Fireplace Facelift

This is how I’ve been spending many a weekend night since moving into our house. Ok, some weeknights too.  Having a wood burning fireplace has been lovely, but while I love the mantle- I have been hating the red brick surround.

In an ideal world I would replace the brick and tile hearth with either marble tile or honed black granite slabs. However there is one little problem….

This is what my kitchen renovation is doing to my wallet.

So yesterday while taking a break from work I decided to get my DIY on to see if I couldn’t help improve this ugly set up.  Here is the fireplace before (please ignore TV cords- we are in the process of remounting it.)

I’m also on the fence about the brass doors- I think we will remove it and have a screen instead but for now it’s staying put.  So after some research and asking the nice fella at Lowe’s what to use to paint the fireplace I was pointed to this:

And after a little work it now looks SO MUCH BETTER.  Not with that rug, but with all the stuff I have on order for the room it’ll be perfect.  I also couldn’t help but pick up these chevron urns from the new Nate Berkus for Target line! Love them! I got the large but there are smaller ones too for a console or side table!

Continuing on my brass and black badnwagon I also added this vintage pineapple knocker to the front door I found on Etsy. A sign of welcome for the holidays!


  1. Love the black- my fireplace looks very similar- although we do not have the goregous mantle- instead a crazy slapped together mess of molding that I have no clue how to easilly remedy:( LOVE The Nate Berkus line at Target- I saw it the other day, there are SO MANY goregous pieces!!
    Oh- and the front door looks great– you should post the final shot so we can see how it turned out!!

  2. Beautiful upgrade! Believe it or not, Home Depot carries some really nice fireplace screens, if you decide to change yours. I purchased a very simple tri-fold, black, iron one that looks really nice against the black marble of my fireplace surround.

  3. What a difference- even the brass doors look good now!

    We had the exact same fireplace in our house- painted the surround white and left the doors on to help against heat loss. Was glad I did the summer a bird flew down the chimney.

  4. Love the black. We have the same brass doors and I spray painted it black using a high heat spray paint.

    I just did a door knocker post. Love the pineapple!

  5. My daughter has that same fireplace…she too “painted it out” with black…doesn’t it just look SO MUCH BETTER. Your urns are “eye candy.” franki

  6. Being in the northeast, you will want those doors in the winter. I had the same doors for twenty years in bright brass. Last year, I sprayed them with matte black high heat paint. They came out great.

  7. The fireplace looks great! Wow! If you decide to go with a screen, I noticed some nice ones in the Crate and Barrel catalog recently. I also love the pineapple! Well done.

  8. Erin, I have been following your blog for years. I enjoy reading your heartfelt blogs just as much as the design and fashion entries. I have a colonial home that looks similar to your home that we have lived in for 2 years. We are still in the midst of renovating. I felt pressure to renovate shortly upon moving in like yourself. This was the perfectionist in me for sure! There are changes we made that I regret, expensive design decisions I hate now, because I didn’t give myself a chance to get settled into the feel of the home ( if that makes any sense) I still have lots to do and have been cyber stalking your Reno entries to see what you will come up with next. I have the same fireplace and nowI feel inspired to paint. : )

    Please continue to update us……..even my husband is sick of me saying “Erin did this and Erin did that”. Haha.

  9. That’s for the post! I have a very similar fireplace, and the tile surround is an ugly shiny brown/red color. I had wanted to paint it black, but I didn’t know what paint to use.

    Your fireplace looks great now!!!

  10. Tri-fold fireplace screens are not baby-proof-too tippy. If you plan to have kids that screen will sit in the attic for years. The flush-mount screen you have is better.

  11. I love the transformation! It looks like a whole new piece. Congrats on the successful DIY project…and I love the addition of the pineapple knocker on the door.

  12. Wow…thought that was a photo of my house– I have the same exact fireplace in our main living room (I don’t live far from you, so it does not surprise me at all). Same exact wood mantle, red brick, same exact tiles on the hearth, and even the brass doors are an exact match. I may have to copy you on this DIY.. :)

  13. The black and brass looks awesome! I would have never thought to paint tiles. As for the screen- if you are ever thinking to plan ahead and have a little one, the existing one is much more child friendly. In our first home our fireplace had no screen so we bought a nice one from home depot to set in front but it drove us crazy and so nervewracking constantly worrying the crawling baby would knock it over. Plus the existing one is nice and streamlined, doesnt take up any extra space, and is free!

  14. Wow! What a difference. Great job. It looks great! I love renovating and the most satisfying jobs are the DIY – instant gratification, low-cost and self confirmation that you are a rock star!

  15. Keep the doors – you’ll need them when you have kids. The last thing you want to panic about is a baby tipping over a fireplace screen!

  16. Living vicariously through you as we renovate my husband’s great-aunt’s old house. Exact same fireplace. Exact same money pit! Was just struggling with these decisions this week and think I will just make do with some paint. Thanks so much for your insight!

  17. I was in the same predicament (and oddly enough my fireplace looks EXACTLY the same just with no doors). I also painted mine the deepest darkest gray and it looks amazing just like yours! Congrats!

  18. For YEARS I have wondered what to do about my fireplace surround which is like yours. I went out, bought paint, came home, prepped and just applied the first coat. I am so pleased. Thanks for the great solution!

  19. Love the fireplace! We did the same thing to ours. HUGE difference. The urns are fab as well. I had one in my shopping cart the other day and put it back. Big mistake. Need to go back for it now! (I did, however, get Nate’s decorative ivory tortoise for the wall in my hallway. Loving it!)

  20. It looks SOOOO much better, nicely done! I kind of love the brass doors, and there is something to be said for being able to close out the draft when not using the fireplace, but there are so many gorgeous screens out there. Can’t go wrong either way!

  21. Hi Erin, One note of caution in case your readers are not aware is that painting the brick affects the porous nature of the brick. Moisture that normally comes into the brick (from the outside) can no longer exit the brick as it normally does due to the paint. The result is a slow death for the brick. We have a brick surround as well and had a chimney company out to inspect and clean the chimney of our new to us house. We asked about painting the brick and this is what he told us. Even though you see it done everywhere he cautioned strongly against it. Don’t mean to be a downer but just want to make sure people understand this before they take action. It does look so much better though ;)

  22. Yes yes yes, a cute and functional fireplace is a necessity! Dream day = have it raining outside, and I’ll just be curled up in a ball with an Hermes blanket and a book and some hot cocoa…

  23. I had been waiting to see what color you chose for your front door after the yellow did not work out .. Is this blue?

  24. Love the change. amazing what a little paint will do. Did you know you can also paint the interior to eliminate the big black box look? I discovered this during my fireplace remodel that you can check out on my blog. It makes a huge difference. I enjoy watching your place come together

  25. Love the transformation! I have the same brick-colored tile in front of two fireplaces in my house… And I hate it! Black would be too severe for the decor in both rooms, do you have another suggestion for color? Thank you for the inspiration!

  26. I’m glad I’m not alone in the “empty wallet” category. I spent close to $100 yesterday on supplies for a project I’m doing. It’s so easy to spend, so I feel ya girlfran. And I love your simple fireplace transformation, it looks like a totally different fireplace! I hope you have it lit now to warm you up from the snow you’re getting! I bet Oliver is loving the fluffy white stuff :)

  27. Erin, it looks great! I love the change. We literally have the same fireplace and mantel in our CT home. Question, we want to mount our TV over the mantel and I see that you have done the same. How are you dealing with your cable box and DVD player? Was it a difficult work with the home’s plaster walls?

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