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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Details on the Fireplace

Hubby and I just made plans to open up the cottage for 2014.  We have a small cottage on a lake in Northern Indiana.  We have owned the place for 6 years and have tackled many projects.

Since I am excited to get up there, I thought I would share one of our bigger projects that we did.  It was kind of a pain in the booty but well worth the effort!

This was completed in 2011.

Wait til I share the project for 2014!  Until then, have a look:

Thanks for all the comments, calls and texts!  I am still in shock by this transformation.  I am even more amazed that we stepped outside our comfort zone and attempted this.  If you missed the transformation, click here.
Now for the nitty-gritty and a how-to.
We started with painted cement block.  The directions specifically say, do not apply to painted surfaces.  And so the challenges began.
We had two options (perhaps more but we only considered these).

Remove the paint -or- Build a new surface
We opted for the second.

lake 068
Painted cement block.
Cottage Fireplace 002
When Hubby was up here last month, he tackled this baby.  
So glad I was not a part of this, I would have walked off the job!
  1. Attach metal lathe using tapcon screws.  He pre-drilled the holes with a drill hammer.
  2. He attached a screw every 6” horizontally and 12” vertically.
  3. Then he applied a skim coat of mortar over the lathe.
Now, if you do not have a painted surface, the job just got sooo much easier.  
You skip all of the above and start here.
  1. I purchased boxes of cultured flat stone at Menards.  There are also corner pieces that match the stone selection.  Four boxes of flat stones and 3 boxes of corners.  Menards stocks two color selections.  Others are available by special order.  I did not find these at any other home center.
  2. Starting with the corner, we laid out the stones. 
  3. We mixed a bag of mortar with water in a large mortar tub.  Mixing it with a hoe. 
Cottage Fireplace 005
As you can see, we covered everything nearby with plastic.  It gets messy.
Hubby put the mortar on the fireplace, while I “buttered” the stone with the mortar.
Cottage Fireplace 008 Cottage Fireplace 011
Then you place the stone in the desired place, hold it for a 5-10 count.  
Step away and hope it stays in place.
It is best to work in small sections, so the mortar doesn’t dry.
Cottage Fireplace 019
Cottage Fireplace 021
  • It’s like putting a puzzle together.
  • Each box comes with a variety of sizes and colors.  Choose the number of boxes based on your square footage.
  • We used 3 bags of mortar.
  • This part took 5 hours.  We rocked it out and truly got in a groove.
Learn from us:
  • Wetter is better for the mortar.
  • Open and lay out all the stones, so you see all your options and have a good selection.
  • Wear gloves.  These are chemicals and did some major damage to Hubby’s hands.
  • It is a pretty easy process and very rewarding.
  • You will be sore the next day.
Next up:
As I mentioned, this baby isn’t finished.  We have some stones to place on the sides of the fireplace.  We just got a wet saw, so this should be fun!
And the final step is to grout using the biggest pastry bag I ever did see.  Hubby bought two, so he will start at the ceiling and I will work from the bottom.  This may be quite entertaining.
Some of you expressed interest in doing this project.  
Please email me if I can provide additional info.
Hope to have it done this week!


Anonymous said...

Hi Shannon-
I'm still having such an issue with blogger and can't sign in but I am in love with your fireplace! Just gorgeous, thanks for sharing the steps with us!
my uncommon slice of suburbia

fran said...

Wow! That is quite a project. You did a great job. Congratulations. Thanks for dropping by my blog.
fran @ eleven-o-one

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's something different, totally not what I expected to see on your blog. I love it! The final piece is unrecognisable.

Erin @ His and Hers said...

Wow! I would be overwhelmed to start a project like that, but you guys totally pulled it off! Love the "buttering" the stone thing. :)

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

Again, I'm so impressed you guys attempted this. Thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

GET OUT OF TOWN! You and Mike "ROCK" the house! Get it.?. Amazing job! xo Ra

Annabelle Vandorn said...

Haha, well, building a new surface does seem like a lot of hard work. The new surface looks good, though, so it seems like progress is good. Seems like there is still quite a lot of work to do, so good luck with that! It's best to do stuff like these while you're having fun, right? So you can look back and enjoy the end result once you're done with it.

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