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Painted Fireplace; Good idea or bad idea?

Home Stager with Abella Home Staging & Redesign

Painted fireplace, is it a good idea or bad idea? Tough decision!! As a home stager and redesigner of Abella home staging & Redesign, I often see fireplaces in my clients home. Some are in great shape, some not so much. When I recommend painting I often get a reaction. "Really you think I should paint it?" is usually the response I get. But if your fireplace looks like this:


Ugly House Photo

Then it's worth painting and giving a whole new look! Here is a great before and after picture! What a difference!!



Design Pop Interiors

 But what if you fireplace looks like this? Then what? Do you still paint it?


Hi Sugar Plum


I have to say I like the fireplace before it was painted. I also like it after as well. So what do you do? Paint or don't paint? That is the question. My opinion is, if it look nice, then leave it alone. Not everyone may like painted fireplaces and if they do, they can always paint it themselves. Only paint it if it's in bad shape. Remember when you're selling your home, it's important that we eliminate any potential problems buyers may have. An ugly fireplace is a potential problem. So don't be afraid to recommend painting the fireplace if you think it may be an issue!

What do you think? Painted fireplace, good idea or bad idea?

Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

I vote for paint. Many of the fireplaces I see in older properties are like night and day between pre-painting and post-painting. My daughter painted her fireplace and it now rocks.


Oct 17, 2011 05:28 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Cal, painting does make a huge difference but would you paint a fireplace that was in good condition as well?

Oct 17, 2011 05:38 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

I agree it's different in each situation, but in most cases...I would go with paint.   Rather than just straight paint though, I would suggest a product called Brick Anew.  It gives a more three dimensional look.  Here's an example I posted about not too long ago:


Oct 17, 2011 06:23 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Wow Sharon, I love it. I'm going to check that out. What a difference!!

Oct 17, 2011 06:36 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

I love that Brick Anew, too -- looks much better than plain old paint.  But in your last example, the stark white fireplace doesn't look good ... in that case, the "before" is preferable.  As you said Carmela, paint can help if the look is very dated or it's in poor condition.

Oct 17, 2011 10:48 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Maureen that's what I love about activerain, you always learn something. I had the chance to check it out and I love the product!! And like you I also like the "before" fireplace rather then the white!!

Oct 17, 2011 12:41 PM
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

Generally a good idea to paint brick but never field stone or other materials.

The fireplace in your last set of images works well either way - depending on the look of the room.  I did a similar one that was dark brown brick with a plain cement hearth and mantel.  We used a cream shade to blend with the wall and then did a faux marble look on the hearth and mantel. 

Here's an "after" shot (sorry can't locate the "before" image ...


Oct 18, 2011 12:40 AM
Michael Fontana
Round Rock Home Stager Austin Home Staging - Round Rock, TX
@ The Stage Coach

hi, Carmela!
I know this sounds wishy-washy, but: In my opinion, as a rule, when it comes to Home Staging, there are  very few Universal Rules. Every house is different, and it's our job to balance so many different factors while making our recommendations!

I'm a huge opponent of painting fireplaces because it is so hard to undo.  Granted, the first pic on top - the Ugly House Photo - painting is the best solution. And Quick and easy.

The second before and after pic: I think this one could have just been cleaned and "ReDesigned" for lack of a better word.  But I would have to have seen the rest of the room to truly qualify this decision. The After is gorgeous, but I'm just a sucker for old brick! (from Chicago - lots of brick!)

And the third: I would have painted the mantel and called it done. In my Perfect Staging World, I wish the builder had used a different hearth, the more traditional kind - I think they're just concrete - like pic#2 (Before) above, and not just more bricks. Our hearth is just our floor tile on a different angle and I get the itch to tear it out every Christmas!

The Stage Coach

Oct 18, 2011 02:12 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Sandi, I guess it really is up to the client and the look you are going for in that room. Nice job!!

Oct 18, 2011 02:13 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Michael, I too love the look of brick. And I would not have painted the third fireplace, even though I like the painted look as well, the orginial in my opinion is better. I think it comes down to personal taste!! 

Oct 18, 2011 02:18 AM
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Carmela the things you learn. I struggle with painting fireplaces but certainly agree with your advice and Maureen makes a great point as well.

Oct 18, 2011 05:26 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Wendy, Never stop learning!! It's a good thing!! You should check out that website brick anew, great product!!

Oct 18, 2011 08:00 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Valerie, I couldn't agree more. Painting may be the only solution to an ulgy looking fireplace!

Oct 19, 2011 01:01 AM
Birgit Anich
Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, 203.807.4040 - Norwalk, CT
CT Home Stager Fairfield & New Haven County

Carmela, I am all for the paint. Even though I love brick look for loft apartments, painted brick fireplaces just feel more updated, clean and fresh.

Oct 19, 2011 04:17 PM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Birgit. I couldn't agree more! Painted fireplace just "clean up" the room.

Oct 20, 2011 01:39 AM
Margaret Pereira
Moving Forward Home Staging & ReDesign - Mississauga, ON

Totally agree, paint it if its ugly or just if it does not work with the rest of the room. Sometimes they just stand out like a sore thumb. The last image could go either way...depends on the style of the room and the rest of the decor.

Nov 14, 2011 08:35 AM
kelly arent
Copper Roof Interior Redesign & Home Staging LLC - Saint Joseph, MI

Carmella, I too advise all Clients to paint dated fireplace brickwork.  I do get some resistance to paint it as I do get resistance to paint dated oak.  It just gives the space a fresh new life.  The old brick in an old dated house is just plain ole dated!  Great post!

Feb 10, 2012 03:19 AM
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign - Port Jefferson Station, NY

Thanks Kelly, It seems that some people have a resistance to painting anything but walls! But one they do, they usually pleasantly surprise by the results.

Feb 10, 2012 03:37 AM