…quick fix series: painted fireplace

With the holidays approaching and winter blowing in slowly, we all turn back to thing we ignored for all those warm summer months – the fireplace.

I thought I would do a little series on quick design fixes. It is a time of year where we do not have extra money to spend, but want to make the house look as updated and refreshed as possible. It is a time when family is coming into town and friends are being invited over for dinner. Most importantly, however, I believe we can all live a little better in our spaces with just a tiny bit of effort. You live life in your home and you deserve to have things organized & beautiful.

I was inspired by this first one from a email from a reader in England. It seems I have a pretty large following over there, which I love because as you know I’m obsessed with the country – the flag, the royals, the tea, the countryside, the writers, the gardens, etc. She wanted a recommendation for colors to use on her mantel & brick fireplace.


When DH and I moved into our first home we inherited a rather ugly brick fireplace. It was the first thing that we restored and it was as easy as buying a can of paint! Ugly & dated brick is meant to be painted. Just tape off where it hits the wall, use a cheap paint brush and clean up any drips. Easy, but a big impact.


You could do contrasting colors as shown here. If you paint your brick black, it will disappear into the background and your white mantel will be highlighted.


Or everything could be painted white for a clean, fresh look. You could use Chalk Paint or you could use paint from your hardware store. Either way I’d recommend colors in the white or black family. If you are not sure what color to use, find a matte white at your hardware store. Nothing looks more clean & impressive than white.

If you do not have a fireplace and would like to anchor the room around something as it should be, a great fix is a wood plank mantel.



A room can be transformed with a large piece of wood.


OMG I’m in love with this image below.


A mantel is important because it gives you a place to express your interests. Books, lanterns, pottery, an old clock, etc.

Tomorrow: The Centerpiece.


  1. Would be terrified to try any one of these great ideas. I like the black one, and the wood one, a lot. I NEED an interior designer! Maybe a color that your little bowls will look great on!


  2. I love the white fireplace with the large wood mantel – I have envisioned that same look for years on my boring builder-installed gas fireplace! Where do I look for a gorgeous piece of wood like the one in the picture, and how do you attach it without doing anything major to the fireplace itself? Thanks!

  3. Hi Christen, Great post! I thought to share my fireplace makeover with you. I whitewashed my brick with Old White and am really happy with the result – http://www.thepainteddrawer.com/2013/02/whitewashed-brick.html
    just thought to share another fun transformation with ASCP!

  4. Hi Christen, I stumbled upon your site today while I was looking for some new inspiration for my brick and stone refinishing business. I have to say that I love the looks you have created. You obviously have a wonderful decorating style and a great talent.

    I wanted to also share some the work I’ve done with fireplaces and invite anyone interested in more ideas to visit our website at http://BrickTransformers.com. There, you’ll find many more examples of refinished brick and stone fireplaces.

    Best regards,

    Harry Brax
    Brick Transformers

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