How To Build A Faux Fireplace For Your Cozy Home

Fireplaces are useful for heating spaces but, more often than not, their role is a decorative one. A lot of people who have functional fireplaces into their homes rarely actually use them. Of course, this applies to traditional or rustic fireplace designs and not so much to modern fireplaces.

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That being said, more often than not a fake fireplace would be a great design feature. It would give the space a cozy and warm look and ambiance and you could place it anywhere and even built it yourself out of simple materials.

Different Types of Fireplaces

Indoor fireplaces are really popular these days. Individuals are increasingly installing this equipment as they become aware of the benefits associated with a high-quality indoor fireplace. 

At first look, the majority of fireplaces designed for indoor use may appear identical. They are, however, fairly distinct, and you must exercise caution when selecting them. You’d be astonished at how many people select the incorrect fireplace, assuming they are identical.

Gas Fireplaces

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A gas fireplace burns either natural gas or propane to maintain a steady flame. These flames are arranged around fictitious logs to replicate the sensation and appearance of a high-end wood stove fireplace. 

Indoor gas fireplaces, contrary to popular assumption, do not require flues or chimneys. As a result, you no longer have to worry about cleaning, maintenance, or the flue being left open. All you have to do is turn on the fireplace and relax.

Electric Fireplaces

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Electric fireplaces are perfect for those wishing to enhance their indoor aesthetics without sacrificing heat output. The majority of individuals install their electric fireplaces next to entertainment centers and media consoles, since it enables them to enjoy their favorite TV shows while surrounded by a nice fire. The majority of electric fireplaces use heated coils to pull in and heat the chilly air. 

Wood Fireplaces

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For a more authentic fireplace experience, wood-fueled options are the right choice. Indoor wood stove fireplaces share several functional and aesthetic similarities with traditional fireplaces. You can install them in your existing fireplace or on freestanding legs. While this is a wonderful alternative that considerably enhances the visual appeal of your indoor space, installing a wood fireplace is more complicated. 

Vent-Free Fireplaces

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What’s most striking about these fireplaces is that they’re completely self-contained. You may place an indoor fireplace anywhere without fear of combustion or other safety issues. The sole disadvantage of these fireplaces is that they produce less heat than gas or traditional fireplaces.

Pros and Cons to Indoor Fireplaces

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Gas Fireplaces

If you have a natural gas pipeline on your property, a gas fireplace grants you access to unlimited fuel, without the need to look for logs to start a fire. Just like the other two types of fireplaces we’ll look at today, a gas fireplaces comes with advantages and drawbacks, such as:

  • Pro: Gas-fueled fireplaces typically generate greater heat at a lesser cost. Along with creating greater heat, ventless gas fireplaces ensure that all of the heat generated remains within the room, preventing heat from going outdoors and making it easier to heat only the rooms that are in use.
  • Con: While you may save money on heating costs in the long term, the cost of installing this particular type of fireplace may be high if your home does not already have a gas connection.
  • Pro: Some models use a propane tank for fuel, which basically means that you can have a gas fireplace even if you don’t have natural gas pipes across your property. 
  • Con: Even if ventless models incorporate safety sensors, there is a slight possibility that the absence of ventilation will result in the entry of carbon monoxide into your house. These difficulties are uncommon, though, and annual inspections are required to make sure that your ventless fireplace operates safely.

Electric Fireplaces

This is one of the cheapest investments you can make if you’re looking to install a fireplace in your home. The advantages and disadvantages of an electric fireplace include:

  • Pro: Since there is no ventilation or fuel required, installing an electric fireplace is very simple. You just need to make sure they are close to a power outlet.
  • Con: If you compare them with gas and wood-fueled units, electric fireplaces produce the least amount of heat, and can be compared with space heaters rather than fireplaces. 
  • Pro: An electric fireplace is known for being the most adaptable, both financially and in terms of transportation. Electric fireplaces come in an array of styles and sizes, ensuring that you can pick one that meets your budget.
  • Con: Unlike the two other types, electric fireplaces display virtual flames, which have the least resemblance to a real fire. While electric fireplaces provide warmth and coziness to a space, they lack the ambiance that gas or wood-fueled fireplaces can provide.

