Nothing ruins your plans for a modern living room faster than a bulky brick fireplace. Since such fireplaces and accompanying chimneys are often a part of the supporting walls in the house, you rarely have the option to remove the brick. However, with a little creativity and elbow grease, you'll forget all about the massive tower of brick that once dominated your decor
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The simplest way to give your brick fireplace a new look is to paint it. Companies like Brick Anew make specialised brick paints that allow you to preserve the texture and feel of your brick while still giving it a facelift. If you're planning a dramatic colour change, you'll need to apply a primer or basecoat before you begin to paint. Once you've added the paint colour, finish with a glaze or clear coat.
You may also cover your ugly brick fireplace with manufactured stone that matches other colours of the room. Begin by measuring the area you wish to cover and laying stones out on the floor according to how you want to place them on the fireplace. Remove the mantle if necessary and apply mortar to the brick, as well as the back of each stone as you go. Once you have assembled the stones, use additional mortar to caulk the gaps between them.
The process of applying tile to a brick fireplace is similar to that of building a stone fireplace. Stone tiles are especially attractive when the walls are painted to specifically bring out the detailed colours in the tiles. Keep in mind that neither stone nor tile resurfacing takes well when applied directly to painted brick. If you're working with brick that has already been painted, put up backerboard before you start.
Sheetrock and Paneling
To reduce the overall size of your fireplace, put up sheetrock or panelling to cover the brick. For modern looks, cover the brick entirely, leaving only the fireplace itself. Alternately, cover the upper portion of the bricks with sheetrock and lay decorative stones or tiles around the fireplace opening.
Regardless of what style you choose for your fireplace, a new mantel can always help enhance your remodelled look. Even if you're not up for laying stones or putting up sheetrock, a new fireplace mantel may be all the help your brick fireplace needs.
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