Simple Ways To Update A Fireplace


Don’t you just love a simple, inexpensive DIY makeover? After changing up our last fireplace and updating it, we decided to go for round two. With just some wood, paint and a stencil. We are so thrilled with how this turned out and it was super quick and easy. (I promise!)


Before I go through the step by step, how about a little before?



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That silver you see around the doors is there to seal off that side of the fireplace, otherwise when a fire is going instead of smoke blowing up the chimney it blows out the other side into our bedroom (problems with a two-sided fireplace.) So to make that look better, I painted it black with some high heat paint.

The stone on the fireplace is a little yellow and there is so much of it. I really wanted the look of shiplap at the top but we didn’t want to damage the stone. So we decided to build a box around the stone and attach it so that it could be removed if we ever wanted to go back to stone.

To create the box we used a sheet of 1/4″ plywood and 1×1 boards. We had a sheet ripped into 6″ strips for the shiplap.



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First, he measured the upper part of the fireplace to determine the size panel for the front of the box .


Then, he cut the board to size and attached the long boards to create a wrap around box.

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Here is what the box to wrap around the top looks like finished.


We didn’t account for the blocks keeping the piece from sitting flush against the wall, however that ended up being fine, because it left a gap for the nails that hold the shiplap on and the shiplap piece will hide any gaps left.


Heres how the box looks before the shiplap is applied.




Then, it was time to add the shiplap. We took the first piece all the way to the ceiling because we didn’t want the trim to show.


You can see here how everything looks clean with no gaps once the shiplap boards are attached.

Then, to build the mantel, we attached a 2″ x 10″ facing board to the front of the mantel. We used a knotty pine to give it a more rough-hewn look when completed and stained.




This is how it looks from the side before the side pieces are attached to the front board.


Here’s how it looks from underneath. We then fit a board under to create a full box all the way around.


This is what it looks like all complete. Next, I filled all the nail holes with putty. Then I stained it Dark Walnut by Minwax.




The shiplap was painted with Sherwin Williams Peppercorn in satin finish


I used the limewash treatment to lighten up the stone a little and take some of the yellow out. You can visit this post for details on how I did this here Fabulous Fireplace Makeover

The final step was to stencil the brown tile. First I used a degreaser to clean the stone then painted it with Kilz primer to prepare it.



IMG_6570.jpg I painted it with the Peppercorn paint that we used on the opposite feature wall behind our bed. I wanted to balance out the look with a dark color at the bottom to keep it from being too top-heavy.


Next, I taped on the stencil and used a chalk paint to roll the white to create the design.


This is the paint that I used. It doesn’t take much. I have used this for my bathroom floors and love how easy it is to work with. You can go here to read more about show to stencil on floors MASTER BATHROOM UPDATE REVEAL


I like to use a sponge roller to apply the paint. Be sure to used a gentle pressure and press right on top of the stencil not to the side so you don’t move it as you are rolling. I suggest loading the paint onto the roller then unload it onto a piece of cardboard. If you have too much paint on the roller, it could bleed underneath the stencil and ruin your design.




Here is how the stencil turned out. I’m so happy with the bold character it adds to the whole look.


As a final step, we added sconces and used battery operated, remote lights inside, no wiring required!


Here’s one more reminder of the before…



This project was under $100 and took just one day (not including the stencil ) to build. We are so happy with the results and the finishing touch it adds to our newly updated bedroom. You can visit this post to see what we did in the other space of the bedroom Easy, Inexpensive Updates For A Bedroom

I hope you ere able to get some inspiration from this tutorial. It really doesn’t need to take a lot of money to make changes with a big impact to update your home. I’d love to know what you think and feel free to comment and ask questions, I love to hear from my readers! Thanks so much for following along and I hope you’ll come back again. Be sure to subscribe to my blog for updates on new posts.


Happy Decorating  !

March 19, 2019

  1. Barb says:

    Did you say what type of wood you used for big chunky mantel? What type and color of stain?

    • says:

      Hi Barb,

      We used knotty pine boards for the mantle. The stain is minwax in Dark Walnut.
      ~ thanks for following xoxo

  2. Susan says:

    Looks great! Where did you find the battery operated sconces?

    • says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you. So the lights are just hung like you would hang it if wired. Then inside I placed the battery operated candles(purchased separately) on the spot where the light bulbs would go. I purchased mine from Amazon. My new blog (launching July 8) will have links to all the products I used in the post to better help you find the sources to items. Hope that will help Thanks for following !!
      ~Deborah xoxo

  3. Portella says:

    The result is amazing! How long did it take?

    • says:

      Hi Portella,

      Thank you so much. It was really only a 2 day project. Very simple and not too time consuming.


  4. Chelsa says:

    Looks beautiful! Nice work. Is the stencil one large one?

    Thanks in advance!

    • says:

      Hi Chelsa,

      Thank you. It was a stencil the size of one tile. You can get them in any size you need.


  5. ASH Green says:

    Thank you so much for such an informative piece of information 🙂
    If anyone interested similar one’s have a look here


  6. Seth Parent says:

    Wow, what a fantastic transformation of the fireplace! The before and after photos are striking, and it’s impressive how a few simple changes can make such a huge difference. The decision to paint the silver sealant black was a great idea, and building a box around the stone to create the shiplap look was brilliant. It’s wonderful that these changes were made with just some wood, paint, and a stencil, making it an affordable DIY project.

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