Fireplace Remodel

Hey everyone! It’s been a super long time since I’ve written a blog. The holidays have come and gone, all the Christmas decor is down and I’m back in the swing of things. It’s snowing like crazy today so I figured it would be a good time to catch up on some blogging. I’m really excited to share with you how we redid our fireplace! This fireplace has bothered me for forever. We worked hard to make the rest of our house look nice but the main focal point of the room we spent the most time in was outdated.

Fireplace Before

I went back and forth trying to figure out the best way to redo the fireplace without paying anyone. I was afraid to try anything in case it didn’t work out but one day my husband and I just decided to go for it! I’m super glad we did because I love the way it turned out.

Where to Buy the Supplies…

  • Airstone from Lowes (we used 2 packs of the Spring Creek Blend)
  • Airstone Adhesive
  • Bullseye 123 Primer (We had some left over from other projects)
  • Chalk Paint tinted Gray (we found cheaper chalk paint at Home Depot after we already bought this one. So you might want to check that out)
  • Water based Polyacrylic Finish (I did a lot of research and this brand seemed to be the best to hold up to traffic and the heat from the fireplace)
  • Paint brush, trays, painters tape, spatula for adhesive
  • Light sand paper
  • Wet saw

How to Redo the Fireplace…

Painting the Tile

Ok, so full disclosure, this was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. I’ll walk you through what I did, my mistakes and future recommendations. First things first, I cleaned all the tile with some Clorox wipes to get rid of all the dust, dirt and oil.

I taped the edges with some painters tape, painted it with primer, waited an hour and painted it with another coat. I let that dry for 24 hours and then painted it with three coats of chalk paint, waiting the specified time on the paint can between each coat. After the last coat, I let it dry for 24 hours and then painted it with three coats of poly acrylic, again waiting the specified time on the back of the can and lightly sanding between each coat as specified on the can.

I looked at my finished product and was like yay, that was so easy! That’s when the problems started. I took the tape off before the paint was dry and it ripped up pieces of the paint. After four days of painting, I was pretty upset.

I waited for three days because the chalk paint said it took that long to cure and at this point I didn’t want to screw anything else up. I lightly sanded around the areas that chipped to get rid of any lose paint and then repainted it with primer, chalk paint and poly acrylic the same as before.

It worked and I’m super happy with the end result but I’m not confident in this lasting long term. As a matter of fact, we had someone come out to service our fireplace and they chipped a small part of the paint. It’s not enough to notice, but I have a feeling in a few years I’m going to have to touch it up. Now, it was a cheap fix so it’s not a big deal but I think it would’ve been better if I sanded the tile ahead of time to really give that primer something to stick to. I think sanding and removing the tape after each coat of paint while it’s still wet would prevent the paint from sticking to the tape and then peeling up. All in all, it worked out but I was a little scared there for a minute!

Laying the Stone

We let the tile sit for 48 hours before we started on the fireplace, just so we didn’t mess anything up again. In the meantime, we measured the fireplace, took some tape and made a fireplace replica on the carpet and laid out the Airstone to make sure we had a good mix of size, shapes and colors on the final product.

We then took the pieces that were too big for the sections and cut them with our wet saw. We went back and forth on the best way to cut this Airstone and decided a wet saw was best. The package says you can cut it with a hacksaw and you can, but who wants to cut that many pieces with a hacksaw? Not to mention it’s much harder to get the pieces straight, especially when you end up with a very tiny row at the top like we did. We also tried to buy a masonry blade for our miter saw, but apparently they didn’t have one that fit so that was a no go. We ended up buying a cheap wet saw from Harbor fright and it definitely got the job done! I don’t see this being our last tiling project either, so it doesn’t hurt to have a wet saw on hand. If you don’t want to purchase a wet saw, I know you can rent them from Home Depot but I don’t know how much that costs.

Next we removed the quarter round from around the current tile on the fireplace and touched up the fireplace with paint.

Once the paint dried, it was time to put the stone on the fireplace. We cleaned the tile again to make sure there was no dirt, oil or debris on it and then started at the top where the fireplace cut out begins and worked out way down from there using the Airstone and adhesive. This stuff does slide down so we decided to start at the bottom and go up for the next side and it was way easier because you didn’t have to keep pushing the airstone up.

We then started on the middle section. Here we worked from the bottom up. Once we placed all the Airstone, we used left over pieces of wood that we had to prop up the middle so it wouldn’t slip down while drying.

We let it dry for 24 hours and we had a new fireplace! It looks so much better now and I’m super happy with the way it turned out. It makes our room look so much more modern and warm now.

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