Give Your Nonfunctioning Fireplace a Makeover

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Broom and dustpan
Liquid detergent
Scrub brush
Concrete sealant
Decorative trim
Concrete adhesive
Concrete Paint
Paint brushes
Paint roller
Paint tray
Old cloths

A home fireplace is a welcoming and warm spot to gather with family and friends. If you have a fireplace that is non-functioning, you can still use it as a source of decorative detailing in any room. Here are some steps to help you turn your non-functioning fireplace into a beautiful architectural piece in your home.

Step 1- Make Preparations

Put on some old cloths and protective eyewear before you begin working to protect yourself from any paint splashes. Lay down an old cloth at the base of the fireplace to prevent any paint from getting on your floor.

Step 2 - Clean Your Fireplace

Before you begin refinishing your fireplace, it’s important to have all of the interior and exterior surfaces cleaned. Use your broom and dustpan to remove the soot and residue from the inside of your firebox. If necessary, use your vacuum to suction small particles from the floor and walls. Fill your bucket with warm water. Add a few drops of liquid soap to the water. Immerse a scrub brush into the warm, soapy water and shake off any excess liquid. Use the brush to scrub off any soot from the inside of the firebox. Allow enough time for the brick and cement to dry thoroughly.

Step 3 - Repair Any Cracks

Check the inside of your fireplace for any cracks in the cement or brick. Use a cement sealant to repair any cracks you find. Read the instructions on the sealant. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer.

Step 4 - Add Decorative Trim

You can change the look of your old fireplace by adding decorative trim. If you don’t have a mantle, consider adding one. Visit your local hardware store and speak with a professional about your plans to update your fireplace. Be sure to bring the dimensions of your fireplace with you. You can attach the trim with concrete or wood glue.

Step 5 - Add Fresh Paint

Choose a color that works well in your room. If you are unsure of the best choice, speak with a color specialist at your local hardware store. Apply a base coat of concrete paint and allow it to dry completely. Be sure to cover both the exterior and the interior parts of your fireplace. You might want the wood grain on the mantle to show. If so, apply a urethane to the mantle instead of paint. Paint your color of choice over the base layer. Leave the paint to dry for about 24 hours. If necessary apply a second coat of paint.

Step 6 - Insert Candles

As a non-functioning fireplace you may be unable to burn wood logs within it. However, you can add beautiful light to your space by inserting large candles into your firebox. Place the candles on a metal tray on the floor of the firebox. Use several candles of varying widths and heights to add more interest. Be sure to place them inside the firebox far enough to prevent any possibility of starting an accidental fire when they are lit.

Step 7 - Enhance Your Mantle

Display some decorative items on your mantle. A vase, some photos and other ornate forms can create a more attractive composition. Hang a piece of art or a framed mirror over the mantle. You might want to consider displaying your flat screen television on the mantle if it can be viewed properly from that location.