32 Ways to Refresh a Brick Fireplace

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    Beautiful Brick Fireplaces

    A brick fireplace is one of those cozy home features many folks covet. But if the one in your abode doesn't reflect your taste and décor, it can feel more like an eyesore than a desirable architectural feature. 

    Luckily, with a little creative thinking, a fire surround can become a dazzling focal point — not to mention grammable. Whether you're looking to unlock your existing brickwork's stylish potential or are contemplating a brick fireplace renovation, the following examples will get you inspired.

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    Embrace Exposed Brick

    In this one bedroom apartment decorated by Facet 14 an exposed brick fireplace and wall combo bring on the cozy.  

    Furniture and decorative accessories in vibrant colors look stunning next to unpainted brick. Here, two blue velvet chairs and pink wall art enliven the space.

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    Give it a German Smear

    If you love the look of distressed, old brick typically found in centuries-old European homes, consider giving your fireplace the German smear treatment. It's a faux antiquing technique that uses wet mortar to give brickwork a big dose of old world charm. A favorite example is this makeover by Nelly Friedel.

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    Blue Brick Fireplace

    Fake the look of Staffordshire blue brick with this ingenious idea by Jennifer at The Suburb Experiment.

    First, the Alaskan blogger painted her red brick fireplace a deep shade of matte blue. When the first coat of paint dried, she applied a color wash and then quickly wiped it off with a clean, dry towel. To make the wash mixture, mix one part blue paint and one part white paint with four parts of water.

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    Refresh With a New Mantel

    You don't have to paint your existing brickwork to brighten things up. In this traditional living room by Andrew Flesher Interiors a white, full surround mantel updates an old brick fireplace.

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    Paint it Black


    Black paint transformed the nonworking fireplace in this century-old Victorian home remodeled by Lynn Kleonidas into a showstopping feature. To make the most of the living room's dramatic high ceilings the mantel is topped off with a ginormous, gold framed mirror.

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    Perfect Color Combination

    Some combinations are perfection, like peanut and jelly or in this for instance, blue and white paint. 

    In this New York City residence decorated by Alison Jennison Interiors, a painted fireplace pops against navy blue walls. A framed print and a snake plant sprinkle on additional colors.

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    Add Eye-Catching Tile

    Add a little pizazz to a white, painted fireplace with a colorful back panel. This lovely example spotted on Studio McGee features a chic herringbone pattern in yellow tile.

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    Enhance Vintage Details

    When updating this 1920s bungalow, Sean and Sara Martin from Open Door Architecture painted the brick fireplace and mantel wall a greenish shade of gray. The wood trim and beige walls add depth and contrast to the room.

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    Lime Wash Finish

    Refresh your sooty brickwork with limestone. After scrubbing this ​fireplace clean with a brush and white vinegar, Lauren at Blesser House applied a lime wash made from natural limestone. The result is a pristine fireplace with a chic, chalky finish.  

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    Black and Blue Color Scheme

    The moody living room in this modern farmhouse by Andrew Flesher Interiors pairs navy blue walls with a black brick fireplace. The oak mantel and colorful furniture add a little room brightening contrast.

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    Fake an Antique Brick Finish

    Get the look of antique brickwork with this painting trick by Jennifer Allwood at The Magic Brush. To do, she and her team carefully applied gray paint immediately followed by an ebony stain sealer to each brick. To bring a graphic element to this project they didn't paint the mortar.

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    Revive a Vintage Living Room

    Updating a living room that's seemingly frozen in the 1970s is possible with these easy tips from Cindy at Edith and Evelyn Vintage. After scraping off the popcorn ceilings and ripping out the baby blue carpet in this space, she refreshed the red brick fireplace with light gray paint. Afterward, she updated the blocky mantel with crown molding.

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    Dramatic Colors

    If your living room gets lots of natural light, consider painting your fireplace a dramatic dark color. Case in point, this sun-drenched space by Tanya at Dan's Lake House. She made the large, bright room feel cozier by pairing the gray wall with a mix of colorful décor. 

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    Whitewash Brick Fireplace

    Think of your fireplace as a neutral backdrop. Interior designer Timothy Godbold uses a whitewashed fireplace as a stage for two photographic prints. The artwork reflects the blue and black colors used throughout the room.

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    Exposed Brick Fireplace and Flue

    When renovating this home designed by American architect William Wurster in 1939, Butler Armsden Architects exposed the brick on the fireplace to show off the fingerprints left by the original mason. A black metal flue gives the update an industrial edge.