Wood Fireplaces

The closest to a traditional fireplace is one that burns wood, offering a more authentic experiences, but also a few drawbacks that we have to mention:

  • Pro: Because wood-burning fireplaces run on real wood, they will continue to operate even if the electricity goes out. This can be extremely beneficial in case of power outages during storms, giving you a source of light and heat without relying on a power source.
  • Con: Due to the realism of genuine wood logs, you must maintain a supply of logs at home for your fireplace to function properly, and utilizing your fireplace requires manually starting a fire. You will also have to remove ashes and clean the fireplace to prevent build-up.
  • Pro: If you want the atmosphere and realism of a crackling fire, a fireplace that uses wood as a fuel source is your best option. While any fireplace can contribute to a room’s pleasant, homey ambience, nothing beats the atmosphere provided by a classic fireplace.
  • Con: If your home does not already have a typical wood-burning fireplace, adding one would require additional construction work to create the aperture and a chimney for ventilation.

Stone Veneer Fireplace Types

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Stone veneer fireplaces are amongst the most elegant varieties out there. Since there are so many different types for one to choose from, let’s take a quick look at what you expect when scouting the market:

  • Storage fireplace – Certain types of fireplaces can be integrated into the wall which can also be used for other purposes. That means that alongside the fireplace, you can also have cabinets, shelves, and other storage units.
  • Arched stone fireplace surround – Arched fireboxes offer a somewhat more beautiful and formal appearance than square or rectangular ones. The shape can be highlighted simply by using stone to frame the top of the arch. 
  • Fireplace entertainment center – Since fireplaces are often focal points in the room, why not elevate it even further by mounting your television or entertainment center above it? By concentrating both of the room’s natural focal points in one location, you prevent people’s attention from being drawn to one in the detriment of the other. 
  • Bathroom fireplace – A bathroom fireplace, when placed adjacent to a soaking tub, can contribute to the creation of a comfortable and peaceful ambiance that draws people in and makes them feel at ease.
  • Outdoor fireplace – Fireplaces are not limited to the interior; they may also serve as an excellent meeting spot and focus point outdoors. Stone is the ideal material for dressing up an outdoor fireplace, as it blends in flawlessly with the surrounding landscape.

Love the Tompkins

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Building a faux fireplace from scratch is surprisingly easy and that’s great news for anyone who would enjoy having such a feature into their home, regardless of where they’d want to place it. The task starts with the fireplace frame which can be made out of wood.

You could use some scrap pieces that you have from previous projects. Once the frame is in place you can go ahead and add the shell which is a set of plywood panels. Attach them with adhesive for a clean and simple look. When that’d done too you can start planning the last details which involve customizing the fireplace using paint, tiles and other elements. There’s a really nice tutorial describing the project in more detail on lovethetompkins.

Hometalk Faux Fireplace

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Before you dismiss the whole idea of a faux fireplace, consider how big of an impact this feature has on not just the room it’s in but the entire house and also the fact that a faux fireplace doesn’t take up a lot of place and can double as a wall ornament. You can make it look extra charming by giving it a stone surround or by filling it with a few small wood logs (or wood slices). Let’s not forget about the mantel which is great for displaying items on. You can find more inspiring ideas like these ones on hometalk.

Functional Fireplace by The Sweetest Digs 

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If you’re serious about adding a DIY faux fireplace to your living space, perhaps you’d care to make it the central piece in your living room wall unit. You could design and built all sorts of interesting configurations using the fireplace as a starting point.

For example, you could place the TV on the wall, just above the faux fireplace and you could frame it and integrate it into a sort of shelving unit with open and closed modules on either side. Does this sound like something you’d enjoying building? If yes, check out the tutorial on thesweetestdigs.

DIY Fireplace with Hearth 

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In order for a faux fireplace to serve its intended purpose it must look as authentic and as real as possible without actually being functional. I’d say this one featured on makeit-loveit is pretty close to perfection.

On top of that, it’s not fixed to its location which means you can move it around whenever you feel like redecorating. You could also store it in summer and bring it back to the living room in winter when it’s cold outside and you want the home to feel cozy.

DIY Fireplace Entertainment Center

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A faux fireplace can turn out to be more than just a decorative element in your living room if, for example, you decide to integrate it into an entertainment center.

