It makes someone as blunt and honest as me to feel more accepted in society.
Just don't ever try to burn a fire in the fireplace ever again!!!!! Personally, I think you should NOT PAINT!!!! But hey, its not my house. Smear crap on it if you want to. I would personally change it by getting some type of japaneese decorative panel to cover it so that you cannot see what you deam as ugly. Problem solved.