Enjoy Your Fireplace
You don’t need to settle for small changes. Dream big! Modern materials can allow your fireplace to have a whole new look.
What Can be Done with an Unattractive Fireplace?
Explore this site, surface by surface to come up with a solid plan for your unit. For each different surface, you’ll see a variety of options for modification. For inspiration, you might try exploring the Gallery page of the Color Craftsmen website. “The Color Craftsmen” is the name of a company that performs fireplace makeovers for customers, most of whom are in the St. Louis, Missouri vicinity. However, on this Fireplace Renovations site, you can learn about the kind of changes you’d like to make to your fireplace, with or without help from any contracting company.
Prospective Changes to Your Fireplace Include
We offer a variety of options for fireplaces of any style and constructed of any material.
Add or Remove elements
Add an overmantel
Clean off soot
Before & Afters
What can be done with Brick?
Staining & Painting:
Fireplace Remodeling Experts
Below are examples of stone tile:
Stone Tile & Veneer:
Below are examples of Stone Veneer
What kinds of plaster exist?
Click on any image to zoom in:
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What can be done with Stone?
It should be the same color as the clean stone. Judiciously apply it over the soot to hide the soot. (You may need a few colors for the stones. Often they’re not a single color. Also, the mortar may need its own distinct color.)
After the paint dries it’s helpful to apply one or more washes to stones (paints thinned to the consistency of water.) it’s good to use wash colors that lean towards cool tones as well as others that lean towards warm tones. Plan to use a round brush to recolor mortar lines.
It’s possible to modify a stone fireplace by filling voids or adding more bulk where needed. Imagine a fireplace made of volcanic rock. All of those pinholes could be filled with a non-sanded engineered cement to create smoother stone.
What can be done with Wood?
A second option would be use a waterbased stain that is suitable for sealed surfaces. (Be sure to check with the manufacturer; most stains need to go only on raw wood.). Use the same method as above. Practice first because it’s a bit tricky working with a product that dries quickly.
Stained & Sealed Wood:
In this example, the same piece of wood with dark, translucent stain is applied only to edges:
The first step is to paint the surface a color similar to the lightest color you want to see in your wood. Use a satin sheen and let it dry overnight. Your goal is to have a surface that does not “grip” the next coat before you can manipulate it.
When that is dry, you might like to add the step of using an artist’s brush to paint in some darker grain lines. Examine photographs of wood online to see how grain looks in the species of wood that you want to replicate. It’s good to obscure the edges of these grain lines by gently dragging a comb or a nylon brush or a soft bristle brush (or all of these) across the paint before it dries.
When that’s dry, it’s good to coat the work with a layer of very translucent glaze that’s neither as light as the base coat, nor as dark as the second layer. This helps to blend the colors together. Finally, clear, protective coats should be applied to protect your work.
You might drag a stiff brush through the glaze or a piece of burlap wrapped around a piece of cardboard. The torn edge of a piece of pasteboard might even work. Alternatively, look for a plastic or rubber tool made for this purpose. A popular one is called "Roller Rocker".
Strip and Refinish:
If it’s painted, consider using a safe, water-based striping chemical to remove the bulk of the paint. After clear-coat or paint is removed, sand the surface by hand or with an electric sander until the surface has a consistent, clean color.
Stain with a color of your choice and apply clear coats.
What can be done with Tile?
For very dense or shiny tiles, it’s recommended to using a primer that is advertised as offering high adhesion. After that’s dry, apply heat resistant paint. Below is a sample. We applied a darker color on the grout in an effort to help create a more authentic appearance for the tiles.
Below, tape was used to cover grout joints. Rubbing alcohol was sprinkled on wet water-based paint to help create natural-looking color breaks on individual tiles.
Vary the color, style and direction of the veins too.
What can be done with marble?
Below are Before and After shots of a Green to Brown transformation and includes photos of preparation.
Removal & rEPLACEMENT:
What can be done with mantels?
Here, a mantel was removed, stone was added to the surface and thin shelves were attached as an alternative to a bulky mantel.
After shelves were removed, the resulting scars were addressed and colored before the beam was installed.
Add a Beam Mantel:
The beam might include supports as in this example:
Stain it dark:
Stain it light:
What can be done with Hearths?
Limewash was applied and then rubbed off in some areas. Sometimes a slightly different color of Limewash can be employed for variation.
Replacement & Removal:
What can be done with overmantels?
Decorative paint effect over a mantel:
What can be done with doors?
Finally, I recommend using two different – but related – colors of paint. Deftly spray in such a way that neither color predominates and both blend into one another. This approach helps to keep the surface from looking painted. Below is an example, including some close-up shots.
Satin black high heat paint can either be sprayed onto the surface or applied by brush. Brushing yields a thicker coat but might leave brushstrokes.