In other words, you can use the mantel as a shelf for keeping electronics on and you could extend the back panel of the fireplace upward so you can also mount the TV on it. Of course, you could install the TV directly onto the wall if you’d prefer this option better. This cool idea comes from blesserhouse.

DIY Fireplace with Shelves

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A faux fireplace might look out of place if you don’t somehow integrate it into the room’s decor or even make it a part of a wall unit. If you want the fireplace to be a permanent feature in your living room, then go ahead and make it a part of the entertainment center. Check out iheartorganizing to see how seamless and natural this built-in DIY fireplace looks like. You wouldn’t even suspect that it’s not functional.

Before and After

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Before you start building your own faux fireplace, some decisions need to be made. For instance, you need to decide what materials you’ll be using. A reclaimed wood fireplace could look very charming.

Since this won’t be a functional fireplace, there’s nothing to worry about regarding fire hazards and other such details. You could use stack blocks of wood like Lego pieces. That actually sounds like a lot of fun. Check out kristimurphy for a few tips related to the project.

DIY Fireplace with Candles

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You should also take some time to consider where you’ll be placing your new faux fireplace. You might not be able to integrate it into the wall unit so perhaps you can find an empty wall that could use a focal point.

Maybe there’s no space in the living room but you could put the fireplace in the master bedroom or in your home office. You could display framed pictures and other decorations on the mantel and you could also put candles inside. We absolutely love this DIY faux fireplace featured on thepursuitofhandyness and we wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Sketch First

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Of course, you might already have a fireplace in your home, perhaps even a functional one. In that case, you could give this one a makeover. You could tear down the old frame and mantel and build a new fireplace surround from scratch.

Gather your materials and tools and make a sketch with measurements so you have a plan to follow. You could reuse some of the pieces from the old fireplace if you think that would help. You can find more details about this project on athomewiththebarkers.

Fireplace with Concrete Wall

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Not a fan of wood or stone fireplaces? Perhaps you’d prefer a DIY concrete fireplace instead. Such a project would be pretty permanent so you must be sure you’ll be keeping for at least a few years since tearing it down won’t be easy.

You’ll need a few materials and tools and if you need to demolish an old fireplace first then that would require some time and effort as well. In any case, you can find all the details you need about this project on designertrapped.

Maximizing Space

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A cool option is also to give your existing fireplace a makeover and to add a few more things to it, like some built-in shelves on the sides for example. Here for instance the facing of the fireplace was changed which added more details to the design of the fireplace as a whole. After marking the placement of the shelves with painter’s tape on the wall, these were then custom-designed and installed as well. Check out the full journey on thediyplaybook.

Rustic DIY Fireplace Idea

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Painting the fireplace is also a nice idea. It’s an easy way to change its appearance without using a lot of resources and without starting a big and complex makeover project.

All you need is paint in any color you think would look good (white is always a nice option, especially for brick fireplaces), a brush, a piece of cloth and some painter’s tape so you don’t go over the edges. You can find more details on postcardsfromtheridge.

Painted Brick

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Here’s another lovely change of look. This time the wooden frame was kept as is since it was in good shape and went well with the new look. It was the brick that was covered in joint compound and thus got this nice white overlay.

Rather than covering up the whole surface, the focus was more on the lines between the bricks so once the compound was applies a sponge was used to wash off the bricks a bit and get this nice whitewashed, antique sort of look. Check out thefrugalhomemaker to find out more about this technique.

Whitewashed Brick Fireplace

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Don’t these dry brush bricks look amazing? In case you’re wondering what that actually means, dry brushing is a very simple technique that you can use to apply a sort of a 3D effect to your fireplace.

It involves using a brush lightly covered in paint which you rub over the ridges and bumps in the bricks. This highlights the raised sections and adds a nice depth to the bricks. You can use this technique in a few different ways. Either use some white paint directly onto the unfinished bricks or go ahead and paint your brick fireplace white first and then go over it with a bit of gray paint, as suggested on madnessandmethod.

Build Up

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Faux fireplaces are charming in their own way. They’re nice if you’re short on space or if you want the cozy look without the functionality. Since there’s not much space to work with, using regular materials might not actually be an option.

Use of real bricks you can still use the faux kind if you want to add a nice frame or more detail to your fireplace. Check out this nice makeover from jenniferrizzo to get an idea of how this technique could be used.

