Help this fireplace

This is a rental. Is there any way I can update this tile fireplace without construction or damaging the tiles? Will paint stick? Vinyl tiles? Fabric, I'm at a loss.
q help this fireplace, fireplaces mantels
  23 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on May 13, 2016
    You can always paint but that would be a lot more permanent than I think you would want. My first thought was perhaps you could build a frame out of 2x4s that would sit on the mantle and reach the ceiling that you could then clad in barn wood or bead board or even wallpaper, then when you leave you can just take it off no harm no foul :)

  • William William on May 13, 2016
    Since this is a rental, what are you allowed to do?! What agreement do you have with the land lord and is it in writing?! What I would do is build four separate lightweight covers that can be slipped in place covering the fireplace. The hearth, the fireplace, the mantle, and the chimney. I would take the measurements of each component, build it out of 2x2's adding 1 1/2" to each dimension so it slips over each section, cover it with hardboard, prime it, slide each over the fireplace and go from there. Basically you would be creating a "skin" that covers the existing fireplace without damaging it.

  • Patricia LaCroix Patricia LaCroix on May 13, 2016
    It would be involved, but you could make a "facade" with plywood that would slip over the fireplace... and you could finish the facade any way you please. Then slip it off when you were done renting.

  • Anita Elaine Anita Elaine on May 13, 2016
    In the past, I have used wallpaper paste and upholstery fabric bought in the bolt to wrap this kind of eye-sore. But then I had the agreement of the landlords to change things at my discretion after they found out my history and skills.

  • Cindra1005 Cindra1005 on May 13, 2016
    I think a façade is the way to go as others have said, something that will "fit over it" like a glove and you can easily take it down without causing any damage to existing wall.

  • Pj Pj on May 13, 2016
    The Stone Veneer products would cost a few hundred dollars (Lowes or Home 'po), but often Landlords will allow tenants to make improvements that increase property value. I would price it out, show the Landlord pics of what finished product will look like and see if they would pay for the materials. If you can do the work, you both benefit! Leases typically allow for improvements with prior written approval by the Landlord. Good luck! . . . Patty Johnston, Nashville REALTOR(R) Otherwise, the 'covers' described previously are great ideas that are removable.

  • Barbara Barbara on May 13, 2016
    I agree with others who have suggested the 'cover' arrangement. Probably wouldn't be price prohibitive if you have the tools already and skill set to diy.

  • Cindy Richter Cindy Richter on May 13, 2016
    how about using peel and stick floor tile? Get the long plank styled pieces. They have some that look like wood and in different shades too.

  • Melody Warren Melody Warren on May 13, 2016
    Build a frame around the fireplace and cover with beadboard above and below the mantel shelf. Cover mantel shelf with dark stained shelf.

  • Erika Erika on May 13, 2016
    Paint the grout to match the tile color. If the land lord doesn't like it, you can always paint it back!

    • See 1 previous
    • Erika Erika on May 17, 2016
      @Anita Thank you! We had similar tile in our kitchen before remodeling. Painting the grout made it appear more solid surface and less of an eyesore...all for a bit of elbow grease and around $8 (grout colorant is available at big box hardware stores).

  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on May 13, 2016
    Oh, man, that's big! Talk to the landlord and see if he'll do what's necessary. If not, I think the suggestion of plank peel and stick is excellent. Good luck.

  • Carole Carole on May 14, 2016
    Hi Kathy, you can have a wooden support cut at most tools stores (like Home Depot etc..) I think it is called plywood in English, and with small metal corners assemble it from inside to form a U-shape that will make it up as the support for whatever you like: wood -like others suggested (very trendy), vinyl wooden floor imitations (easy to cut), paint, wood stain, lightweight decoration tiles looking like brickstones -but not real tiles they will be too heavy, and then find a system to fasten it to the waals on each side. Make one U-shape for above, and one for below,;regarding the part that is horizontal in front of the fireplace itself, just paint it or paint the grout as someone suggests or leave it in the front as is, and cover with a decorative entrance wrought-iron type of grid usually used for rubbing your shoe-soles (Amazon has them), because personally I wouldn't like to have wood just in front of the fire. It looks ike you're using the fireplace and like the front door of it is set so as to leave very little room for a permanent redecorating beneath (tiles or whatever) in front of its opening radius, but with the grid you'll be able to remove the grid each time you need to open the door. Special paints for ceramic tilesexist and cover very well (I redecorated a bathroom from 70's brown and orange to aqua green, it came out perfect) but you won't be able to remove it, so be sure to get your landlord's permission to paint -if that's what you want. You can mix a homemade(very cheap) paint with lime and water and a resin like latex orinstead by adding some walnut oil, with about 1 part lime for 3 parts water and a splash or two of walnut oil or the amount of latex recommended per dry stuff (lime) on the product label. This will become opaque once it has dried and stick OK to the tiles (degrease tiles before applying with appropriate products or vinegar or cleaning soda-not baking soda)) and it is easy to remove (rubbing with water and vinegar and brushing pads): best of all, once dry it is totally harmless for children, pets etc.... Personnally I have been watching this slideshow below a couple of times before on, so here it is, it could give you a lot of design ideas....for instance how much impact it brings caring for small details such as spray-painting black the metal frame of the door, see for yourself, it's nice: Have fun!

  • Kathy Garrett Stafford Kathy Garrett Stafford on May 14, 2016
    Thank you everyone! My craft skills are very limited but I'm loving all of these ideas and I'm getting excited to meet the challenge

  • Atl6141510 Atl6141510 on May 14, 2016
    If you have a quilt that is about large enough to cover the portion above the mantle, you could attach a bar (i.e. curtain rod) to the ceiling and hang the quilt. It will lessen the impact of all those square tiles. Possibly a fabric banner to cover the mantle, and some large baskets with dried arrangements to place on the corners... ?? Visually you are taking the fireplace down a few notches and, when you move, you can take all your stuff with you and not have to fuss with the landlord...

  • Dfm Dfm on May 14, 2016
    foam core boards cut to tile sizes , painted as you like. hang with hook and loop fasteners. or use laundry starch w/ fabric of your choice and "wall paper" the fire place. or go for an artsy 3d sculpture-ish installation to draw the eye away from the tile.

  • Dfm Dfm on May 15, 2016
    cover the tile yes, but making a fake tile from the foam core...subway size tiles, 6x6 tiles etc. or over sized plank type tiles. what ever tile type design you like. some foam core boards come in colors, with the velcro strips, a slight shadow is cast-"grout" if you will. The foam core is much lighter in weight than tile/wood surrounds.

  • Dfm Dfm on May 17, 2016
    cut the foam core to the size of tile that you like- subway style, 8x8 square, etc. foam core is stiff, but light in weight.

  • Kathy Garrett Stafford Kathy Garrett Stafford on May 17, 2016
    Got it, thanks,......

  • Dfm Dfm on May 17, 2016
    i apologize for the double computer /net provider glitches occasionally. OK more than occasionally .

  • Mireles_alma Mireles_alma on Sep 22, 2016
    Why don't you just decorate. It is a very nice unusual fireplace. A large picture frame some greenery ....

  • Kauai Breeze Kauai Breeze on Nov 08, 2016
    Try lightening the grout lines to something that matches the tile. Too much "plaid" going on there!

  • Kathy Garrett Stafford Kathy Garrett Stafford on Nov 08, 2016
    Yes, I agree!

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Nov 20, 2020

    Hi Kathy, peel and stick vinyl tiles will be your best bet. They're costs effective and come in so many different patterns and colors.