How to up-do your fire place

How to up-do your fire place from a sad dark misery into a white stylish feature piece. Brightening not only your room but your wellbeing. 

If your lucky enough to have a fireplace its safe to say that they are the centre piece to a room. Now whilst some of us are blessed with a gorgeous hearthside or wood burner, many have to make do with what they have. Particularly if in rented accommodation or limited funds. Read on for a step to step guide how to up-do yours.

Okay, so when I say it’ll brighten your wellbeing I’m not exaggerating. Theres nothing more depressing than sitting in a dark room. We all know by now that light makes us happier, from the sun to bright coloured clothing.  Our army accommodation fireplace was depressing the hell out of me…. Staring at me with its big ugly brown frame, it made the otherwise bright room seem dark and enclosed.

And there was absolutely no wood coordination or flow in the lounge (apart from the also ugly kick board along the sliding doors) My zen was being taunted. It stuck out like a sore thumb.

But also if you  up-do your fireplace yourself, you will just be uber chuffed! That satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself! I literally look at my fireplace and I feel proud! Feel them feel good hormones! It was actually also really simple to do.

I’m a jack of all trades, master of none, as the expression goes! Throughout my years working with horses Ive worked the whole spectrum, from run down yards to Olympic showjumping studs…. But all of them entail some kind of DIY! Working with horses you can guarantee somethings getting broken, wether post and rail fencing, stable walls, guttering…..

Literally at one yard, I learnt so much DIY. We actually built our own stables from scratch, from laying concrete, building the frames, fixing the panels, roof, making and hanging doors! Now they weren’t the prettiest stables, or the best quality, but they are still standing today!

We would patch up broken stables, re-paint, fix taps, made a horse walker fence, drill concrete, make colourful jump fillers to spook the horses.Build and Creosate fencing…..

I think its why I enjoyed doing this so much, I miss my DIY days. 

Having done a lot of glossing in the past on skirting boards etc I have learnt from experience to do ALL of the following steps!! Do not miss any steps or it could end up looking a right dog fight! Not to mention take longer trying to get the finish neater!



Sanding block

Undercoat white

Non drip wood gloss white

Masking tape

Flat trowel if carpeted against fireplace 


  1. First clean the fireplace
  2. Next, if applicable, pull away any surrounding carpet from its tacks…. yeah I didn’t know about tacks either, I’d never really thought about how a carpet holds down to be honest.
  3. Then you need to rough up the existing surface so that the new paint sticks to it well. Sanding will also help smooth out any bumps or chips. You don’t need to remove all the old gloss, just take the top shine off.
  4. Tape up all the edges ready for painting, including around the carpet edge. 
  5. Apply 2 coats of undercoat, allowing enough time for each coat to dry.  Undercoating is essential, it will cover darker colours better and ensure your gloss goes further.Make sure you paint in direction of wood grain for a smoother finish. Catch any drips and smooth as you go. If any drips start to harden then you’ll have to sand to smooth it again. Really dip the paint into any crevices as otherwise the dark wood will show through. Of course you don’t have to gloss, you could always go shabby chic and use a chalk paint ( Im doing a post on another undo project using chalk paint soon)
  6. Once the second coat of undercoat is dry its time to gloss. Work carefully, liberally and quickly.
  7. Remove any tape before the gloss dries, touch up any bits you may of missed, and then allow to dry.
  8. Time to pop the carpet back down, tucking it under the fireplace surround with the flat trowel. Also tidy up any stray paint.
  9. All done! Now time to decorate and enjoy your new fireplace!










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