Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fireplace Redo

Does Your Hearth need a Fireplace Redo?

OK, your fireplace has a little age on it now and you’re starting to despise the look of it. Smoke and soot have marred the surfaces and you now feel more like you’re camping than enjoying a fixture in your home. It still appears to be safe and functional but it looks like something in an old farmhouse. What do you do? Time for a facelift.
The appearance is just as important, if not more so, than the functionality. Most people have an occasional fire in the winter but you look at the thing every single day. Your company sees it as a big part of your home as well, good or bad. The fireplace is a major part of the home in most cases.
If the house is new, you are likely happy with the fireplace even though you may want to add glass doors or maybe a nice mantel. If you have an old piece of carpet in front of the hearth, it may be time for a hearth rug to keep those small burned places off your floor. Add a few decorations and you’re good to go.
After a few years, things tend to go downhill. People rarely clean their fireplace enough to prevent the accumulation of soot and smoke. What can you do about it? Let’s consider some fireplace refacing ideas. That’s basically where you are covering the nasty stuff with something that looks better and is, hopefully durable.
Lots of materials can be use including marble, stone, stucco, artificial building material or sheetrock. This can be very expensive and may even make things worse with the wrong materials or bad workmanship. There are many pros and cons for each method but most people choose to paint their fireplace. It is a simple and inexpensive solution that allows them the most flexibility. It’s so simple they have the option of doing it themselves.
Buy a fireplace refacing kit where all the tools, paints, glazes and instructions are shipped to you. The kit has everything you need to reface the brick in just one weekend. Hide the blemishes and discoloration of the brick but let the beauty of the texture shine through by using fireplace paint made to make your fireplace brick look its best. It’s also one of the cheapest options.
A fireplace redo with fireplace paint can significantly change the look of your fireplace. A huge difference is made in the overall appearance of the room. This is not a huge job but can be done in a weekend for the average size fireplace. You don’t need to be a building guru or pull a permit.
The preparation for the fireplace redo begins with the cleaning work. This is something you’d need to do even if not refacing. It can be made easier by purchasing a cleaner made for fireplace cleaning. You need a little muscle and a stiff bristled brush. If your fireplace has already been painted before, using this kit does not require that you remove the old paint. If any of the paint is flaking off, brush the brick until the loose part comes off and don’t worry about the rest. Don’t worry about stains on the brick. The base coat/sealer that comes with your kit will cover those.
Tape off the wall and floor around the fireplace to keep the paint off. Use a brush to paint on the base coat/sealer. Put this all over your brick and mortar. It’s like painting a wall.
Use a small roller or sponge to paint on the colors and glazes. Wait for each coat to dry between steps. Each tiny step is on the DVD videos and in the written instructions included with each order.
Finally, apply the clear matte finish after allowing the paint to dry totally. Replace any accessories you’ve removed such as fireplace glass doors and you’re done. You get professional results and it may even look better than the original.
Now tackle that mantel if it needs it. Maybe you want to add one. A tremendous variety of mantels are available in various styles, materials and finishes. If there is no budget for the mantel, add some decorations to the wall above the fireplace. A clock, a painting, or some wall sculptures make a blank wall more intriguing.
Put your fireplace tools on the hearth. It’s a cheap upgrade to toss your old, beat up ones and buy some nice ones. You might pair up those tools with a similarly styled wood holder to balance things out. Add a hearth rug in front if you burn wood and you’ll protect the floor and add another decorating touch. Toss in a plant or two on the ends of the hearth and you have something more than just the front of the fireplace.

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