Save on Pinterest

Reader Project: DIY Fireplace Makeover

Family Handyman reader Chris Galiyas is a busy family man. During the day he is an elementary art teacher in West Mifflin, PA, and on nights and weekends he paints murals for both residential and commercial clients. His latest clients asked him to update their fireplace, and this is what he created.

1 / 8
before fireplace makeoverPhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas


My clients had asked me to update the fireplace in their family room. The room felt uninviting and dark.

2 / 8
white wash-painted-fireplacePhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas

Whitewash the Fireplace

I wanted to whitewash the fireplace to give it a new, updated look that wouldn’t break the bank. So I watered down some interior paint and brushed it on with a wet brush, wiping away with a rag as I went.

3 / 8
live edge fireplace mantlePhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas

Live Edge Oak Mantel

Next I added a live edge oak mantel that I acquired from a local guy. I love getting lumber that is local to the area where I’m working. I stained it to match the flooring and I applied three coats of Polycrylic Clear (satin finish).

4 / 8
shiplap fireplacePhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas


I wanted to add visual interest above the mantel, so I added shiplap. Then I painted the shiplap a warm white, with Behr Ultra’s Falling Snow, my favorite white paint. Plus: Check out these 12 incredible shiplap walls.

5 / 8
fireplace hearthPhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas

The Hearth

The hearth is just the old cement slab that was already there. I applied gripper primer and sealer first and then two coats of Falling Snow paint from Behr.

6 / 8
painted-trim fireplace makeoverPhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas

Trim and Baseboards

The trim and baseboards looked old and outdated. So I sanded, primed and used the same white paint on the baseboards and trim.

To learn how to prep wood trim for a smooth paint job, click here.

7 / 8
faux-finish-fireplace-brickPhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas

Faux Finished Brick

I faux-finished some gray tones onto the white brick to give it that worn/used look that the homeowners were looking for.

8 / 8
blue-painted-wallsPhoto courtesy of Chris Galiyas

Painted the Walls

The homeowners had picked out a blueish-gray paint for the walls to finish the room. The color was the perfect match to compliment the warm, white trim and live edge oak lumber.