Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Crazy Fireplace Project

So, my sweet hubby took a week off work to do some projects around the house. One of them was going to be to build me a set of cupboards in the back of our kitchen for additional storage, but I found a dry sink for a great price at a local used furniture store, and that solved our problem, so I had a thought - actually - more of a vision - we needed to rip the gross, horrifying, pink, fake brick off our fireplace and replace it with something humans could stand to look at. So, this big project that in my head, would take an hour, turned into a three day saga of demo, grout, and splinters, but eventually gave way to a beautiful new fireplace!

 Saturday - Fake pink brick and messy house!
Saturday night - Doug's fireplace plans - we originally wanted to use field stone, but the fireplace is actually fairly small, and we decided it would be overwhelming.
Sunday after church - This is the "Oh sh!t! What have we done?" Stage of the demo process.

Sunday late afternoon - This is the "Holy crap it is crumbling and what is underneath here?" part of the demo. Turned out to be beautiful glazed tile with a flor de lis centerpiece and some other decorative tiles. We were so bummed that we couldn't save it - but whoever did this fake brick not only used tile adhesive, they for some reason felt liquid nails was necessary. Wish we had known what was under there, we would have used much gentler means of removing the fake stuff!

Sometime late in theafternoon Sunday - Uncovering pretty tile - this was upsetting. I was having a hard time not trying to save it - but the top was crumbling.

Sunday evening - We were going to remove all the fake brick, but the tiles at the top and the concrete material under them started to crumble. We were not up for redoing the entire fireplace - not knowing what kind of expense that would get us into, so we opted to stop the removal at that point and come up with another plan.

Flor de lis.

Sunday night - the portion to be tiled is mostly clear of adhesive, and Doug had to do a repair to the main arch of the fireplace.

Super late Sunday night - First part of the sandstone tile application.

LAAATTTTE Monday evening - Mackenzie Rose  and I stayed up and grouted the entire thing, while Doug started the surround.  It took us about 1.5 Harry Potter movies to complete the grout. We decided to leave the flor de lis uncovered as an homage to the original fireplace, and I happen to think it looks very nice! I think Doug thinks I am nutso for caring so much, but I think it adds something to have part of the original fireplace.        

Tuesday evening - Finished product. Doug built the wood surround using reclaimed Tobacco Pine procured from my brother's garage - he  recently finished a home building project so we raided his supplies. Thanks G - I think it turned out beautifully! 

We still have so much to do around here, including getting this fireplace cleaned up, but it is so nice to have one project DONE! Two if you count the whole dry sink replacing the cabinet thing! Whoo hoo! Onto house cleaning, creating and setting up a family closet in my laundry room, finishing the big boys' room make over, and cleaning and painting a room in the basement for sealing from water damage, and then cleaning and painting the upstairs bathroom. Also touching up existing paint and putting up some of those corner pieces of woodwork to prevent paint chipping.  Going to be a busy rest of the week, hopefully punctuated by a visit from my sweet cousin Suzy and her family. Can't wait!  


  1. Love the way it looks! Hard work paid off!

  2. Thank you - I totally LOVE it! Still sad about the original tile, but this is the best solution for the choices we had.


A blogger loves feed back, and a part time narcissist needs it! If you have a comment or question, I promise to get back to you right away, it's not like I have a houseful of kids to feed or anything!