Years ago I lived in a rental apartment with an unappealing bright red brick fireplace; after checking with the landlord (or did I?), I painted it glossy white. Here's a roundup of similar DIY white fireplaces.
Above: A bright white hearth in a New York apartment by Ashe & Leandro.
Above: A fireplace spotted on Decor 8.
Above: An apartment in Cobble Hill, via the New York Times.
Above: A house in LA by Alexandra Loew of From the Desk of Lola.
Above: A living room by Ashe + Leandro.
Above: A living room in Texas from Atlantis Home.