It takes only a day to overhaul a brick fireplace surround; just use two coats of paint like Portland designer Jesse Moyer
(jhinteriordesign.com) did with his fireplace, which opens to a dining room on one side and a living room on the other. Choose deep hues for a
bold statement. We like Sullivan Green #560, Beaujolais #1259, and Old Glory #811 by Benjamin Moore (benjaminmoore.com). Note: After you paint brick, it's hard to go back.
Get the look: White Opulence OC-69 by Benjamin Moore is shown here.
DIY level: Easy weekend project. After prepping the brick, use masonry primer and at least two coats of water-based interior paint. Do not paint the fireplace interior.
Cost: Less than $100; Benjamin Moore's Natura zero-VOC paint line starts at $53/gallon, plus primer and brush.