If you have an old brick fireplace that is dirty and dragging you down, don’t fret. There are some things you can do to give your fireplace some pizazz with a brick fireplace makeover! Whether it’s just a good cleaning or an all out overhaul, there are things you can do to update your fireplace.

Get ready to put in a little elbow grease!

The first thing you have to do no matter what you have in store for your old fireplace is to perform a good cleaning!  There are many ways to do this and you can find most of them online, but I’d suggest using something strong like TSP.

You make a paste out of the TSP and a little water,  then use a scrub brush to get as much dirt and soot off as possible.  Afterward don’t forget to wash off the TSP with soaked clean rags or a sponge. If cleaning was your only goal, then you’re done!  However if you are looking to change the look of your fireplace, then your job has just begun!

Brick Fireplace Makeover

Like the brick, hate the color.

Consider painting the fireplace to help with the brick color issue.  All you’ll need is a good masonry primer.  You can use a smooth roller to get the face of the brick and a paint brush to cut in and get in between the joints. Once area has been primed, it’s time to paint.

If the fireplace is not used, then you can use any paint or finish you want.  But if it is used, make sure the paint you use is heat-resistant.  Especially if you don’t want to have to go through the whole process again to remove chipped and cracked paint!

Hate the brick? Just cover it up!

If you want to go with a completely different look, then tile over the existing brick. It’s not as hard as it looks, but it does have multiple steps involved.  First you are going to have to use mortar to go over the existing brickwork and fill in all the gaps.  Once you’ve allowed the mortar to cure and you’ve got a good flat surface, you can begin to tile.  It doesn’t matter whether you use ceramic, glass, natural stone or fake stone. Once the tile is installed, you will need to grout in between the joints.  Make sure the thinset and grout are both heat-resistant which means you will need to stay away from the pre-mixed mastic’s and grout’s for this project.

After allowing ample time for the grout to cure you will need to seal it, to help keep new soot and dirt from “dirtying” your work.  If you used natural stone, you will also want to seal the tile at this time.  I suggest going with a good penetrating sealer and following the directions on the container to get the optimal treatment the first time. As this protects the grout and tile from staining.

No matter what method you use to makeover your existing fireplace, it all starts with a good cleaning!  Just remember to keep the basic’s covered, i.e. do your research! Research products and how to’s before you begin and you will be enjoying your new look for years to come!

Written by Amanda Hartley