A Fireplace Goes From Drab To Fab

This fireplace drove my friend Tessa crazy for months.

A Fireplace Goes From Drab To Fab

You see, the red brick surround just didn’t fit in with that light and airy look she was going for in her living room.  So, one afternoon she called me over and we tackled that puppy.

A Fireplace Goes From Drab To Fab

A couple coats of paint later and that fireplace was totally transformed!!

A Fireplace Goes From Drab To Fab

Here’s how you can update your fireplace in one afternoon:

1. Assemble your supplies.  This is all we used to update Tessa’s fireplace:

~ rags

~ painter’s tape

~ cheap-o paintbrushes

~ 1 quart of latex semi-gloss paint (we probably could have gotten away with just a sample paint pot, and you can use whatever finish you like – we just went with semi-gloss to give the surround a little shine)

2.  Wipe it off.  You’d be surprised how dusty and cobwebby a fireplace can get, so give the bricks a quick once-over with a damp rag to get off all the funky stuff .  (Don’t use a sopping wet rag or you’ll have to wait forever for the brick to dry before you can start painting it).

3.  Tape it up.  Unless you’re a pro painter, you’ll want to take the time to tape off all of the areas that you won’t be painting – although with latex paint, you can typically wipe off any spills or smudges if you get to them quickly enough.

4.  Paint it all.  Now that everything is all ready to go, just start painting!*  The first coat will look a little streaky, but don’t worry – that second coat will make everything look totally fab.

* We didn’t prime the brick because it doesn’t get much use and it wasn’t very dirty – however, if your fireplace is extra sooty or you frequently drag logs across the hearth (hey, you never know!) then you might want the extra stain/scratch fighting power of an oil-based primer.

5.  Enjoy! You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to totally change the look of your fireplace – and the entire room will look even better when you’re finished!!

What have you guys painted lately?  Are you loving Tessa’s pumpkin display as much as I am?

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. This looks gorgeous! I am just starting to think about what to do with our 2 fireplaces, and maybe paint is the answer… thanks!

  2. Averill says:

    Tessa’s mirror is gorgeous and I love how painting out the brick surround white really makes it the focal point. Great job, ladies!

  3. Not so drab before, but totally fab now. Love the white !
    Great painting tips.



  4. Liz says:


    I know, I am in love with that mirror! It belonged to Tessa’s grandmother – I love that it’s an older piece that still looks so fresh and contemporary. I may have to steal it. :)

    ~ Liz

  5. Meredith says:

    Looks fantastic!!! Wonderful DIY job

  6. Joan says:

    How did your friend get such gorgeous, shiny pumpkins? Mine always look dull, and “go bad” is just a couple of weeks. The fireplace and display look terrific!

  7. Tonya says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! Love it!

  8. Liz says:


    Don’t those pumpkins look snazzy? Next week, I’ll fill you in on the trick I taught her. :)

    ~ Liz

  9. Great fireplace makeover! It looks so fresh and pretty now. Love the pumpkins, too.

  10. christy says:

    I love the makeover – so classy! And that mirror on the mantel is gorgeous. The pumpkins really make me want to start decorating for the season – I need to get my butt in gear!

  11. Jen says:

    oooh when is my turn? :) Looks good!!

  12. Sanity Fair says:

    Great makeover!! I love what a can of paint and a little elbow grease can do!