1970s Brick Fireplace Makeover

The giant brick fireplace in our new-to-us 1970s colonial definitely takes center stage in our family room. It’s 11ft tall by 10ft wide!  But, it felt extremely dark and dated when we first saw this space with our realtor.  Our last house had a gas fireplace which was a nice convenience, but not the same feel as a wood-burning fireplace. We were looking forward to having such a show-stopper in the family room…once we made a few updates.


I decided we really needed to paint all that brick! Our tireless painting crew primed and painted it in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, the same color used for all of the trim and doors in the house.

The original mantel beam was drooping and needed some attention too. In the end, it was a safer plan to have our contractor install a new beam.  We stained it with Minwax, Dark Walnut.

No big surprise, my husband saw this fireplace and immediately envisioned a giant flat screen tv above the mantel.  We brainstormed putting the tv on one of the other walls in the room, but, the layout seemed odd if we wanted to have the seating facing the fireplace. So, we moved ahead with the plan to have the tv on the brick. The previous owners didn’t have a tv there which meant that power and cable were not in place. The cable and electrical cords were brought through the ceiling at the top of the brick which can be accessed via a crawl space in my daughter’s bedroom. We covered the cords and painted them the same color as the brick. Still visible, but not a complete eye sore.

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After an inspection and fireplace cleaning, we built our first fire! Down the road, we may add a wood burning or pellet insert. Still undecided on that front! Would you have left the original brick or painted it??



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