones in fugly oranges, browns and tans. (Picture attached to prove how ugly (and BIG) it is.) Every day since we bought the house almost 5 years ago, I have looked at that wall and tried to get up the courage to do something with it but tackling that 14' x 8' (tall) wall completely overwhelms me! I recently ran across this company that makes brick/stone painting kits and I'm somewhat intrigued. I'm not sure it is really necessary to buy a kit but it might take some of the guesswork out of trying to pick the appropriate products and colors. If nothing else, the Customer Testimonial page might give you some ideas. I'm mulling over a few myself. Here's a couple more links that might give you some ideas: Good luck!
    • See 1 previous
    • Symea Symea on Oct 24, 2014
      @Shari wow, don't want to tell you that I think it's beautiful, but I understand if you have an entirely different color palette in mind.Thank you for the links! I will pursue. luckily mine is a regular size fireplace, not the whole wall. Then I would be overwhelmed! still a bit nervous though!
  • Hannah V Hannah V on Oct 23, 2014
    I love the idea of whitewashing! It'd look lovely with that nice pale green wall color :)
    • Symea Symea on Oct 24, 2014
      @Hannah V I was thinking the same thing and if I don't like it, I guess I can paint it right? not the other way around, wouldn't work=)
  • Sue Sue on Oct 23, 2014
    Sometimes you just have to do the paint thing! I had the same problem took me 8 years of not liking it and changing wall color around it... I also tried adding stain, to each stone to give it a bit of something.. finally I painted it. I'm much happier with it now:-)
    • Symea Symea on Oct 24, 2014
      @Sue yes, it's been 3 yrs. The TV is hung right above it so I can't ignore it !
  • Sue Sue on Oct 23, 2014
    Here are a couple of pictures to help
    • Shari Shari on Oct 23, 2014
      @Sue That looks great, Sue! Fresher, cleaner, brighter! It should give Symea a good idea of what hers might look like painted since your "before" looks very similar to hers. Did you paint yours all one color? What products/steps did you use?
  • Sue Sue on Oct 23, 2014
    Hi Shari, I did paint it all one color Behr "warm white" I used a tinted primer then a top coat. To prime it I cleaned it with TSP but the paint covered everything.
    • Symea Symea on Oct 24, 2014
      @Sue wow, that makes me a bit less nervous. just taking that first step! yours turned out great.
  • Sue Sue on Oct 23, 2014
    Sorry Shari I forgot to say thank you lol
  • Noeleen Gray Noeleen Gray on Oct 24, 2014
    We had a fireplace very much like yours. Yes it did need some TLC, but paint can make a world of difference. Try any of the whites from Benjamin Moore. Good Luck!
  • Alice Shockley Alice Shockley on Oct 24, 2014
    @Shari, It just goes to show how people differ. I look at your living room - fireplace especially - and think it's absolutely beautiful. Really, I wouldn't change a thing! You've done a terrific job decorating both the fireplace and the rest of the room!
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    • Symea Symea on Oct 24, 2014
      @Alice Shockley I was going to say the same thing- to me it's wonderful. But those are my earthy colors I like. I can see how she feels overwhelmed.
  • Mandy Loriot Mandy Loriot on Oct 24, 2014
    You can definitely modernize it with paint, but it's hard to tell what would look good as I can't see the whole fireplace to have a feel for it in the room. One option is to board over it and put a new veneer on it, unless you want to have someone tear it out and put in a new facade which I assume you don't want to do. If you paint it one color, it's going to look faddish and in a few years will be something you'll be bored with, but a great option is to try some concrete/rock stain that isn't opaque to darken or brighten it. Are you looking for more uniformity in color, or do you hate rock altogether?
    • Symea Symea on Oct 24, 2014
      @Mandy Loriot the rest of the room is done nicely in Corgi-Lab-Chihuahua/ orange tabby.Just so you get an idea -haha.I have SUPER eclectic taste and find the rare second hand store make-over items, so it's quite the combo.I am an artist as go figure. I might try the stain, see I would want to go all crazy and pick a strange color.have to pull the reins in sometimes. I'll keep y'all posted!
  • Saz703268 Saz703268 on Oct 24, 2014
    I love stone. But sometimes it can feel too rustic. I think the pale green is just dying next to the golden and orangey tones in the stone. I recommend painting the wall the fireplace is on a very dark color preferably a darker version of a color you see in the stone. My stone fireplace is two sided and a mix of mostly gray and rusty tan. On one side I painted the wall the tan color in the stone. It looks great. However, the previous owner painted the other side battleship gray. Ugly. Nothing took it off. So my painter brought me some glazes. I dabbed the different colors over a few hours and no one ever notices that it was painted. On that side, I painted the wall BM Amazon Soil which is a deep eggplant with brown undertones. The fireplace really pops, especially with the pot lights I had installed in front of it. I did see HGTV do the dark paint as well. If yours were red brick I would say go ahead and paint them. But I really think if you use some tan in your color scheme it won't stick out like a sore thumb. If you like the green, what about doing a deeper olive color on that wall? I would love to know what the rest of the color scheme is so I could help you find a way to make it more at home in your space. I do like fireplaces painted white if you really want to paint it. Besides I'm painting my stone foyer floor right now lol!
    • Symea Symea on Oct 27, 2014
      @Saz6289 I told Mandy above, the rest of the room is done nicely in Corgi-Lab-Chihuahua/ orange tabby. haha- BUT I have extreme eclectic taste, bordering on the crazy side. I love color, I am an artist. I love flea market flips. I am torn between painting the wall or painting the fireplace- hey maybe both! uG!
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Oct 24, 2014
    Love the fireplace. Agree with saz6 about the green vs beige, pinky, etc tones in the fireplace. I would change the colour on the fireplace wall. You can always tone the mantle as well.
  • Dannette T Dannette T on Oct 24, 2014
    It is like our Austin stone in Texas.
  • Debbie O'Callaghan Debbie O'Callaghan on Oct 25, 2014
    Ann sloan paint is fantastic really easy to cover lovely colours my friend had a ugly fire place like yours she painted it grey with ann sloan paint it looks brilliant she is really pleased with it.
  • Carolyn Kelso-Bell Carolyn Kelso-Bell on Mar 24, 2015
    Mine was a kind of weird pink and also stained with soot. I cleaned it and whitewashed it..super easy..see my post..;)