Fireplaces appeal to homeowners for several reasons: they cut heating costs, create a cozy setting, and serve as a family room’s focal point. Unfortunately, over time, you may find that, like most things in a home, your fireplace needs an update. Perhaps the stone fireplace you once loved has become a mismatched eye sore in your upgraded home, or maybe you have a chimney repair to take care of and want to go forward with a complete remodel. Regardless of the reason, there are several ways to change the drab look of an outdated stone fireplace.
Apply a Coat of Paint
If you want to change your fireplace’s look without breaking the bank, consider painting it. Generally, neutral colors such as white, gray, or tan work well, as they match any room’s design. For a less drastic option, you can paint the mortar between the stones, either lightening up the look or creating a darker hue, depending on your liking. Keep in mind that a lighter color will make the room appear larger.
Preparation is essential when painting stone. Start by cleaning the stone with a rough scrub brush and an all-purpose cleaner. Let the stone dry completely and examine it for substantial cracks or chips that need to be repaired. Paint can hide hairline cracks, but anything more significant will require paintable acrylic latex caulk to mend the damage.
To ensure the best outcome, you should start with a latex-based primer before applying the paint, as it creates a better surface for the paint. It’s recommended that you then use latex acrylic paint because it provides good coverage for rough surfaces, including stone or brick. You can use the paint as-is for a more dramatic effect or water it down to allow some of the original stone color to come through. Either option will give the fireplace a new aesthetic appeal.
Add a Mantel
A fireplace without a mantel leaves something to be desired. A mantel is a great place to show off pictures, add holiday decorations, or set up a TV. If your fireplace doesn’t have a mantel or the existing one is damaged or outdated, you can easily add a modern version. Many people opt for a wood shelf, as it stands out well against the stone background.
While you can install a mantel yourself, this project is more complex than painting, as it involves taking accurate measurements and drilling into the stone or mortar. You will at least need an extra set of hands to help you lift the mantle into place when securing it into or around the stone.
Remodel the Stone
If you enjoy having a stone fireplace but don’t particularly like the look of the one you have, you can always change the stone, giving the fireplace a brand-new look! The most popular options are granite, marble, limestone, and slate. While every fireplace is unique due to its size and intricacy, stone installation is generally an expensive option.
Fortunately, you can get the same attractive look of authentic stone by using faux options while decreasing the overall cost. In addition to being a more affordable choice, faux stone is much lighter, which means it won’t put as much pressure on the structure of your home. While it’s less durable than authentic stone, it’s easier to clean and much simpler to install, so you may be able to do it yourself instead of hiring a professional crew. Best of all, you can find nearly any stone design type to match your home.
Make sure you choose faux stone panels that can withstand heat since you’ll be installing them as part of your fireplace. Look for Class A fire-rated panels so you can breathe easier knowing your home will remain safe, even in the hottest of fires.
Expand On Your Fireplace
If you like the rustic stone look, you may simply desire more stone to give your fireplace a new appearance. By expanding the stone upward to the ceiling, you can give the room a cozy, cabin-like feel. Additionally, you can widen the stone surround or add stone to the wall around the fireplace.
If you choose to expand your fireplace by installing natural stone that matches, it’s crucial to ensure your home can handle this extra load. A mason can determine if your house needs additional support structures to counteract the stones’ weight.
Updating your home should be a fun experience since even the slightest alterations significantly affect how your house looks. Applying some changes to your fireplace may give your home the updated appearance you’ve been yearning for!