We moved into our current home about four years ago. From the time I first set foot in this house, I’ve been saying I want to fix up the fireplace. I knew all along how much potential it had, and as it’s such a large part of our living room, it’s very much a focal point!
For a long time I did nothing. Out of fear I’d hate it more, mixed with a lot of laziness and procrastination. I’ve found that all I really need is one burst of motivation to finish certain projects, and luckily that burst finally happened.
I have always HATED the bulky brass fireplace cover. My husband is a bit old fashioned, I have found, as he is always kind of fond of the more ‘dated’ parts of our house.
Finally, I had a little extra money in my account and the motivation to back it, so I got to work. For all of my hesitation, this only took ONE weekend. Who would have thought. Bonus, I did most of this while I was home alone with the kids!
It all started on a whim, as I decided to pull off the old cover. The kids had broken off the knob that locks the glass, so I had to actually yank it out far enough to be able to access the screws that attached it to the fireplace.
Once it was off, there was no going back.
We have made maybe one fire in this fireplace, probably the same year we moved in. There was still a ton of ash and charred wood from that occasion…oops. I spent the better part of a two hour nap time sweeping, scrubbing, and wiping down the inside of the fireplace.
The next day I went out and bought supplies. Here’s what I used for the whole project:
I may not have done these in the BEST order, but I’m new at this stuff. And I’m proud of how it turned out!
I started out by using fireplace caulk to fill in the cracks and holes you see in the stone and on the brick. I should have flattened these out more or sanded them down once dry. But I didn’t. Oh well. Again, I’m not a professional DIY’er yet.
Once that got semi dry, I added a coat of black high heat spray paint. You can also get this in a can and use a brush, but this was all I could find at the time.
Once that was on, I painted the brick with a masonry primer. I started off with a small bristle brush but then my husband came home and said it would go much faster if I got a roller with really fluffy fur. He was right! I bought one and the second (and third) coats of outdoor paint went on like a dream.
Finally, I sanded and stained the mantle. This wood is cheap and thin, and despite sanding it down, it didn’t absorb the stain very well. Even after days of dry time and having a fan on it, it still felt kind of sticky and looked wet. I’m not sure what went wrong there but I don’t hate it and it’s fine now.