Makeover Ideas for Brown-Painted Fireplace?

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Q: Hello, Apartment Therapy! I bought a house almost two years ago, and since then, I've made many "edits" to modernize it and match it with my style. The one project I've been putting off is my fireplace. The previous owner painted 95% of the fireplace dark brown — to me, about the least appealing paint color you could ever choose for a fireplace. Or anything, really. The ceiling fan is also kind of tragic, but one thing at a time:

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I live in Phoenix, Arizona, so the fireplace is largely decorative. I know it works, but I've never used it. The fireplace is in the very back corner of the house, and surrounded by large floor to ceiling windows on the right, so I can't make structural changes. I thought about getting a professional to sandblast the brown paint off, but I don't want to ruin the beautiful concrete floors, or have to re-do a bunch of drywall. I also have no guarantee that what's under the paint is any better looking than the paint itself.

I am open to anything, and I am very crafty/good at home repairs, so a potential DIY would be great. For reference, my home style is fairly modern and light, a little MCM, and I love bringing my desert environment indoors. So, Apartment Therapy... what should I do?

Sent by Marissa

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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