Remodel Ideas for Fireplaces
Remodel ideas for fireplaces come to me all the time and I love sharing them with you. Whether you're decorating theme is modern, old world, or anything in between, you can use the same materials and techniques to achieve anything your heart desires.
Here's just a few of the fireplace remodel ideas you'll find on this page:
- How to paint the inside and metal trim
- Using glass fireplace crystals
- Updating fireplace doors
- Custom doors, mantles and tile surrounds
There's also a companion page to this that goes into detail on how to remodel fireplaces using Venetian plaster techniques.
After my fireplace remodel was done, (or so I thought) my plasterer said to me “Wow, you should paint the inside” and he was right! There was no soot, so it looked too new to be old.
Eventually I did buy a special high temperature fireplace paint. It was so easy to apply that I also painted a bedroom fireplace and doors.
You can paint the inside as well as the outside to remodel brick fireplaces, just make sure you use the right materials for each job.
Painting the inside of your fireplace and the metal trim around it, is one of the best remodel ideas for fireplaces because it costs as little as $8-$16. a can for high termperature stove/fireplace paint.
My local Home Depot only carried basic black fireplace paint, but the specialty fireplace store I visited had dozens of products to compliment a wide array of living room interior designs.
Fabulously Frugal Remodel Ideas For Fireplaces
What if you can’t afford to remodel fireplace doors with a higher quality product or custom design? Then try my idea of using high temperature stove paint to cover outdated brass trim and door handles too!
Painting these the same color as the other metal trim pieces makes them look more like special order doors. Make sure to cover (mask) the glass so you don’t get paint on it.
To enhance this master bedroom decor, I used several Remodel Ideas for fireplaces, with a combined cost around $100.
This type of gas fireplace is considered an "appliance", which is very different from the wood burning fireplace that was converted to gas (top of the page). I couldn't use glass fireplace crystals in it because it wasn't designed for a higher heat output.
Make sure to follow YOUR fireplace manufacturers guidelines for safety, and warranty purposes, which includes setting up the logs, lava rocks and embers exactly as the manual instructs. If you don't have it, look up the manufacturer and model # (which should be imprinted on the metal frame) and look it up online, OR consult a fireplace professional.
This next photo shows the interior of the fireplace and door trim after painting. The fireplace surround was painted with Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer in preparation for the Venetian plaster that will be applied.
The fireplace paint I used was called “Stove Bright, high temperature stove paint” in Bark Brown, which came in a spray can and was super easy to apply. Most of my time was spent “masking” (using blue painter’s tape and masking paper, plus covering the hearth with drop cloths) so the paint only went where it was supposed to go.
If you tried to paint the metal parts of your fireplace with regular paint, or even oil based paint, it would bubble up and flake off from the heat of the fire, not to mention it being a safety hazard.
Of course the fireplace needs to be empty inside before you attempt to paint it.
Don't worry about painting the bottom of the fireplace if you have gas piping there since it gets covered by the logs, lava rocks, or glass fireplace crystals, and you don't want to clog the jets.
Contrast rather than match: One thing I would do differently next time is to keep the metal trim around the fireplace painted black, as well as the firebricks. Doing too much of one color as I did here with all browns, leaves no contrast and black is a great anchor color.
Watch my video, but please don't skip the important safety info below. It took me a long time to make and edit this video, so if you find it helpful please share with friends :-)
I was told by the person at my fireplace remodel store to turn the gas on just before painting for a minute to create an updraft. Then after turning off the gas completely and waiting couple minutes, I sprayed the fireplace paint. This was to prevent the wind from blowing down the chimney, sending paint dust with it.
Make sure the chimney flue/damper is open and the room is well ventilated. Follow the paint manufacturers instructions, and wear a respirator! Paint fireplace doors away from living areas to cut down on fumes indoors.
Also, the first time you use the fireplace after painting, it will take approximately half an hour to burn off the paint smell.
This video has two more fireplace remodel ideas: intalling smoke guards and a roller shade style of fireplace screen.
More Remodel Ideas for Fireplaces
Don’t forget to top off this fantastic new look with the right accessories. If you want a traditional look, there are many styles of ceramic logs to choose from, but don’t forget to pick up some lava rocks and faux embers to fill in the base. Embers should be replaced every couple years anyway since they do loose their glow over time.
Glass fireplace crystals are much more contemporary than ceramic logs and can truly modernize your fireplace. Made from crushed tempered class, they are the literally the hottest thing on the market, radiating more heat than logs, they don’t produce ash or soot, plus they never need to be replaced.
In this gas fireplace remodel below, a combination of logs and reflective glass fireplace crystals were used to maintain a traditional look. The owners were pleased to find out their fireplace gives off a lot more heat than their old setup, and the flames dance across the glass when lit. They like the crystals so much that they plan to upgrade their outdoor fire pit to them as well.
Fireplace glass also works exceptionally well on double sided fireplaces where the light can play on them from many angles. I could stare at the sparkly glass all night and it’s so hard to choose a color because I want them all!
Custom Remodel Ideas For Fireplaces
Everyone seems to get the builder special when they purchase a new home with a fireplace. The doors have those blond wood and brass handles and a brass strip across the top of the glass which screams 80's. Many folks remove the doors so they don't have to look at them, only to suffer with a freezing draft in the winter.
Custom fireplace doors can run anywhere from $700-$1,500, but they are well worth the investment if they up the wow factor of the room.
Remodel ideas for fireplaces my neighbors used to take theirs from a boring hole in the wall, to hot stuff!
- First, they started by adding a tile fireplace surround.
- Next, they put their fireplace mantel ideas to work by distressing a thick chunk of wood supported by beautifully carved corbels made for kitchen cabinets.
- They purchased glass fireplace crystals to go under the ceramic logs.
- Finally, they hired a local craftsman to make custom fireplace doors with a scrolled wrought iron design. The doors have a mesh backing and no glass, so they are able to have a fire going with the doors closed, and the heat of the fire radiates into the room.
Your fireplace remodel can be an asset when it comes time to sell your home and earn you many compliments, but don’t forget the reason you love your fireplace. There’s nothing like sharing the warmth and ambiance of a crackling fire on a cold winters night.
Check back with us often to see more remodel ideas for fireplaces, examples, and photos of fireplaces.