Home Projects

Before and After: An Under-$100 Upgrade Transforms a Blah Fireplace

published Nov 12, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: pink-beige stone fireplace with a black stone hearth

The trickiest parts of any reno are almost always the permanent fixtures in your home—strange walls, awkward ceiling beams, and the like. But just because these things are tough to swap out doesn’t mean that they can’t be helped by some clever cosmetic upgrades.

Take this fireplace redo from Megann Gresham (@gresham_houze). While she loved having a giant fireplace, the color was another story. “A wall-length fireplace is a dream come true! Unless that fireplace is pinkish-brown stone that makes you gag,” she says. “I stared at it angrily for a few months before I just couldn’t take it anymore and ran to the store for paint samples.”

While painting stone probably isn’t the first idea that comes to mind when you have a subpar fireplace on your hands, Megann’s work proves it’s clearly an option worth considering. She used a roller to apply a dark green (Sherwin-Williams’ Rookwood Dark Green), which she admits wouldn’t be the route she’d take if she did it again. “I opted to paint the stone with a roller and brush rather than use a paint sprayer—a decision I would come to regret when I could barely bend my hand anymore,” Megann says. “Always go with the sprayer.”

The green color brightened up the once-dull fireplace, and helped bring out the warm wood tones of the mantel, too.

Once the paint job was complete, Megann freshened up the decor. She swapped out old farmhouse-style decor for a round mirror and a few plants, which modernizes the look of the fireplace. But in the end, it was really the paint that made the drastic transformation possible.

“I love the way that simply changing the color completely transformed the space! It adds a pop of color to an otherwise neutral space, and makes the room a little whimsical and eclectic,” says Megann. “The only thing I would have done differently with this project is I would have bought the dang paint sprayer.” Wise words!

Inspired? Submit your own project here.