Looks like a very tall narrow fireplace so maybe just adding a modern mantel and some tall objects would make a big change. Adding a nice large picture or even a mirror if you need the look of more space would make a big difference.
If you really want to change the color it seems there are several ways to do this. The jagged uneven brick wall would be more difficult but not impossible. Several sites recommend using a thick roller and a brush but only you can tell if that would work. Of course, you can always buy or rent a paint sprayer. Maybe check the paint area and ask for help at your local Lowe's or Home Depot.
I would suggest you take a look at all the possibilities of how to change the looks on Google and you may find something to your liking.
I found this site very interesting in a more DIY method and it seems feasible so just check this site:
This is a good link on "how to" even if you have to change the method.
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I need to know what to do with my very large fireplace. It is bricked from ceiling to floor, 10 ft. wide. There is a wood box built in. Bricks cover almost the whole wall. I have read somewhere that stainless steel was used to cover the bricks and then painted? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
Doris from Glen Allen, VA
My house was originally built by a brickmason as his personal residence. He went all out with the fireplace so I know what you mean. The fireplace is huge. It is natural brick. I wanted to paint it a light off white to brighten the room but my husband freaked. So it is natural brick. I did have a brass and glass folding firescreen installed and it seems to draw your eye to that area and not so much to all that brick.
I redid the mantle to a more attractive one and use a large framed mirror placed in the center of the mantle to make the room look larger and reflect whatever is there - flowers, Christmas greenery etc. It does take your eye away from all that brick. A nice set of firetools displayed on the hearth works well also. We have also used large wrought iron candlesticks, but you have to be conscious of what the heat does to the candles. These are cosmetic changes but they do take your eye away from that expanse of brick.
One summer I took a large tangle of grapevines and threaded white lights and sprigs of silk ivey through them and it was quite pretty. I hung them on the brick and it looked like a fancy cafe setting and wasn't very expensive.