You have to be a pretty ambitious home handyman to attempt an entire fireplace renovation on your own. Fireplaces are deceptively technical features of a home and behind the pretty face – or ugly face as the case may be before renovation – is a structure that requires expert attention for safety and health reasons.
But if your aim in your fireplace renovation is purely cosmetic, you can be confident in your skills and seek the advice of professionals for the tough questions. One of the first considerations is whether you want the fireplace to be functional or merely decorative. If the latter is the case, then it could be a simple matter of stripping back the materials that make up the hearth and surrounds, purchasing a new face and affixing it to the cavity. If, however, you’d really like to stoke the flames come winter, then you’ll need to invest in a bit more hard work and expense.
Cleaning and Repairing
Smoke damage, ageing, cracking and general disrepair can be the challenges you’ll face when contemplating fireplace renovation. Cleaning is a simple matter, of course, but when it comes to the repairs, it can be difficult to know where to start. Be sensible and don’t attempt more than your capabilities will reasonably allow. You could set yourself up for more expense and unexpected frustration.
Painting a brick fireplace
Adding a couple of coats of paint can totally transform a fireplace, especially if its current appearance is dragging down the mood of the entire room. The first step is to prepare the surface by washing with a mild soap and water solution. Allow the surface to dry completely before proceeding. Next is to apply two coats of masonry primer to guarantee that the paint will adhere efficiently.
For bricks that were previously painted, you’ll need to apply a bonding primer. When dry, use a large paintbrush to coat the bricks with a couple of coats of quality acrylic latex paint. Two coats ought to do the job, and be sure to leave the surface to cure for around five days before using the fireplace or decorating further. If you’d like to get a little more artistic with your fireplace renovation, you can try a faux finish that will give marble-like results. Your paint store consultant can help you to learn how to do it.
Prefabricated surrounds and mantels range from basic to rich designs that suit any budget. Mostly they can be installed by a keen handyman but as usual, be sure to ask for instructions or suggestions so that you do it right the first time. For a much simpler fireplace renovation, head to a specialist store where you’ll find new and modern designs, or restored older models, even antiques. It might take some looking around but you’re sure to find something to suit. Surrounds can be found in stone, tile, wood, cultivated stone, precast concrete and even stainless steel, copper and chrome.