How do I makeover a fireplace?


Our fireplace is made of rock. It currently is wood burning. I would like to change to a gas insert, get rid of the rock amd mantle. Its very chuncky looking. Can I build something over the rock or should it be torn completely out? working on a budget. Thanks!

  4 answers
  • William William on Dec 30, 2018

    With everything you want to do your best bet would be to tear it all down and start from scratch. Sizing the insert, plumbing for the gas, new mantle, etc That ended up being my choice rather than trying to update it.

    My project

    Other ideas

  • i understand your dilemma, I also had a huge wall of ugly stone and a fireplace in it, with a oddly colored mantle. We didn’t have the budget to do much to it, so I painted it. It was time consuming yes, but it turned out so much better in the end. I used a basic white Kilz primer and white Behr paint. I also stained my wood mantel a pretty dark cherry. I can’t give any advice about converting the unit to gas, but you may consider a paint transformation if you’re up for a weekend project. Here’s my before & after pics.

  • John Grimley John Grimley on Dec 30, 2018

    How much work would you like to do for yourself? A gas insert throws out considerably less heat (sideways & backwards) than a wood burner so you could simply cover the whole thing with MDF. Alternatively, if you'd like to reclaim some of the space taken up, lay down plenty of protection (self-adhesive carpet protectors are brilliant, then tape down some dust sheets) and get in there with a lump hammer & chisel or a decent SDS hammer drill.

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Dec 30, 2018

    How big a budget? If you are strong enough, you can knock, hammer, drill, and chisel out the rocks, one by one. The fire box is inside that cave, and you can insulate and build around the fire box again.

    You could build a box around all the rocks, but you will be adding to the weight of the house, so check the foundation.

    You could paint everything white and even plaster the surface to be semi-smooth, then add color and metallics for a whole new look for a rock fireplace.

    You could change or replace the mantle to suit your style. Sleek and thin, or bulky like a log, you have to be able to drill into the surface and build a brace or other support. You can add, take away or change the hearth completely.

    If for any reason you decide to remove the whole fireplace, be sure to seal the chimney from the inside and outside.

    Please let us see what you decide to do. Post your photos on! 😊