Fireplace Facelift: Easy & Affordable Ideas for a Modern Hearth

Give your fireplace the facelift it deserves for a breath of stylish air in your home.

Published February 2, 2024

If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, you have an opportunity to create a beautiful focal point for your space. With these modern fireplace ideas, you can easily update your hearth for a curated feature wall. You don't have to blow your budget or spend weeks on a renovation to get the look. All you need are simple updates that bring your fireplace up to current style trends. 

Add a Floating Mantel
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Whether your fireplace wall has a coat of paint or a textured surround, this little upgrade brings it up to current trends. A floating mantel gives you a bit of storage and space for decor without distracting from the beauty of your fireplace.

With a sleek and simple beam, your mantel will look designer without the price or the effort. Though you could certainly DIY this project, a large floating shelf is all you need to get the look. 

Modernize With a Marble Hearth

Your mantel is just one place to add modern style to your fireplace. If your hearth is flat and smooth you can transform it into a marble hearth with a little paint and determination.

  1. Prep your hearth surface with light sanding as needed, depending on the material. For granite, wood, or tile, sanding is important for achieving a smooth finished product. 
  2. Clean your surface with a heavy-duty cleaner like TSP. 
  3. Roll on soft white paint in a medium to high sheen. A foam roller and multi-surface paint will give you the best result.
  4. Use silver enamel furniture paint or multi-surface paint and a small foam brush to create marble veins. 
  5. Unless your paint is self-sealing, you will also need to add a sealant as the final coat for your faux marble. 

Shiplap Your Fireplace Wall
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Joanna Gaines may have popularized shiplap, but it's a design feature that's been around for quite a while and can be timeless when used in the right spots. A fireplace surround looks dressed up and in style when wrapped in white or black shiplap. If you're looking for a modern fireplace update, this easy shiplap tutorial from Ana White might give you the classic farmhouse style you've been searching for. 

Related: Effortlessly Get the Old-Money Aesthetic in Your Home

Go Gothic With a Black Fireplace

Black shiplap is one way to get this up-and-coming trend on your fireplace, but paint is the most traditional way to create a gothic black fireplace. Gothic interiors are on designers' radar these days, and the deep, dark colors are refreshing after a decade of stark white rooms. If you're ready to embrace this rich trend, go all black on your fireplace surround and mantel.

Helpful Hack

If jet black doesn't quite fit your style, try a rich brown, dark navy, or charcoal gray.

Rethink Your Fireplace's Fire

If you have a working fireplace or gas logs, live that cozy life with pride. If you have the beauty of a fireplace without the function of its warmth, you have the chance to get creative with what "lighting the fire" actually means. 

A large collection of candles in various sizes brings warm and cozy vibes to your hearth, even if those are the only flames you get to enjoy. In this case, less isn't always more. So add as many candles as you like in various heights and sizes to create volume and interest. 

Go Light With White

If your fireplace leaves your space feeling heavy or dark, you may just need a simple coat of paint in a light color. Update your mantel and fireplace surround with a fresh coat of white paint that softens the space. To add color back into the space, look for art that speaks to your style or fireplace mantel decor that brings life to your room. 

Try the Monochrome Trend

If painting your fireplace is the update you've decided fits your skill level and budget, consider using the same paint to update the whole wall. Monochrome and color-drenching trends are gaining momentum in the design world, and it's an easy way to show off your style knowledge. 

Whether it's soft white, gothic black, or another shade you love, consider carrying the color across more than just your mantel. Create a monochrome look by painting your wall, surround, mantel, and hearth all the same color. 

Quick Tip

You can create dimension by using low sheens on the wall and surround, like matte or eggshell, and high sheens on the mantel and hearth, like satin or semi-gloss. 

Add an Antique Surround

If you're starting with bare bones or you're craving a big renovation project, this is how you can transform your fireplace to fit your style. If you love blending the old and the new or you want to add some vintage detail to your home, an antique fireplace surround helps you curate a unique space. Add some character to your living space and go on the hunt for a vintage fireplace that stands the test of time.

Need to Know

You can also use a vintage fireplace surround on an electric fireplace or without any fireplace at all as a decorative element in a bedroom or hallway.

White Wash the Brick

For the perfect blend of modern and timeless, a white-washed brick fireplace is the update you need. White-washing your brick is a lot easier than you might think and gives your fireplace a simple update without sacrificing the texture and dimension of your brick. If you need some help getting started, we break down the ins and outs of painting and white-washing exposed brick so you can start decorating with confidence. 

Make Your Fireplace Pop With Wallpaper

Wallpaper never truly goes out of style, but it's certainly gaining popularity among designers and homeowners these days. Maybe that's because it offers color, texture, and pattern in ways that simple paint just can't quite replicate. Add wallpaper around your fireplace and paint the surround or the mantel with a color that complements the print. 

Related: DIY Advice: Hanging Peel & Stick Wallpaper 

Update With Beautiful Tile

Wallpaper, paint, and shiplap are all great choices for updating your fireplace. But if you want to take things up a style notch, you might consider a unique tile for your fireplace.

From a small border around the mouth of the fireplace to a full tile feature wall, this upgrade will transform your entire space. Call in the professionals or follow these tips or tiling a fireplace (Southern Hospitality Blog). 

Need to Know

You can also paint existing tiles or use peel-and-stick tile for a budget-friendly alternative. 

Swap Your Fireplace Screen
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You may not need a DIY project or a renovation to upgrade your fireplace. A simple screen swap could be the detail that changes your style game. Update your fireplace with these screen swaps:

  • Try a modern barn door screen.
  • Paint your screen a fun color.
  • Add trendy gold to the space. 
  • Choose a screen that looks like logs or books.
  • Look for a screen with clean lines.
  • Choose black for screen that fades into the background. 

Choose Lighter Wood Tones

Small changes can make a big impact on your interior, and one of the easiest ways to shake things up is with your wood tones. Swap deep or reddish woods for soft or blonde wood to upgrade your mantel or fireplace surround. Avoid gray or overly cool wood tones for a timeless and soft look that keeps your fireplace in style for years to come. 

Make Your Fireplace the Accent

Accent walls never go out of style, they just change in application. Your fireplace is a great opportunity to bring color and interest to your room without going the traditional accent wall route. Add a pop of color to the surround or bump-out of your fireplace wall and let the accent speak for itself. 

Get the Concrete Look

Concrete is a trending design material with all the staying power of other classics like wood and natural stone. If your basic fireplace wall could use a designer upgrade, get the concrete look without the concrete price and DIY your wall with this easy technique:


  • Medium gray paint in a low sheen
  • Block brush for masonry
  • Clean cloths or rags
  • Light gray or off-white paint


  1. Paint your wall entirely with the medium gray paint
  2. Use the block brush to create arches and strokes while the paint is still wet.
  3. Smooth edges or heavy textures with gentle dabs using a wet cloth. 
  4. Once the wall is dry, use the block brush to add strokes of the lighter gray or white.
  5. Smooth again and repeat as needed according to the level of texture you prefer. 

Your Style Is on Fire

The eye naturally gravitates toward a design feature like a fireplace. Make sure yours showcases your unique style and the overall vibe of your home. When guests see how stylish your fireplace is, they'll know that you're one who values beauty in every detail of life. 

Fireplace Facelift: Easy & Affordable Ideas for a Modern Hearth