Skip to Content

How To Update A Stone Fireplace [8 Awesome Ideas]

There's nothing as compelling in a home as a well-kept fireplace. Aesthetics changes, though, which means your fireplace can, too. How can you update a stone fireplace, though? For your convenience, we brought you some ideas.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

To update your stone fireplace, you can:

  • Paint your stone
  • Retile the fireplace
  • Construct a new fireplace frame
  • Invest in gas
  • Decorate your mantel
  • Invest in statement pieces
  • Find furniture that centers your fireplace in a room

Each of these processes requires a different amount of work. This means you can choose the one that best suits your schedule, budget, and taste. The contractors in your area can then help you take on the challenge of remodeling your fireplace. Alternatively, you can try your hand at some DIY and see what value your own creativity can lend to your home.

Covered Outdoor Patio Outside New Home with Couch Chairs TV Fireplace and Roaring Fire, How To Update A Stone Fireplace [8 Awesome Ideas]

How To Update A Stone Fireplace

Burning firewood in fire-box of fireplace in country cottage. Rustic cooking oven with burning logs.

There's nothing like a fireplace with aesthetics rooted in the 1950s and 1960s. There comes a point, though, when you may want to change how your fireplace looks. Whether it's for the safety of your home or your own personal taste, there are several different ways you can bring an older fireplace into the 21st century.

That said, remodeling an older fireplace can seem like an overwhelming endeavor. It's easier than you think to personalize your fireplace, though. Whether you're in the process of remodeling your home or want to make your fireplace the focal point of a room, you can:

Paint The Surrounding Stonework 

The stone that makes up most modern firepits is meant to protect more delicate materials from high heat. If you don't have the means to replace your stone—or if you like your current configuration—don't worry. There are still ways for you to transform your fireplace into a more modern installation.

With a lot of care and patience, you can paint the stonework surrounding your fireplace. You'll want to prepare to leave your fireplace unused for two to three days after you paint it. If you're not careful, the EPA states that fresh paint may release toxic chemicals into the rest of your home.

Read more: 4 Best White Paints For Brick Fireplace

Fortunately, you're not the first person to consider painting their fireplace. As long as you let the paint dry and use materials that won't react poorly when exposed to high levels of heat, you can transform standard stone into a mosaic of color.

If you're feeling concerned about the painting process, consider contacting your local hardware store to learn more about the heatproof paints they may have in stock.

You can shop Amazon to find other paints that can withstand high levels of heat.

Accent Your Fireplace Stone With Tile

If you'd prefer not to shop for high-heat paint, you can use other means to redecorate your fireplace. Tile, for example, can transform a fireplace from a drab corner accessory into the centerpiece of your room.

Once again, you'll need to explore what high-heat tiles may be readily available to you. Once you've found a brand that you're comfortable using, however, your fireplace is fair game.

There are a few different ways you can decorate your fireplace. If you have a specific pattern for your tile in mind, you can stretch your DIY muscles and apply grout yourself. Alternatively, you can work with a local artisan to craft a unique design for your room of choice.

Not every fireplace project has to be elaborate, though. Sometimes the easiest way to add some pop to a room is to play with color or texture. If you find a series of tiles that you like, that simple change may be enough to reinvigorate your fireplace.

Construct A New Fireplace Frame

Your fireplace frame is a critically overlooked part of your unit. If you're in the process of modernizing your fireplace, there are a few different ways you can work a frame into your equation.

To begin, consider removing the old frame from your unit. While you can repurpose or remodel more recently installed frames, it's sometimes in your best interest to start the design process from scratch.

You can then work with professionals to either design a new frame for your fireplace or forgo one entirely. If you're interested in a smoother look for your fireplace, the frameless look can create the illusion of cohesive design throughout your room.

Alternatively, new frames made of heat-resistant metals, stone, or wood can all work to draw the eye inward.

