One of my favorite projects completed in my new (to me) house was the fireplace makeover. Entering into our house was not exciting what-so-ever, until after this makeover.
I just want to give a quick before and after but also focus on some of the most crucial steps along the way...
My first step was to white wash the brick. It was not a pretty brick color, it was slightly orange-ish. A coat of white wash (1:1 ratio of white paint to water) really helped tone down the color. Our fireplace was much better after this step but then something else started glairing at me...the gold on the fireplace doors (this really gave away the age of the house)!
The next step, the crucial step in my opinion, that really neutralized and updated the fireplace was using Rust-Oleum high Heat paint (in Satin Black) to paint over the gold fireplace doors! You'll see that we happened to have black tile on the floor in front of the fireplace; after painting the fireplace doors with the High Heat paint, these tiles looked really dull so we painted them too!
After this, we went ahead and built the mantel, casing around the fireplace, and planked the wall above.
My main point to this post is that you can take some really simple action and transform your fireplace; and really change the appearance of a focal point in your home.
I know, I know, it's summer right now, but if it gets too hot outside this will be a great indoor project that you'll be thankful for when the winter comes! :-)