repaint your soot-stained firebox as an example of Free or Low-Cost Fix-ups tips
Photo: Alex Hayden
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Firebox Face-Lift

PRO: Mark Schaub, fireplace expert and owner, Chimney Savers, Hillsborough, N.J.

SECRET: Don't scrub your soot-stained firebox—refinish it using matte-black heat-resistant spray paint. "For a few bucks and about five minutes of your time, you can change the look of a fireplace," says Schaub, who uses the method on fireboxes lined with light-colored refractory brick, the type you find with most prefab fireplace inserts. Be sure to use paint that's specifically formulated for high-heat applications, such as Krylon Contractor Firebox, which can also be used to revive a rusty or paint-chipped metal fireplace screen.
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