A friend of mine recently bought a house and was desperate to cover up the eye sore of a fireplace in the corner of her living room.

Luckily she’s an artist and was able to come up with a really creative way for how to update a brick fireplace, without having to paint it.

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Gaping mortar joints are not only unattractive, they leave the bricks more vulnerable to damage.

So before wood-burning season starts, examine the condition of the mortar in the firebox and take an hour or two to replace any that has deteriorated.

For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Tile a Hearth.

Designer tile is a great material for a hearth, but it isn't always the appropriate one.

Personally I’m not a fan of painted brick but I loved her solution: concrete stain.

This is super easy DIY project to update a brick fireplace, and it only takes about an hour to do two coats AND complete the whole project.

Tiling a fireplace surround isn't a quickie makeover. For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Tile a Fireplace Surround.

As a focal point, a fireplace can set the tone for the whole style of a room.

Why is it that the mantel always gets all the attention?