Give Your Fireplace a DIY Makeover
It’s hard to match the snap, crackle, and pop of a fire—whether fueled by real logs or by natural gas—for blissfully relaxing warmth and tranquility-inducing dancing flames. But admittedly, not every fireplace is as attention grabbing as it should be. Or even worse, some fireplaces grab attention for all the wrong reasons. But luckily, there’s hope even for the most bland tract-home builder fireplace, a stone relic from decades past, or serviceable-but-dull brick. There are many ways to give a fireplace a makeover, and most aren’t even that expensive. If you’re ready to add some spark to a nothing-special fireplace, you’ll love these 12 DIY fireplace ideas.
A Touch of Marble
Electric fireplaces make it possible for just about anyone to have a fireplace in any room of the house, no chimney required. On the downside, though, these fireplaces lack a hearth to serve as a transition between the floor and the fireplace. No worries, however—just turn to The Painted Hive and learn how easy it is to create a “marble” hearth from little more than a board and some contact paper.
A Mantel Makeover
Far too many fireplaces that otherwise would be attractive are spoiled by a mantel that’s too skimpy for the space, leaving an imbalanced look that throws the whole room off-kilter. If that’s your fireplace’s problem, then turn to Lovely Etc. for the solution—a gorgeous DIY rustic mantel that’s impressive enough even for the largest fireplace. It’s an easy carpentry project for an otherwise open weekend.
Related: How To: Get Your Fireplace Ready for Winter
Try a Stencil
If your fireplace is fine, but the surround is dull, why not try a stencil to add some spice? It’s an enjoyable DIY fireplace project that doesn’t cost much, requires little in the way of supplies, and isn’t difficult to do. East Coast Creative chose a honeycomb pattern for a contemporary look, but any geometric design would work equally well.
DIY Fireplace Facelift
This isn’t a quick project, but if you’re looking to completely transform a dated stone or brick fireplace that’s seen better decades, Jessica Bruno at Four Generations One Roof gives step-by-step directions for creating a whole new “face” for an existing fireplace. It’s also a terrific learning experience for any woodworking hobbyist looking to level up his or her skills.
Related: Make Your Fireplace Mantel Fit for a Magazine
Small Touches, Big Impact
It’s a fairly common scenario: a fireplace that has an attractive mantel, pilasters, and hearth, but boring plain-vanilla “builder” tiles as a surround. If that describes your fireplace, The Gathered Home has a very easy solution. Just paint the tiles black (or whatever other color you fancy) for a small DIY fireplace touch that really provides a big impact.
A DIY Fireplace From Scratch
This one is definitely not a weekend project, nor is it for bare-beginners to woodworking tools. But if you’re up to the task, Bless’er House gives step-by-step instructions for creating a gorgeous (nonfunctioning) fireplace entirely from scratch for less than $600—from a bare wall all the way through a beautiful fireplace complete with stone surround, ornate mantel and pilasters, and even a stack of “firewood” filling the firebox and completing the scene.
The Big Cover-Up
Brick might be a traditional fireplace material, but it’s not everyone’s top choice; red brick doesn’t work well with all color schemes, nor does it suit every decorating style, particularly contemporary looks. If you like everything about your fireplace except its brick surround, take a page from The DIY Playbook and cover the brick with tile. What a difference!
Related: 7 Mistakes Not to Make with Your Fireplace
They might have been the height of style in the 1990s, but now, mottled beige tiles just look tired. Instead, turn to concrete tile with a geometric pattern to bring your fireplace into the 21st century where it belongs. Centsational Style gives you all the information you need to replace existing tile with something new and improved. As a plus, this DIY fireplace project is an easy way to gain experience working with tile before tackling a more complex project, such as a countertop or floor.
Build a New Mantel
A fireplace without a mantel can look rather bare, especially if the fireplace extends up the full length of the wall. If your fireplace lacks this crowning touch, or if you just aren’t crazy about the mantel that’s there, Her Tool Belt lays out all the steps for building your own mantel from a few boards, some crown molding, and basic carpentry tools and skills. Stain the wood for a natural appearance, or paint it if you prefer a bolder look.
Shots of Color
If you have a nonfunctioning fireplace, or just want some DIY fireplace ideas for the warmer months when you aren’t likely to light a fire, here’s a super-simple idea from The Art of Doing Stuff; just fill the firebox with an armful of firewood, but paint a few of the log ends in various cheery and bright colors. It’s an easy way to add a few pops of color to the room.
Stone fireplaces seem to inspire strong opinions; people either love them or they hate them. If you fall into the second camp, you’ll appreciate A Happy Blog’s solution: whitewash. Giving natural stone a light wash of white paint immediately updates the look and creates a fresh and clean style that is far more contemporary than the original rustic lodge vibe.
While people most often paint over red brick fireplaces with white, gray, or black, those certainly aren’t your only options. In fact, a more colorful choice of paint—such as the ballerina pink chosen by A Subtle Revelry—is a guaranteed way to turn your DIY fireplace into the star of the living room. The choice of color is up to you: go bright, go moody, go pastel, or go jewel-tone.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!