Outdated to Contemporary

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Although the classic red bricks can look quite nice in certain contexts, they don’t necessarily suit a modern space. This fireplace didn’t really fit in here not just because of the exposed bricks but also because of how flat the wall was in general. The solution to change all of that was to paint this entire entire fireplace one color, bricks and everything. A dark shade of gray was chosen and it looks wonderful, a lot more modern and in tone with the rest of the space. Head over to madeinaday to see the transformation.


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Speaking of brick fireplaces and their fairly plain and outdated look, another cool idea for changing and updating their look involves chalk paint. It doesn’t take long to paint the fireplace and you can also use the same paint for the mantel to get a nice and uniform look.

Use the technique described on diybeautify if you want to let a bit of red show through. You can also sand off some of the paint if you realize it’s too uniform or it covers up too much of the bricks. It dries quickly so this project shouldn’t take long.

Fireplace Makeover

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Although this fireplace is all white except for the mantel shelf, it doesn’t look flat or boring. What really helps is the combination of bricks on the bottom and shiplap at the top. These two sections are divided by the mantel which also helps to cover up the transition line. The brick pattern and the texture adds a lot to the design and the stripes on the shiplap section prevent the top of the fireplace wall from blending in. Check out burlapandblue to find out more details if you’re interested.

Brighten the Space

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This brick fireplace makeover was done using cement and wood. The transform as you can see was very effective at giving the fireplace an entirely new look. The new design is a lot simpler and more modern but it still has plenty of character.

To get this look you basically have to smear the brick with cement and try to get a flat and even surface. This was done for the bottom section of this fireplace while the top is covered in tongue and groove. There’s no brick showing through anymore and that suits the space better. More details about this makeover can be found on boxwoodavenue.

How to Whitewash a Fireplace

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Whitewash has an attractive, hazy-white, transparent aspect that veers between revealing and concealing the brick. Additionally, it is a look that you can achieve pretty easily and affordably on your own fireplace, and we’re going to show you how to do it.

What you’ll need:

  • Scrub brush with nylon bristles
  • Rags made of cotton
  • Cups for mixing
  • Tray with liner for paint
  • Tape for painting
  • Sponges
  • Drop cloth and plastic sheeting
  • 1 gallon of white paint
  • Trisodium phosphate 
  • Scissors
  • Chip brushes
  • Stirring stick made of wood
  • 1 pint of gray paint

How to Whitewash Unpainted Brick

Step One

Cover the floor to keep it clean. Using plastic and painter’s tape, cover the areas that are not meant to be whitewashed.

Step Two

Grab a clean bucket with warm water and add the trisodium phosphate. Using a scrub brush, clean the bricks that need painting. Rinse with water and allow the surface to fully dry.

Step Three

Mix white paint and clean water, using a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio. The exact quantity depends on how you want the whitewash to look.

Step Four

Locate the least visible section of the fireplace brick and, using the chip brush, apply some whitewash on the surface. Brush it in completely and allow it to soak for a few minutes.

If you enjoy the appearance, move to the front. Using a four or six-brick section, create a key that you’ll refer to as a starting point for your desired look, as variations may arise throughout the remainder of the process.

Step Five

With the chip brush, whitewash the remaining brick. Following brushing an area, dab and wipe with the rag. This aids with the whitewash’s integration. Frequently take a step back to ensure that the fireplace complements the focal point area.

How to Whitewash Painted Brick

Step One

Seal the areas that you don’t want to paint by using painter’s tape. Remember to tarp the floor.

Step Two

Clean the brick using the same mixture of warm water and trisodium phosphate. Avoid cleaning the inside of the fireplace.

Step Three

Grab the scissors and cut the sponge to match the size of the brick.

Step Four

Fill the lined paint container halfway with gray paint. Moisten the sponge. Squeeze the sponge into the paint while keeping it relatively dry. To test the color, press the sponge against a cardboard or paper piece. Add additional white paint if you want a lighter tone.

Step Five

Once you’re satisfied with the hue, use the sponge to apply a faux-whitewash to the fireplace. You must adhere to the brick’s lines. If you’re having difficulty seeing the mortar, slant a light source downward to create depth.