A Fireplace Makeover Delivered by Santa Himself

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

Santa made an early delivery to my house this Christmas.

Would you believe he slid down our chimney with a big bulging sack full of all of my favorites? Tile, paint, white oak hardwood flooring & new cabinet hardware, really everything I had been asking for!

Too bad the big guy didn't stick around to put all of these goodies to use and help us remodel our way outdated fireplace!

But, like little elves in his workshop, we got busy remodeling right away. I am happy to report that it is complete and just in time for Santa to reappear with gifts for our kids.

The fireplace was a complete eyesore before its little makeover. It was builder basic with an all whiteish mantle and built-ins. Nothing really to catch your eye, until now.

The budget dictated our plans as usual. We had to work with what we had and just tweak some minor details, but all in all, I think it turned out pretty great.

The Mantle

I love those houses where the TV is hidden and not a focal point of the room. Our reality is that we use the den often to watch TV and the only place to hang it is smack dab in the center above the fireplace.

Our solution to somewhat hiding it was to paint the center portion of the wall a rich dark gray and make the TV almost disappear. And, it worked! Now you don't walk in and instantly see a massive black box on a white wall.

We carried that dark paint down the mantle too. Again, the paint worked wonders on concealing what I dislike about this ornate woodwork.

The Bookshelves

The bookshelves also received a fresh coat of white paint. When in doubt paint is your best friend to reviving a room. It is by far the most affordable option and minimal skill is required.

We also spray painted the metal railing inside of the cabinets white. They were shiny brass before and a coat of white paint allowed them to blend in.

Some new simple matte black cabinet hardware from CB2 updated the doors.

The Tile Surround

We did away with the old black granite tiles and lightened things up a bit with a simple marble surround.

Here's a pretty huge DIY hack for redoing the tile surround. You would never believe it, but you can lay tile right over the existing surround! I was a skeptic too, so I understand why you're cocking your head to the side as you read the above sentence. But, it is true!

I swear the lady at Home Depot looked at me like I had two heads when I told her our plan. She suggested we chisel off the old tile, place a layer of meshy wire then retile and grout. Who has time for all of that?

We are now a couple of weeks post project and everything has held tight. We've had no shifting whatsoever. This retiling method we went with worked just fine and I would do it exactly the same way again.

The fireplace screen was also brass (big surprise). Replacing it was not an option right now so spray paint to the rescue. This is a high temp spray paint intended for grills, but it worked perfectly on the screen and I like its matte black finish too.

The Hearth

The hearth was the most difficult portion of the project and in reality, it was not all that hard.

The tile had to be removed to make way for the new white oak hardwoods that we installed. We chiseled and chipped the black granite tiles up to ensure that the hardwoods would match the height with the already existing flooring.

This was one of those projects that delivered a big bang for our buck. Those are my favorite kind of DIYs!

With Christmas right around the corner, I can't wait for Santa to see all that we accomplished with his early delivery.

If you're staring at an outdated tired fireplace and thinking that this is beyond your DIY scope, think again!

You can do this and if you start today you might just get it done before Santa's arrival this week.

Now get going and impress him with more than cookies & carrots this year!