We’ve decided that we’re going to remove the stone from the fireplace in our family room.
After spending days, yes days, cleaning the fireplace with a paste, we determined it just wasn’t going to work – it’s not the right look for our home. You can read the details on cleaning the fireplace with a homemade paste by following this link.
So TJ began removing the stone face of our fireplace using a hammer and chisel.
Once TJ got enough of the stone removed that he knew what to expect behind the stone, he decided to switch to an impact hammer or “air” hammer. Once you connect the air hammer to your compressor, it repeatedly strikes your surface. TJ attached a chisel to the hammer and was able to use the air hammer to chip away and loosen the cement mortar. While it vibrates a bit, it was much, must faster than trying to remove the mortar manually and overall quite effective in removing the stone. For us, the cost of the hammer was well worth the time it saved. Plus, we’ll use it for other projects.
We got our air hammer @Home Depot and here is the link to the one we used. We also purchased these chisels for the air hammer. Air hammers are available at various price points, some more and some less than we paid, but for our purposes we believed this one would work well and we’re very happy with it after using it on the fireplace. If you’re in need of an air compressor, we actually have several. We like using our smaller one whenever possible because it’s more convenient, but this is similar to the one we used with this project. Our favorite is our portable compressor, but TJ was using the hammer non-stop so he needed to use a larger compressor.
While TJ was removing the stone from the fireplace, I was loading it into the back of our truck. We transferred the stone to a location that wasn’t far from where TJ’s day job, so he took it with him when he went to work and left it parked in his downtown Atlanta parking lot with all the stone weighing the truck down.
It doesn’t look like it would weigh that much until you see the truck from the side. He got several interesting looks as he parked =) Fortunately he only had to make one loaded trip like that. A neighbor reached out that asked if he could have the remaining stone to help with a drainage issue he had in his back yard so two of the three loads were much closer to home =)
The picture below shows the remaining brick fireplace after the stone removal. The brick behind the stone is because it is a true wood-burning fireplace. The stone that was on the left hand side of the fireplace didn’t include the brick backing which worked to our advantage. We didn’t like the lopsided look of the original fireplace and since we were resurfacing anyway, we wanted to reduce the size of the fireplace so that it looked even. Not having that extra brick to remove made us pretty happy.
Here is the final product after we cleaned all the dust off the floor. Yes, bummer that I spent so much time trying to make the old fireplace work. But in the end, we have a clean, blank slate. And I know it’s going to look amazing when we’re done resurfacing.