7 Ideas for Sprucing Up That Old Fireplace

Written by Alpine Gas Fireplaces on . Posted in Tips

Fireplaces add a warm appeal to any room. No matter what surrounds your fireplace, whether it’s brick or a wood mantel, your fireplace is the focal point of the room, easily drawing your guests’ eyes.

However, if your fireplace is outdated or older, it can age a room and detract from your home’s charming appeal. So how can you improve the look of your fireplace? What are your options?

Below, we’ll offer seven ideas for updating your fireplace and the area around it so you can be proud to showcase your fireplace. Once you have a vision of your perfect fireplace, the right professionals can give you the look you want.

1. Add a Mantel

When your fireplace is framed by a square of brick, it can sometimes look plain and aged. Or, if your fireplace is simply installed in the wall, the minimalistic look can leave you dissatisfied. To spruce up your fireplace, add a mantel with some delicate woodwork. Or, if you like the rustic look, go for a single, long block of wood above the fireplace.

For a grander addition, try a mantel surround. A mantel surround borders the fireplace with clean, decorative woodwork, leaving a small mantelshelf at the top.

2. Paint the Mantel

Sealed or stained wood mantels can be ravishing and classy, but they may not suit the style of your home. If you have an oak mantel or you simply don’t like the color of your mantel, consider getting it painted. You can paint your mantel or mantel surround a classic white, or you can go for a pop of color. Try yellow, turquoise, or some other color that fits your décor.

However, when you do get your mantel painted, remember to let it dry and cure for a few weeks before putting anything on it. Otherwise, you may see a few nicks and scratches on the painted surface.

3. Paint the Bricks

Bricks are durable, and they’re commonly used to frame fireplaces, but they’re not always appealing. If you don’t want to add a mantel but hate the look of the red brick, brush some paint over the brick for a more modern, clean look. You can paint the bricks black, white, or some other subtle color, or you can try a brighter hue.

You can also whitewash the brick for a lighter, more pristine look while still maintaining a touch of rustic charm.

4. Paint the Brass Surround

In older houses, the fireplace may often be paired with a brass surround. But if you’re tired of the brass, simply repaint it to suit your tastes. Black is a great color for the surround, offering a more modern appearance that matches a variety of different styles and complements a number of different colors.

5. Add Tile

If you’re dealing with brick, you can sometimes install tile right over the brick, as long as the surface is level enough to accommodate the tile. You can choose large, square tiles, or you can choose smaller tiles that look a bit like natural stone. Whatever your vision is, the tiling work can be customized to fit what you want.

6. Build Shelves

Sometimes, you feel like your fireplace could use a little more than a minor makeover. If your fireplace is in the center of a windowless wall, consider shelving. You can get shelving and cupboards built on both sides of the fireplace, bringing more attention to your fireplace while dressing it up. You can put a few elegant items on the shelves for a ravishing effect, or you can use the shelves to effectively store your DVDs or books.

7. Install Shiplap

Perhaps shelves aren’t really your thing. Instead, install shiplap on either side of your fireplace. Shiplap will boost the appeal of the room and your fireplace, and it’s subtle enough not to detract from colorful furniture or bold décor. You can also get it painted in whatever color you’d like. Whether you want a pop of color or a bold, dark hue, it’s up to you.


Don’t endure an outdated or unappealing fireplace. Use one of the steps above to add an extra element to the room and improve the appearance of your fireplace. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even combine some of these tips for a truly customized and stunning design. To ensure that you have a high-quality result, be sure to rely on professionals for a job well done.

If you’re thinking about installing a new fireplace or replacing your old one, talk to Alpine Gas Fireplaces. We can help you find the perfect fireplace for your home, and we can provide an outstanding installation.

We also have design specialists on hand to assist you in pinning down the perfect, updated design. If you’re unsure what you want, we’ll guide you through different options until you find a design you love.

Alpine Fireplaces

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