If your brick indoor fireplace is old or in need of an update, there are several ways you can give it a new look. Here are two ideas with instructions to help you transform the look of your fireplace.
Cover Your Brick Fireplace with Stone
With a little work and effort, you can cover your fireplace's old brick facade. First, select the type of stone you want to use to cover the brick with. You can select flat-sided stones to stack upon one another, or rounded stones to create a random pattern over your fireplace.
Next, you will need to buy lath, which is a metal mesh similar to chicken wire. Cut it with metal snips and fit it over the brick facade. Attach the lath over the entire brick front of your fireplace, using concrete screws or nails. Make sure you attach the screws or nails into the mortar between the bricks, spacing them every six to eight inches. If you drill the holes directly into the brick, it can cause the brick to crack and break apart, making the foundation for your new stone facade not secure. This can cause your new stone surface to crumble apart as well. Using a layer of lath and mortar helps your new stone to attach onto soot and dust-covered bricks without having to clean the surface of the brick.
It can be helpful to arrange your stones before you have mixed up and applied the mortar. So, measure a template of your fireplace on the floor or other flat surface and set out your stones to fit them together and create the look you want for your fireplace. Then, mix up a heat-resistant mortar according to the product's instructions. Using a trowel, spread the mortar over the lath-covered brick, creating a layer approximately 1/2-inch thick.
Place your stones onto the fireplace, starting at the bottom and working your way up in layers. To attach each stone, moisten the back of a stone with a wet sponge, then cover the back of the stone with mortar and press the stone onto the still-wet mortar. Use a masonry saw to cut any edge stones to fit onto the fireplace. To hold the lintel stones in place while the mortar dries, use three wooden two-by-fours to make a support frame. Set one two-by-four as a support directly under the stone lintels, with the other two two-by-fours to prop up the support piece.
Next, mix up heat-resistant grout to fill between each stone and place it in a grout bag. Cut off one corner of the grout bag to make a 5/8-inch hole from where you will pipe the grout. The use of a grout bag will help you pipe the grout into the gaps between the stones.
Paint Your Brick Fireplace
If you are going to paint your brick fireplace, you first need to clean the bricks of any dirt, dust, and soot. This will ensure your paint will stick to the bricks. Use trisodium phosphate, water, and a wire scrub brush to scrub the surface of all exposed brick. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and goggles to protect yourself from the trisodium phosphate. Rinse the area clean with water and allow the brick to dry.
Mask off the areas surrounding your brick and apply a coat of oil-based stain-blocking primer. Select the color you want to paint your fireplace and buy an indoor latex paint that is heat-resistant to withstand high temperatures from your fireplace. Once the primer has dried, apply your paint with a thick-textured roller to get the paint into the brick's many cracks and crevices. Apply several coats of paint until the primer and brick is covered. You can use a small brush for painting any hard-to-reach places.
These two methods can help you transform the exterior of your fireplace. Inversely, if you need to replace your fireplace or would like to install one in an additional room, reach out to local contractors for more information.