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Have a red brick fireplace? Give it a facelift!

brick fireplace makeoverIf you have recently purchased a home and the fireplace isn’t up to your standards, all hope is not lost! Updating a red brick fireplace provides a visual lift to an entire room. Whether you’re updating the red brick to complement a new decorating style or simply sprucing up the existing decor, inject new life into your current fireplace with a makeover. Professional decorating ideas can help you give your red brick fireplace a face-lift you’ll love.


Sometimes a fireplace simply needs a thorough cleaning and a little maintenance to give it an updated, fresh look. Blackened soot, ashes and dust particles can accumulate on the exterior and interior spaces of a fireplace, making the bricks look old and dirty. Use a medium 120-grit sandpaper to lightly sand any loose pieces of mortar or crumbling brick on your fireplace. Next, clean the bricks with a solution of vinegar mixed with warm water. Immerse a stiff brush into the solution and lightly scrub your fireplace to clean the dirt and residue off of the bricks. Spritz with clear water to rinse and blot dry with a clean cloth.

Paint or Reface

Apply a fresh coat of paint to your red brick fireplace to provide a new look. Light-colored paint tends to make a fireplace stand out and look larger. Conversely, dark-colored paint can make an oversize fireplace appear smaller. After cleaning the bricks, apply a paint primer formulated especially for brick. Allow the primer to dry before rolling on an interior latex paint over the fireplace bricks. Apply a second coat of paint after the first coat is dry. Use a high-temperature firebox paint to make the firebox look clean and new. You can also reface your red brick fireplace with faux rock panels that mimic natural stone. They are easy to install over existing bricks to give your fireplace the look of natural stone without the hefty price tag that comes with real stone.

Add a Mantel

Attach a mantel shelf or surround to your red brick fireplace to add a decorative update. Position a mantel shelf a few feet above your fireplace’s firebox and affix it to the brick with concrete screws. A mantel surround encases the fireplace along the sides and top to inject color and visual appeal. A creamy white mantel can provide a stark contrast and modern update against red brick. A black mantel adds a touch of sophistication to a brick fireplace. Mantel shelves and surrounds are available in a variety of styles to fit almost any decor.


Liven up a red brick fireplace by hanging a colorful piece of oversized artwork above it. Illuminate your art with an eyeball can light installed in the ceiling. For a high-tech feel, attach a flat screen television above your fireplace to add a modern update that’s also functional. Try hanging a large, decorative mirror over your fireplace to reflect the activity and furnishings in the room, helping to make a small room feel more spacious. Soften the look of a red brick fireplace by setting potted greenery or flowering plants atop a mantel. Give your fireplace an instant update with assorted pottery, decorative statues, a variety of candlesticks, new candles and vases of fresh flowers.

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