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    Midcentury Modern Refresh

    Give a traditional fireplace a fresh twist with dark paint. In this midcentury modern home updated by Donna Dufresne Design, charcoal gray walls paired with a simple, rustic mantel gives the living room a chic yet casual vibe.

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    White Painted Brick Fireplace

    Tone down a large brick fireplace with a neutral color. This project by Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed took two coats of primer and two coats of paint. Decorative accessories including a ukulele bring on the whimsy.

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    Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

    The exposed brick fireplace in this home remodeled by Open Meadow Renovations only adds to this farmhouse kitchen's charm. The brick veneer over the oven contributes to the room's rustic appeal.

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    Pastel Room Decor

    Fresh pastel colors coordinate beautifully with exposed brick fireplaces. This real-world example by Julia Ryan, the blogger behind Pawley's Island Posh, features creamy décor and baby blue walls combined with a styled fireplace.

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    Brightening a Midcentury Ranch House

    This midcentury house updated top to bottom by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design features a soothing, neutral color palette. Painting the brick fireplace white seals the deal on the living room's calming tone. 

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    Scandinavian Inspired Living Room

    The goal of this project by ​Simply Home Decorating was to transform a dreary living room into a fantastic space filled with light. Cherry picked furniture in soft pastel colors, organic wood accents, and a brick fireplace painted white are some of the ingredients that make the room so appealing.

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    Shabby Chic Decor

    Slipcovered sofas, frilly throw pillows, and vintage furniture are the hallmarks of shabby, chic style. This cozy home by The Decorologist exemplifies the design aesthetic with a homey, painted fireplace.

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    Show Off Old Brick

    In this Brooklyn townhouse remodeled by Alison Jennison Interiors, an old firebox is a unique focal point. The dark bricks in varying shapes contrast dramatically against the stone mantel and the more orderly brick feature wall.

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    Turn Logs into a Focal Point

    Stacked logs for a wood-burning fireplace become an attractive focal in this home remodeled by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design. The painted brickwork echoes the white walls and pale furnishing that surround it. 

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    Create a Cozy Family Room

    Colorful accents are what makes this small family room by Kevin Twitty Interiors feel extra cozy. Decorative pieces in both warm and cool tones jump out against the green painted fireplace.

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    Spruce Up Brick Veneer

    Whether your decorating style leans toward maximalism or minimalism, a white painted fireplace can add alluring texture to a room. It's also a fantastic way to make cheap bricks or brick veneer look expensive — An illustrative case is this newly constructed fireplace by Erin and Kirsten at House of Jade Interiors.

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    Art Deco Refresh

    Here a 1927 home was given new life with fresh wall colors and modern finishes thanks to Lisa Britt Designs.

    The fireplace features gorgeous art deco grillwork. Painting the brick around it a soft shade of gray allowed the unique feature to pop. Adding to the fireplace's charm is the lovely mantel with dentil detail. The latter refers to the small repeating block pattern along the bottom.

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    Blending in a Fireplace

    In most homes, the fireplace is a central element, so all the furniture and decorative accessories in the same room usually revolve around it, and that can be tough when you're working with a bold, brick fireplace that's not exactly your style.

    In this living room by Libra Studios white paint made a large fireplace blend in with the rest of the décor. For dramatic contrast, the nonworking iron stove in front of it was left unpainted.

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    Stunning Accent Wall

    Turning a brick fireplace into a stunning accent wall for displaying art is a cinch with paint. The designers at Stuart Sampley Art Architect chose a shade of bluish gray that works with the room's soothing, boho vibe.

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    Traditional Decor With a Boho Twist

    Create an earthy aura by combining a wood mantel with a brick fireplace painted white. In this New York City, living room by Alison Jennison Interiors, a leather lounge chair, and copper end table adds to the room's visual warmth.


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    Gray Wash Brick

    Jennifer at The Crux used to refer to the red brick fireplace in her basement as the "wall-to-wall monstrosity." The problem? She felt that its color smothered the room with darkness. So she painted it light gray.

    To achieve a natural variation in color from brick to brick she did two things. First, she used two different shades of gray paint. Some brinks were treated with the light shade, and others with the darker color. Before applying, she turned the paint into a color wash by mixing two parts paint with one part water. Doing so allowed the paint to soak into the brick, which helped her achieve a natural brick look.

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    Decorative Paint Techniques

    Exposing the masonry in this colorful bungalow remodeled by Werk Building Modern gave the home an open, loft feeling. Below the mantel, the brickwork was given a solid coat of white paint. For some visual interest, the painted brick above the fireplace received a distressed finish.