4 Value-Adding Fireplace Makeover Facelifts

Reveal photos from several fireplace makeovers
Image: Emily Jones of Jones Design Company

A DIY fireplace façade worth cozying up to can cost as little as $150, but the payback can be so much more.

Fireplaces are one of the home features people really covet, so much so that buyers will pay up to $1,400 more for one, according to the “2013 Home Features Survey” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

But appearance matters. In another survey from the National Association of Home Builders, more buyers cited looks (46%) than quality (31%) as an important fireplace trait. It’s the focal point of a room, if not the home, after all. Don’t you want to gaze on it lovingly?

These four bloggers show how creative re-facing can turn a ho-hum or outdated fireplace into a room’s crowning jewel, and something you’ll love for years.

1. Scrap-Happy Fireplace

Blogger Shannon of Shannon Berrey Design added rustic charm to a faux stone fireplace by re-facing the façade with salvaged wood. The material was sourced from a local company that sells vintage board and beams, and it didn’t cost her a nickel.

Before the scrap wood fireplace makeover

Before she started, she had to dry out and prep the wood. You can get the play by play on her site.

Afterward, Shannon added a new, level mantel and a built-in TV wall that concealed all the TV cords.

Reveal of the scrap wood fireplace makeover

Approximate project costs:

  • Reclaimed wood for façade: $0
  • Materials for built in TV wall and mantel: $100

Blogger tip: Shannon used a level after she attached each row of reclaimed wood, so she wouldn’t end up with a crooked façade. To keep things straight, she added shims when needed.

2. Contemporary Gone Rustic

We could have lived happily ever after with Emily’s fireplace before she made it over. But that just proves we’re not half as creative as the blogger behind Jones Design Company.

Before the rustic makeover
Image: Emily Jones of Jones Design Company

She and the hubby brainstormed for months about how they could make their fireplace stand out — or blend in. We’re glad they didn’t have an idea for the latter. 

After installing a chunky mantel without fussy architectural detailing, they used cultured stone to reface the front of the fireplace. But the piece de resistance is the wall of cedar shingles above the mantel.

The new rustic fireplace
Image: Emily Jones of Jones Design Company

To see how they did it, check out the tutorial on Emily’s site.

Approximate project costs:

  • Materials for mantel: $80
  • Shingles and wood shims for the wall feature: $250
  • Stone, wire mesh, and mortar for the re-faced fireplace: $550

Blogger tip: Before beginning the project, Emily took a picture of her fireplace and then used an image-editing program to explore different resurfacing options.

3. Rustic Gone Contemporary

We’re suckers for good fakes like synthetic slate roofing, but Ashley, the blogger behind Make It & Love it, had a faux stone fireplace that felt dark, dank, and dated.

Before the fireplace makeover

To give it lasting appeal, she dispatched the stone in favor of a classic, universally-appealing white color scheme and Craftsman mantel.

After Craftsman fireplace makeover

You can see how her brother and husband put the mantel and hearth together.

Approximate project costs:

  • $500-$600 (compared with thousands for a pro woodworker)

Blogger tip: Lay down cement board to provide an even, stable surface to tile on.

4. A Dated Fireplace Goes Modern

It took Shannon of the blog Fox Hollow Cottage years to transform her fireplace.

Before the modern fireplace makeover
Image: Shannon Fox of FoxHollowCottage.com

When she moved into her current home, she painted the mantel white and the area above it beige. Later, she painted the brick white. Eventually she retiled the hearth, created a wider mantel, and gave the wall a bold burst of color.

Reveal image of the modern fireplace makeover
Image: Shannon Fox of FoxHollowCottage.com

Check out how her fireplace progressed over the years.

Approximate project costs:

  • Paint, wood, and tile: $150

Blogger tip: It’s OK to let the DIY process slowly unfold. If you’re not sure about your project’s next steps, follow Shannon’s lead and take time to explore your options.


Deirdre Sullivan bio photo
Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre Sullivan is an NYC-based writer who's obsessed with maximizing every inch of her urban dwelling. She's a former fashionista who has worked for Lucky Magazine and InStyle. She recently traded her high heels and Fashion Week pass for a drill and bandsaw. Follow Deirdre on Twitter, and Pinterest.