We are refacing a fireplace – DIY!
I tried. I really tried.
I wanted to like the fireplace. I didn’t want to add unnecessary work.
I walked past it multiple times a day, every day for over two years. Every day I told myself I loved it.
I slathered it with a cleaning concoction that I told myself would make it beautiful, and then I would love it!
But after everything I still didn’t love it. I didn’t even like it!
Finally it is gone. We removed the stone off and now I”m happy with it. Because it’s gone =)
So, here we go. We located some beautiful stone at a nearby stone yard. It’s a perfect shade for what I want to do in this room. It was also discounted because only a small amount remained. That means I’m extra happy about the choice. I don’t pick something because its on sale, but I sure do enjoy the purchase more if it is.
Here is our vision for the new fireplace. Yes, it is a site for sore eyes!
A frame for the fireplace and hearth
We removed the stone from the fireplace which left us with the “fire” brick since this is a wood burning fireplace. Since the fireplace was flush with the wall, we built a frame for the new stone and hearth using regular 2 x 4’s.
We covered the frame with cement board.
Refinishing and reinstalling the mantle
At this point we re-installed the former mantle. Formerly, the mantle looked like a railroad tie. It had never been sanded or finished with any type of poly so that you could clean it. It was so rough you couldn’t even dust it. I’m serious. It looked like it had been stained a very dark color, but I think it was just accumulated dust over the 40 years of its existence!
We cut a few feet off the beam since we had reduced the width of the fireplace. I used the belt sander, then followed with an orbital sander using finer and finer sand paper. I’ll give it a final sanding one more time when its time to finish it.
Preparing for the stone installation
We covered the cement board with a strong metal mesh that is designed for vertical stone installations. Then we put a thin, rough coat of mortar. For the hearth, we found three large stone slabs that were the exact size we needed, plus the contrast in size should look really good against the smaller stone on the fireplace. Happy day!
I drew the three sections of the fireplace on the floor so I could layout the stone. I wanted to make sure it was visually appealing, and make sure we didn’t waste any tile since we knew we couldn’t get any more. Tj and I then got an assembly line going to put adhesive on the back of the stone and onto the wall. When choosing your products double check you are using products that are heat-resistant.
Preparing for the stone arch
For the arch below the mantle, we chose a variety of the stone and then chipped them down to the shape and size we needed.
Looking good! The top is done and we are rocking and rolling!! We used a pack of wood shims that we had left over from a previous job as our tile “spacers”.
After getting the stone on, we let it dry for a few days. Then added the frame that will eventually be trimmed out for columns and the arch.
I covered the stone and sprayed the inside of the fireplace with a high heat spray paint (make sure its clean before you paint – remember that cleaning paste?). And finally, the grout. And now, it’s time for . . .
Wait for it, wait for it . . .
It’s amazing!!! It’s beautiful!!! We love it!!!
We are so happy with how the fireplace turned out! I wouldn’t change one single thing about it.
Now when I walk by the fireplace I don’t have to tell myself to love it. I DO love it. I stop and look at it and I just smile at it. And, yes, I do a happy dance when no one’s looking. It’s so stinking beautiful!! And because we did it ourselves, it even makes me FEEL good to look at it =)
Wait until you hear what is going to happen to the rest of this room!