How to Update and Modernize a Gas Fireplace

Your old gas fireplace clashes with your modern tastes ? There are some inexpensive ways to transform your tired-looking gas fireplace into a sophisticated, modern fireplace that both provides warmth and enhances your décor. Here are some suggestions to highlight the range of the possibilities.

Replace Your Gas Logs

The biggest update you can give to your appliance is a change in your hearth. You can improve the appearance of your fireplace by switching the current logs for a new set that provides a more appealing look. The ceramic logs for gas fireplaces have improved through the years so that they mimic certain types of wood with great detail. They are complete with cut marks and branches.

Modern gas fireplaces aren’t limited to realistic looking logs, however. Glowing faux embers and a bed of coal are among the enhancements that can give your gas fireplace a nice upgrade. Fire glass chunks provide the most dramatic change, and they are available in many styles. These chunks are crushed, tempered, and tumbled stained glass. The sharp edges are removed in the process.

The following are some examples of the products available today that are perfect for modernizing a gas fireplace:

  • Blue, green, red, and yellow fire glass
  • Charred wood style ceramic fiber logs set
  • Birch and oak style ceramic fiber logs set
  • Colored fire stones
  • Geometric shapes

Change the trim color of your gas fireplace

The feature of a gas fireplace that makes it seem more dated than anything else is often the trim color. Brass fixtures are now outdated and need to be replaced or painted. It has been a couple of decades since brass trim was considered stylish. High temperature spray paint provides a simple way to make this change that will give your gas fireplace a noticeable update and improvement. Follow the instructions of whatever type of product you purchase, but here are basic instructions for painting the trim of a gas fireplace:

  • The first and most critical step is to shut off the valve or pilot light to the gas fireplace before using the highly flammable spray paint. If you don’t know how, refer to the manufacturer’s manual.
  • Second, if there is a glass panel on the fireplace, remove it. This step makes the task easier, but it may not be completely necessary. Also, remove logs and the embers. If the paint you are using is black, you could also use it to do touch-ups inside the fireplace. Most heat damage to paint usually occurs on the inside.
  • The third step is to use painters tape and construction paper to protect the area around the fireplace that isn’t being painted.
  • Now you’re ready to paint. Follow instructions, but you will usually spray in back and forth motions about 8 inches away from the surface. One to two coats should be enough. Allow the paint to dry before turning the pilot light back on. It usually takes about an hour before the fireplace can be used again.

