Friday, January 20, 2012

Fireplace Makeover

We have a 1950’s ranch set amongst a neighborhood of similarly built homes. Previous owners of our house enclosed the space between our house and garage. Before, it was probably just a patio.
The only heat source in this room is a built-in gas fireplace. Let me tell you- this room was U.G.L.Y. when we first moved in. Burgundy trim everywhere, cream walls, burgundy carpet, and the fireplace was horrendous. I’m not sure what these people were thinking- it had ceramic, shiny, burgundy tiles surrounding it. Like the kind you find in a bathroom….of a really ugly house. Then it was trimmed in brassy gold trim. I wish I had taken a picture. But patience is not a virtue of mine. I wish it was. I have a problem with having ugly things in my house. They drive me crazy and usually rip them out without much of a plan.
So that is what I did to my ugly fireplace. Then I went to Lowes and looked at their house exterior products. I found some stones I liked that are used on the outside of homes and ordered a box of them.
I talked to a guy at Lowes and he told me how to prep my walls for the stones. I needed a bag of cement and had to put up a cement board of some type and then a wire mesh so the cement would have something to grip on to. Cement, cement, cement- say it a few more times!
Then I just started slapping the cement on to the back of the stones and arranging them around the fireplace. It looked 100 percent better than it had before- but not perfect.
The problem with any project we (my husband is usually dragged unwillingly into my projects) do is the actual completion of it. Those last little details or final steps. We/I have a problem with that. I guess we/I kind of run out of steam towards the end of projects.
So, here I am, trying to finish those details to get our house ready to sell. I found a mantel-type thing at one of my favorite stores here in town. It’s called Cottage Corner. Love it!
I found some stone squares at out local home improvement store in the outdoor section. I just set them in front of the fireplace. I need to notch out the corners so they fit snugly against the wall and then glue them down....somehow.
The last step- I bought a grout bag and mixed up some more cement to fill in the cracks around the stones.
This did not go so well......
I couldn't get the consistency of the cement quite right. It was either too soupy or it would be too thick to even come out the tip of the bag. I was a little, um......frustrated, to say the least. Back to the drawing board. I wanted to have a completed picture for you, but things don't always go as planned :(
I'm going to visit the local home improvement store this weekend to see if I can find something that will work. Hopefully I will post a completed project on Monday.

Also to come- Door handle discount, Quarter round nail down and Patch the hole.

Have a great weekend!

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