5 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Inoperable Fireplace Beautiful

Many homes have inoperable fireplaces, since chimneys can easily fall into disrepair and cost a lot to fix. This is especially common because many homeowners have little or no use for a wood burning fireplace in their house. If you have an inoperable fireplace, there are many things you can do to make your fireplace more beautiful – without having to pay the cost for repairs. 

1. Paint the Brick

Paint the brick around your fireplace to make it stand out more. Painting the brick is a relatively easy home improvement project that can make your fireplace a standout feature in your home. Start by cleaning your fireplace with a wire brush that will remove debris and soot.

Use a shop vacuum to remove soot and debris from the area around your fireplace, then use a cleaner or degreaser to remove soot from the fireplace. Apply a layer of primer to the brick and allow it to dry for the recommended period. Once the primer is dry, apply a layer of interior acrylic latex paint to your fireplace. Apply a second coat if you can still see the brick through the paint. 

2. Fill the Firebox With Firewood

Even if you’re not planning to burn firewood in your firebox, you can still fill the firebox with firewood to add visual interest to the space. Use straight, attractive examples of firewood. Round logs that haven’t been split tend to be more attractive than firewood that has been split. Place the ends facing outward into the room, and fill the entire firebox to create a pattern. 

3. Decorate the Mantel

Decorate the mantel over your fireplace. There are many ways this can be done. Some ideas:

  • Seasonal decorations. Change the decorations on your mantel every season to celebrate holidays, seasonal changes and more. Consider leaning a seasonal wreath on your mantel, and purchasing seasonal decorations to make your mantel more attractive. 
  • Simple decor. Choose one or two items, like a clock, a painting or a mirror, to place on your mantel. Lean the painting against the brick over your fireplace, or hang the painting or mirror from an anchor stuck in the brick. 
  • Candles. Candles can be a risky choice to place on a mantel over an operable fireplace, because candles can melt. However, candles make the perfect decoration for the mantel area over an inoperable fireplace. Place one candle at each end of the mantel, putting each in a candleholder. 

4. Put Candles in the Firebox 

Want an alternative to filling your firebox with logs? Try putting candles in there! Simply fill the space with candles, and light the candles on special occasions. This creates the impression of fire, but doesn’t require you to repair your chimney.

5. Fill the Firebox With Books

This is a creative idea that looks just right if you enjoy reading. Start by cleaning your firebox to remove any soot. Next, fill the firebox with antique hardcover books. To finish the look, place a few books on your mantel or on the hearth near the fire. This is a good look in a home with a casual cozy decor, with lots of comfortable chairs.