What would you do with this ugly fireplace?

9 Replies

I'm looking at houses to flip and I came across one with an outdated fireplace.  What would you do with the stone here?  Paint it white?  Rip it out and replace the drywall?

I'm wondering from a cost/benefit standpoint, would it be better to just leave it in there rather than incurring the expense of ripping out drywall, rebuilding a basic but nice brick fireplace, then hanging new drywall, taping, texturing and repainting?  

For some context, this is in a suburban neighborhood with prices in the $180 - $230k range and I would plan on repainting the walls regardless of what I did with the fireplace.

I had a brick fireplace that needed an update. I had a mason put stacked stone on (also did the same on the entry to the house). Topped it with a nice mantle and it looked really nice. With that said the cost was in the 2500-3000 range, so that might not be in your budget.

Hi Kyle,

My first inclination would be to furr out over the existing stone and build a new front that extends all the way to the ceiling, using a more attractive stone material (not brick). Then you'd have a real architectural asset and selling feature.

However, you could try whitewashing the stone first. It may look ok, and would be almost free. Google it, there's lotsa how-to articles. One says use a latex primer 50%, with 50% water, allowing some of the color variation to show through.

Here's a couple of examples:



I would replace it with fireplace tile in a herringbone pattern and a new mantle.

The proportions are wrong. For the mantle a full mantel or no mantel are best. Will it be wood or gas? If it would be enclosed gas you have more options. If it wood and the budget is low you could use a rough hewn beam across the top as a mantle. The extra area to the left should have fireplace tools or something. If you cant resuface whitewashing or lightening could be good.

First, the proportions are wrong. The width from the fireplace box extending to either side should be the same. If the rocks are easily removable, that would be my first step (especially remove the rocks on the left side that go just beyond the mantle to the wall). If not, I think the least expensive alternative would be to build out around it, stone or brick whatever you build, and add a mantel across the entire length. Although painting it would be the least expensive, the rocks are the rocks and painting them would make them look like painted rocks.

@Kyle Steiner I personally would not do demo on it, not would I paint it.  I would go to HD or Lowes get some concrete and smooth the surface.  I would then tile over the concrete and put a nice mantle across the top.  There is nothing wrong with an offset look if it is done right.

#homedesign #livingroomdecor #inspiration | Residential Interior Decoration of a Bush surrounded Beach house by Camilla Molders Design Architecture by Millar Roberston Architects Photography by Derek Swalwell

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! There are lots of good ideas in this thread.

I think the fireplace, if you can get the stone clean, needs a full length beefier rustic mantel and get rid of the doors...unless you are renting out the place. Is that a plug in the stone? Mount a tv over it?
I have overlayed a brick fireplace with slate tile with nice results. I guess you could fur it out and sheath it then tile. And I have also removed a fireplace and put in a window.

@Kyle Steiner , for a cheap option, I would clean the stone and then use a pickling/whitewash on the stone. It will brighten it up and give it a more updated feeling. Use some brushed nickel paint on the brass doors and voila. 

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