This weekend I started working on a satisfying fireplace facelift for one of my clients. This ugly little fireplace in a new townhouse HAD TO GO! I designed a new one flanked by bookshelves ….sure to make any book lovers heart sing.
I searched on Used Victoria for a fireplace mantel with character and I got pretty lucky with this little gem. It was actually a stage prop for the Ladysmith Little Theatre that I bought for $250. The stain of the mantel was really orange-y so I rolled up my sleeves today and tinted it with a grey water based stain – you can see it worked well!
A little more paint and drywall and this fireplace facelift is going to be FAB! Follow along as I finish this great new space!
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My most recent project has been a home where the hardwood floors were replaced and we painted the entire house. (pics of that to come soon). The fireplace was in need of an update and the client chose a charcoal coloured slate to replace the old multi-coloured slate tile.
My client also had a beam in her garage…yes a big (giant even) piece of wood…you know just hanging out in her garage. Cool client huh? So of course we had to make it into the mantle… despite the rather obvious bow in it.
I sanded that bad boy with a rented belt sander from Home Depot and had a BLAST! It revealed a really beautiful piece of wood underneath and I had help installing it from my buddy Shawn.
The drywall was patched by a pro and the painting of the house went on all around me as I painted the niches in Benjamin Moore Silver Fox and the shelves and feature wall in Benjamin Moore Black Tar in Pearl finish.
I stained the beam in one coat so as to keep it on the lighter side. it turned out amazing. I used Minwax Jacobean coloured stain ans sealed it with a polyurethane.
This project captured allot of my design philosophy…that is, re-using and reclaiming materials and vintage pieces. Using the clients objects in a new way rather than buying everything new, and most of all ensuring that the client gets exactly what they want…even if they didn’t know what that was when we started.
Contact me if you would like some help making the place you live a place you love.
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Within weeks of moving in I wanted to re-do the fireplace, but these things take time…Here is the before shot – forgive the paint samples…
First thing to do was remove the old tiles. Not difficult they were glued on, and not very well I might add! Check out my drywall repair job..sweet.
Next we got organized with the tools (west saw, tape measure, level, mortar, bucket, water jug, fully charged drill, drill bit mixing attachment, trowel, old rags and an apron (the saw is MESSY). We protected the floor with a carpet of cardboard boxes and watched several how to videos on the internet.
We started with the “easiest” part first (the part with the fewest fussy cuts) to get the hang of it. Oh and I painted the shelves and mantle with a few coats of Mustang by Benjamin Moore hoping I could just do a touch up coat after all was said and done…
My husband Chris made friends with the tile saw rather quickly and we got’er done over two weekends. We love that it looks like it has always been there.
Final step is to paint the shelves and mantle again. I dont like Mustang anymore so opted for Iron Mountain, by Benjamin Moore instead. The brown is actually a great primer for this dark charcoal grey so it’s all good. A couple more coats and I’m finished!
Contact me if you would like some help making the place you live a place you love! email@example.com
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My Fire Place will be completed this weekend! And I thought I would take a little time to explain the process for any of you do it yourselfers out there.
First I researched the materials. There are a number of faux stone products available through your local big box stores but I ordered a sample from an online dealer because the faux stone they offered was closer to the look I wanted and they had a much larger selection. The Sample looked like this:
The look of the faux stone was great, and as you can see it is a Styrofoam product on the inside. The only drawback, and ultimately a deal breaker for us, was the feeling of the faux product. There is a cold hard natural feeling with real stone and we humans like to feel that for some reason. So while everyone agreed the Faux stone looked great and would certainly be easy to install, it just felt kind of weird to the touch.
In terms of price per square foot the faux and the real stuff are comparable if you shop around for a deal (which of course I did), but keep in mind you will have to add some specialized tools (like a trowel, mortar, wet saw, mixing bit for your drill and an apron for your husband who operates the wet saw!) to your tab if you go with the real stuff. The real stuff looks like this:
This particular product is referred to as cultured stone, I don’t know exactly why. But Ive also heard it referred to on TV as ledgestone or dry stacked stone, so try them all if your stone salesman gives you the hairy eyeball to let him/her know what you mean. Also beware of the upsell. I fell into this trap and purchased metal lathe, black building paper, special stapler, special staples…NOT NECESSARY. The cultured stone can be installed with a polymer mortar directly to the interior wall. And because there is no grouting, it goes up really quick. Ive also heard from some people that the wet saw is not even necessary and that you can simply use your grinder with a mason wheel but what the heck, we have a wet saw now, might as well use it.
I’ll be posting a whole feature next week on my fireplace. Hope you come back and see! Have a great long weekend!
I am always happy to answer any questions about where I bought materials etc.
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Finishes: Beyond the location and style of the fireplace the finish is also VERY important. My home is located in an area with lots of exposed rock face and protected forests and similarly I am drawing my inspiration for the fireplace from my surroundings. If you live in a city highrise perhaps a high gloss ceramic is more your speed, a river rock fireplace screams lakeside cottage and exposed or painted brick looks amazing in an urban loft! Always consider your setting and decor style when trying to make your fireplace look and feel like the best part of the space.
Natural stone is almost always a good choice and the cost may surprise you! The stacked slate (shown left) I am looking at is between $7-$9 per sq ft in retail stores (your designer may be able to do better for you). The real costs come with installation which can be upwards of $60 per sq ft for professionals. In case you were wondering the stone for your fireplace is sold with tile etc at flooring stores and locals may be interested to look at this product I found at Pamas slate & stone in Vancouver. http://pamasslate.com/
Another option is to look at any number of the faux stone products on the market. I found this one at www.fauxpanels.com which run around $11 per sq ft (US). The great thing about the panels is that they are so versatile, can be used inside or out, they are light and can be delivered UPS all over the world… and best of all you can DO IT YOURSELF! I have chosen a color combination (shown right) called “earth” and ordered a sample before I take the plunge. If you have any questions or want some advice on your fireplace, feel free to contact me email@example.com I will keep you posted on my fireplace project with another “Look what I did” series.
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