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Visit Store Page

Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

34 Responses

  1. Pam
    Was wondering , we are remodeling our 1965, home, which does have a gas / fireplace...Can it be updated to the current gas fireplace of today?
    • Dominique Page
      Hi, Thanks for reaching out. The answer is yes! We simply need to have a look. You may visit our closest expert to you: They will be able to assist you in your project. All the best!
  2. I want to replace an existing working gas insert with a more modern looking. I live in St. Augustine. What are the option and approximately would be the materisl cost to change out...and di yiu charge extra fir labor? Thank you Jamison
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Jamison Thanks for your message. We currently do not have anoyone near your place to help you out. Our closest Member is in Georgia. Dominique
      • We have a ventless fireplace with a cabinet surround. Can the existing firebox, logs, and inner workings be used as a "built in" fireplace in a wall?
        • Dominique Page
          Hi Tracey Thanks for your message. There are ways to make this type of project work; but an expert needs to take a good look. The best is to locate a good fireplace store nearby. If we have a member store close by, please make contact with them and they will assist you. All the best!
  3. Rod
    We have a 1995 gas fireplace. I’d like to convert it from pilot light ignition to electronic ignition. Is this possible?
    • Dominique Page
      Good afternoon! Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, it is not possible to convert to electronic ignition, due to certification requirements. However, you may want to take a look at this nice device that could allow you o operate your gas fireplace with an app. All the best!
  4. hello. Is it possible to remove a few logs out of a direct vent natural gas fireplace.?It is rather outdated looking and lowering the profile of the log pile might give us a simpler look.
    • Dominique Page
      Good morning! Normally, logs are certified with the burner itself. Changing the logs may create problems such as soot and bad combustion. If you are looking at updating the look, there are options available. The best would be to get a local fireplace expert involved. We may have one fairly close to you. All the best!
  5. Looking for new front for older logs. Logs are fine but the front of it is ugly. This is a vented gas log system installed in Condo 20 years ago
    • Dominique Page
      Good morning! Thanks for your message! Depending on your setup, a reface may be redone. Best way to get started is to take picture of your current fireplace and go to your local fireplace store. They will guide you into the project. To locate our nearest We Love Fire Expert to you, you can click here. All the best! Dominique
  6. Looking to upgrade the media in our Lennox fireplace, can this be done without having to replace the entire fireplace? Want to change them out to a rock/beach or a driftwood style
    • Dominique Page
      Hi Beverley Thanks for your message. The answer depends on the type of fireplace you have. If it is a direct-vent sealed fireplace, the answer is no, unless such options are offered on that specific model by the Manufacturer. If your fireplace is 'open', no glass, it is possible to change and upgrade the media. This should be done by a fireplace technician. I would invite you to reach out to a local fireplace store. We might have a We Love Fire Partner near you. All the best! Dominique
  7. We have two older gas fireplaces (1960's). We would like to update them, as they currently have the old-style on/off control set inside the fireplace. This, of course, requires us to get down on our hands and knees to turn it on and off....not easy on our older joints! LOL Is there an affordable way to update them so that we can use a remote control? We live in Kings Mountain, NC. Thank you!
    • Dominique Page
      Good morning Carol Ann Thanks for your message. These logs can be upgraded indeed, with a remote control system. New logs today radiate heat better too. They create a nice cozy feeling! We have a store member in Hickory. They are great to work with, beautiful family business. They will help you with the best solutions for your fireplaces. Stay safe and warm! Dominique
  8. Hi, I have a natural gas, Majestic, 3 sided fireplace that is now absolete (home was built in 2004). The logs set inside in old and dated and I wanted to remove and add fire glass but no one can tell me if it’s possible or not, just they advise against it. Even adding new logs is advised against and I’m confused as everyone seems to be updating their fires (some much older) in similar ways but I keep being told no. “ Give your fire a new look and modern look by changing the logs or adding fireglass” but then keep being told no, it’s not advised so how am I supposed to update and modernise the fire? Any advice would great. Model number: 360DVS3RN. Thank you.
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Julie Thanks for your message. Your fireplace is 'factory built', not a 'masonry one. That is why changing the logs is not possible. The certification and the burner are done to match the exact logs you have in there. Changing them would result in sooting the glass, the walls and even the area around the chimney. The best is to pull and replace, meaning, take out the fireplace and put a more modern one. It might sound like a big project, but this what our network does best! Dominique
  9. We are remodeling our fireplace. We are replacing the old brick surround with the modern looking white tiles floor to ceiling. The gas fireplace is Franciscan Model III by Dura Vent. Our local fireplace company advised us that we can't replace the ceramic gas logs , neither the insert. Any suggestion as to how to give the ceramic gas logs a fresh look to match with the modern looking fireplace surround? Will it be helpful to paint the ceramic gas logs to be black as the fire box is? Or it will make it worse? PLease advise .
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Lily Thanks for reaching out. I am not familiar with your fireplace. If your local fireplace store said they cannot source the replacement logs, that is possible. Your fireplace altogether can certainly be replaced. I suggest you contact our closest Member Store to you. Prepare some pictures so they can evaluate what is possible to do. Dominique
  10. Dan
    We have a two-sided gas fireplace (between master bathroom and master bedroom) from the original 1989 home construction, and are remodeling our bathroom. We are considering a full replacement of the fireplace (with a two-sided gas) or possibly closing off the bathroom side and just having the fireplace in the bedroom. What is the best way to consider our options?
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Dan Thanks for reaching out, and sorry for the delay answering. Two-sided gas fireplaces are popular. It really depends on your budget and taste. The best way to tackle a project like this might be to get a designer involved. She or he, may come up with several proposals of designs. You may also want to contact our most partner store. Click here to see if we have one near you. All the best! Dominique
  11. Dan
    Hello. I would like to upgrade to a more efficient and better looking modern system. I have upstairs and downstairs gas fireplace inserts that are using the same chimney to vent. Upstairs would be used as a secondary source to heat living/dining area. Downstairs is primary heat and the space is a daylight basement approx 550 sqft. Can you recommend the way to tackle this? For example, spend a little more on downstairs unit vs upstairs based on planned use? Brands to shop or avoid? Thanks.
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Dan Thanks for reaching out. The best option is a visual inspection with a local fireplace expert. You may find our most local partner to you here. All the best on your project! Dominique
  12. I want to replace an existing working gas insert with a more modern looking. I live in South Brunswick. What are the option and approximately would be the material cost to change out?
    • Dominique Page
      Good afternoon Nita Thanks for your message. There are great options available. The simplest is to have the insert replaced with a more modern one. Some other projects we've done include changing the whole fireplace itself. This is more involving, but the results are quite stunning. The best first step is to visit our closest Member store. Bring some pictures along with you, on the fireplace and of the outside wall of your home where the fireplace is. This will help assessing the possibilities. Enjoy and stay safe!
  13. Hello, I would like to replace or ceramic logs in our gas fireplace with the fire balls, is that possible without replacing the metal grates and rock wool that the logs sit on? Our fireplace is old wood burning brick converted to gas in 2007. Were in Phoenix. Thanks!
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Jessica Thanks for reaching out. The best would be to have a fireplace expert take a look. Normally, the whole burner system would need to be replaced in order to change the logs (or the media). But, having someone taking a look and inspect your installation is the best and safest way to proceed. All the best!!! Dominique
  14. Dev
    Gas fireplace downstairs. Just now replaced the glass after I cleaned out all the dust etc and I ran some steel wool over the thermal coupler. Now the pilot light stays on. Cleaning inside the gas firebox, I noticed the flat black paint peeling. Can I repaint the interior of a gas fireplace? Thank you.
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Dev Thanks for reaching out. The answer is 'yes' you can paint the metal inside of your gas fireplace. Make sure to use high heat paint, for 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you sand and clean the surface real good, so the adherence is maximized. All the best!!!
  15. We have a gas fireplace that uses a key and a lighter. Is there a way to update the fireplace so that it will operate with an on/off wall switch. We are in Atlanta Georgia.
  16. Pat
    I have a fireplace that I consider the builders choice special. I was wondering if I upgraded the tempered glass to ceramic glass would it increase the heat output? Right now I have to lean against the glass to feel anything.
    • Dominique Page
      Hi Pat. Thanks for reaching out. Tempered glass units are made to be less efficient by design. They are built to allow the heat to escape up the chimney in order to keep the glass cooler and have the 'fire' going for longer periods of time, for enjoyment. Ceramic glass fireplaces are designed to radiate heat and with a higher efficiency thinking. Some models even have a heat exchanger. These ceramic glass fireplaces will radiate much more heat into the room and will tend to heat up the space faster than tempered glass units. With high efficiency and higher heat output, it means the fireplace will typically run for a lesser amount of time. So depending on what you value the most, both design have their purpose. Hope this answers your question. Stay warm! Dominique

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