As you repurpose your fireplace's frame, however, make sure to preserve any anti-spark safety mechanisms your fireplace may need.

Fireplace grates both preserve the value of your nearby carpet and prevent house fires. With this in mind, it's best to at least consult with a professional before you begin removing and replacing your fireplace's frame.

Invest In New Grates

Human hands warming at fireplace.

Speaking of grates, you can always upgrade your fireplace's safety features as you modernize its aesthetic. In many cases, improving your fireplace's safety can make it look more visually appealing.

For example, traditional fireplace grates are often made of chained-together metal. When you replace this metal with a fire-safe door or an equivalent, you improve the look of your fireplace without compromising your safety.

Move Away From Wood

Wood fireplaces have a certain appeal. When you're specifically looking to make your fireplace more modern, however, consider upgrading to a gas fireplace. 

There may be some limitations that prevent you from investing in a gas fireplace. For example, make sure you have regular access to gas lines before you start looking for new units.

You should also work with local professionals to prepare your home for a new installation. Once you have those details out of the way, though, you can trade out a wood-burning fireplace for your new model of choice.

Some of today's more modern gas fireplaces are operable via your phone. Others benefit from nearby switches. Again, you can work with local professionals to determine how integrated into your home's Internet of Things (IoT) you want your fireplace to be.

If you're looking for an opportunity to impress your guests, though, there's nothing quite as modern as starting a fire from several rooms away.

Refurbish Your Mantel

Your fireplace is more than its pit. Your fireplace can also encompass the surrounding supports and overhead mantel. If you have a mantel that is readily usable, you can take advantage of this space while modernizing the rest of your unit.

More specifically, make sure that your mantel receives the same TLC as the rest of your fireplace. If you want to modernize your fireplace's look, consider changing the material that your mantel is made out of. You can alternatively explore different mantel stains, but only if your mantel is made out of wood.

It's rarely a good idea to invest in a metal mantel thanks to the heat that your fireplace puts off. However, depending on the supports you have available to you, you can invest in stone or high-quality wood mantels.

Both can draw the eye toward your fireplace while also giving you the means to invest in other fireplace decorations.

Add Eye-Catching Statement Pieces To Your Chimney

Living room with high ceiling, stone fireplace and leather sofa.

Speaking of decorations, how do you intend to use your chimney? If you have a considerable amount of space to play with, you can use statement pieces to continue drawing attention to your fireplace. To modernize your fireplace's look, we recommend:

  • Floating shelves
  • Large canvases of modern art
  • Mirrors
  • Empty frames
  • Vases

It's not in your best interest to use the space above your fireplace for entertainment, unfortunately. The heat from regular fires can do significant damage to any electronics you try to mount.

Instead, let your fireplace's chimney become a venue for decorations that reflect your personal interests. Once you know what aesthetic you want to cultivate, this space can become your canvas.

Use Your Room To Emphasize The Fireplace

Sometimes, improving the look of your fireplace has nothing to do with the fireplace itself. You can modernize the look of a fireplace by carefully changing how you frame the room around it.

Read more: How To Decorate A Living Room With A Fireplace In The Middle

For example, consider where you're placing the furniture in a room with a fireplace. Does your arrangement draw the eye toward the fireplace or away from it? The more attention you draw to your fireplace, the more likely it is that guests will come to appreciate its finer qualities.

Similarly, consider what an accent wall may do for your fireplace. If you paint the wall behind your fireplace (if applicable) a vibrant color, you'll automatically change the atmosphere of your room.

In Closing

Classic isolated rustic fireplace made of stones lit with orange fire flames.

There's no feature in a home that's quite as beloved as a fireplace. If your fireplace is in need of a little TLC, consider the different ways you can breathe life back into your unit.

You can work with local contractors to make the most out of your existing materials. Alternatively, you can bring in new stone, paint, and/or features to change your fireplace's look. Once you've found the means to marry functionality and aesthetics, you can enjoy your fireplace modifications to the fullest.