A fireplace is one of the most important parts of your home as it will provide you with comfort, warmth, and it is also a focal point.
However, as time goes by you will find it necessary to breathe some new life into your home by remodeling it or perhaps making it more efficient using a fireplace insert (explanation).
One of the most effective ways to give a room a new look and feel is by refinishing an existing fireplace with a different material around the mantle or the fireplace insert.
The main advantage of doing this is that it helps you to avoid incurring the cost of replacing the fireplace with a new one while still ensuring that the room has the new look you desire.
Stain Brick And Natural Stone
If your fireplace is made of brick or natural stone, the best way to give it new looks without spending much is by changing its color.
There are quite many stains to choose from, but concrete stains are the most suitable ones for this job.
These stains are usually applied using a paintbrush, but you should place masking tape on the joints to prevent them from getting stained.
However, this stain has one setback that is you can only stain from lighter to darker and not vice versa.
To get the best results, you should choose a stain that is a shade or two lighter than what you want the fireplace to look like on completion.
Covering Natural Stone
If your fireplace has a natural rough finish, you can use this as a base for tiles.
However, before you start laying the tiles, you should check the vertical face of your fireplace to determine which stone extends out the most.
You should then use this point as a plumb point when installing the other tiles. Your more expensive option would be to rent a jackhammer for the day or use a sledgehammer to break off the rough thick stones. This may require refinishing the wall underneath it, with new Hardi-board. Again this is more work and more expensive, but an option if you have some extra help or money.
Assuming you stick with the less expensive option, you should place egg-sized daubs of the mortar on the four corners of the fireplace and at the center.
Lay the tiles from the bottom up and be generous with the mortar so that you can compensate for the roughness and thickness of the natural-stone face.
After installing a few rows of tiles use a level to ensure that they are all plumb and well-aligned with each other.
Natural-stone or man-made tiles can be used to refinish a brick fireplace. However, you first need to coat the surface of the brick fireplace with a thin layer of thin-set mortar.
The thin-set mortar will also fill in flush existing grout joints. Once the skim coat is dry, you can place the mortar for the installation of your man-made or natural stone tiles.
If you do not prefer any of the two types of tiles, you can install faced tiles or cultured stones by following the same method.
When refinishing your existing fireplace you might need to extend beyond its current vertical limits.
The first things that you will need to do are get rid of the fire-proof material, and drywall around your existing fireplace using a utility knife and remove the nails or screws that hold it in place.
After doing this, the next step is to cut down the concrete board and screw it to the wall studs.
The last step in your extension is to apply the new finish material.
If your existing fireplace does not have a stone or brick surround, then you can refinish it by repainting.
The first thing that you should do is to clean the surface thoroughly and then decide whether you want to paint the trim only or the entire surface.
The trim in most fireplaces is removable, and so you can remove it and take it outdoors where you can spray paint it without worrying about overspray.
It is recommended you spray paint it with high heat paint.
If you chose to repaint the entire surface you should choose a good color that is suitable for the type of material that surrounds the fireplace.