Give a fireplace a facelift

Make your fireplace a 'stand out' feature with paint, tile or with a new DIY fireplace surround. And if your fireplace does get put into use during the colder months of the year here are a few ideas to get make your fireplace a feature.



Over at eastcoast creative the girls transformed a fireplace overnight. The brick surround was given a quick whitewashing technique, while the brass frame fireplace was sprayed black with Rust-Oleum High Heat spray.



How to whitewash a brick wall

Whitewashing a facebrick wall is a quick and easy painting project that will instantly brighten up a dark or dull room. Use Plascon Polvin and mix 1 part paint to 3 parts water for a light whitewashing. If you want a whiter look try 1 part paint to 2 parts water. Apply to the wall with a whitewashing brush.



Put down a plastic dropcloth to catch any spills, as the paint mixture is quite runny and can make a mess. Brush the paint onto the wall and then use a clean rag to rub the paint into the brick.



More tips on whitewashing brick walls.



How to paint a brass or steel fireplace surround





If you want to change the look of a fireplace surround, whether it is brass or steel, you can use Rust-Oleum High Heat spray paint. The product is available in several colour options with matt or gloss finish and you will find the full range of Rust-Oleum products at your local Builders Warehouse.



Mask off the surrounding areas with newspaper and masking tape before you spray, and open windows and doors for ventilation.





More whitewashed fireplace ideas and inspiration...



How to build  a decorative fireplace surround



Giving an ugly fireplace a modern or traditional update is a reasonably simple DIY project that you can do at little cost and with a few supplies and tools. This plain brick fireplace was transformed using plywood and a couple of sheets of natural stone mosaic tiles that you can find at your local Builders Warehouse.





A basic plywood box frame is built around the brick fireplace. Use plywood with a pine veneer that has little or no defects if you intend to apply paint to finish off. The box frame can be assembled as a freestanding unit that fits around the fireplace or you can build the box frame around the existing fireplace. You will find tips on building a fireplace surround here.





Architectural detail is added to the basic frame with the addition of staircase balusters or turned wooden legs and some decorative moulding. Any detailing can be attached to the plywood box frame with Pattex No More Nails adhesive and a few panel pins here and there.



Use pine or MDF cornice or skirtings to build up a mantel shelf on top of the plywood box frame. Your local Builders Warehouse stocks a wide variety of designs that you can choose from. Use a compound mitre saw to cut the angled corners. If you're not sure of the angles to cut, have a couple of short pieces that can be cut for test fitting until you know the correct angle adjustment to use. Sand the frame smooth with 240-grit sandpaper and wipe clean to remove all traces of dust.





When painting plywood apply wood primer before you start painting. The wood primer blocks the surface of the plywood and prevents it absorbing moisture from the paint. For best results, paint with 2 to 3 coats of Plascon Velvaglo waterbased enamel. And you don't necessarily have to frame the entire fireplace. It you have a brick fireplace that just needs a bit of 'dressing up' think about adding a mantel shelf using pine or MDF cornice, skirtings and moulding.