How To Makeover A Huge FirePlace?

I have just purchase a house that was all decorated in a Tuscon style which was not to our liking. We were able to update things by lightening wall colors, removing dark heavy drapes etc. There is one very large fire place in a small "sitting room" that screams Tuscon and we would like to have it "remade", if that is possible to not look Tuscon. As little cost as possible would be my prayer as we are on a limited house improvement budget. We are in Arizona. The style we are looking for is casual with a touch of Southwest design. I have included a picture of existing fireplace and one that shows the type of look we would like. Just not sure if this is possible to do as a DIY project rather than an expensive professional job which is not possible at this juncture. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
q how to make over a huge fireplace
Typical stone used in our area.
q how to make over a huge fireplace
Existing fireplace.
  15 answers
  • CHOUGHSC CHOUGHSC on Jul 20, 2017
    With as little cost and destruction as possible, you might be able to paint the existing rock. This will allow you to duplicate the color and texture of the one you like. You will not get the same design, but you might be able to paint with two complimentary colors (same color but two different shades) to highlight a faux column and the mantle, and then do some blending to highlight faux seams. I've never done it, but I think I can visualize how it will turn out. Good luck!

  • Peg Peg on Jul 20, 2017
    Its a beautiful fireplace. If it were me, Id leave it alone.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 20, 2017
    I would guess that the "columns" are not too solid - most likely hollow wood or even closed cell styrofoam. I would find a spot that is not too visible the poke into the column to see if I could determine the material. IF you find, as I suspect, that it's a material that can easily be removed - go for it! Once the columns are gone, you can then apply rock facing over what's left. You may have to get creative with some of the edging pieces, perhaps applying a faux wood finish to those rounded pieces. The worst that could happen (imho) will be that you end up only being able to paint over what's existing sans the columns. I think with what you want the end product to look like, even that would be a big improvement.

  • Charly Charly on Jul 21, 2017
    Wow. That is one beefy fireplace. I don't blame you. I would get rid of it too.

  • Bink Bink on Jul 21, 2017
    Paint it!!! You don't need to decorate even item in your home in Southwest design. Paint and decorate subtly around. I lived in ABQ and I liked some of the designs, but not the ones that were over the top. You will love what you choose and have fun!

  • Colleen Goodwin Vogel Colleen Goodwin Vogel on Jul 21, 2017
    Can it be completely removed? If so, can you sell it?

  • CecileH CecileH on Jul 21, 2017
    If you can paint it with a paint made for shiny surfaces I'd paint it out in the wall colour until you can take the whole thing out and do exactly what you want to do. Why go have in? Or, using wood, you could box in the columns and use maybe E6000 to adhere the box to the (marble?) then using the stone face tiles you can purchase at most landscaping places adhere them directly onto what you have covering the boxed in area and using the trim pieces of the horizontal mantel as supports. You can faux paint them to look like stone once you have the other stone in place.

  • Joa24650661 Joa24650661 on Jul 21, 2017
    It looks like a portable electric fireplace especially sitting in front of a window. Am I correct?

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Jul 21, 2017
    Not too hard to jackhammer the existing fireplace out. Then install new.
    My concern would be how the chimney and fire box would be affected if you did this.

    Yes, Joanne, on second look that's what it looks like - a portable electric fireplace in front of 2 windows

  • SharylP SharylP on Jul 21, 2017
    When we moved into our current home (in Colorado) we also had a giant fireplace that took up tons of visual space. First move for us was to paint the miles of brick; then added a simple colored mantle (in SW colors); finally, added some SW art above. We love it now. I'd suggest on yours: first, find out if the columns are "real" (poke a small nail through at some non-visible place); if they aren't solid rock (and I'll bet they aren't), you could remove them. That would give you a much cleaner set of lines to work with. Next is paint -- perhaps something close to your wall-color (I like just a little contrast) for the main part of the fireplace, and something soft and complementary in colors you like for those borders on the top and bottom. Add a nice big floor-sitting arrangement (I use lots of dried sticks with just a little softness from silk flowers) on one side, and your whole room will look totally different. Enjoy!


  • Terri Terri on Jul 21, 2017
    I'm a designer and for the least amount of money paint is your best bet. There are too many trim pieces to try anything else. If you can determine that the columns are faux material I would try to remove them but once you start taking it apart paint is not going to work. If you want it to disappear into the background, I'd do a white gloss paint and call it a day, other wise you going to be into the 3,000 and up to redo it. It is a monster. If you could get someone to fabricate a mantel to slip right over the existing one after you paint it, sure would make a difference.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 21, 2017
    I would plaster/render it with concrete mix to make it smooth, you can leave it adobe color or tint the concrete. I would first remove the undersireable surround and sell it to a architectural recycler or give to Habitat for Humanity. Then do you a modern fireplace.

  • Joanie Joanie on Jul 21, 2017
    I think maybe, just maybe, you can LOVE this fireplace. Figure out some minor changes and paints or whatever. IT IS SO different and unique........that is my opinion. DON"T do anything, till you really think it over. You have a real conversation piece about it with your friends. is this a style from where? Could you remove the columns and replace them with bricks? Maybe some places can be removed and replaced......maybe the mantel??? See if those columns are hollow? Maybe a chalk paint look and distress it? Thinkin' things thru is the best thing.......since none of us know anything about this fireplace. Let us know, please? Good Luck Carmen!

  • Kar5975929 Kar5975929 on Jul 22, 2017
    thank you to all that commented on my massive fireplace. Unfortunately the columns are solid cement! Guess I will have to learn to love it.

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Jul 26, 2017
    You could build out around the columns if you use the right materials (as in not flammable - maybe cement board?). Then you could cover the whole thing with the thin stone tile stuff that people use outside to cover cinderblock foundations. It would be a lot of work, but that would enable you to continue the look up the wall as in the photo you like.