When we were on the hunt for our home one thing Joe, my husband, desperately wanted was a real fireplace. He grew up in a home with movie nights next to a cozy crackling fire, and it was something he wanted to have for our future family. In our condo we had purchased one of those electric fireplaces, and although it was warm it just didn’t have that same cozy vibe.
When we found our home, we were ecstatic that it checked off most of our boxes. Joe was especially thrilled that it had not one but two fireplaces! One in the basement and one in the main living room. When we did the walkthrough of the house we agreed that having the fireplace was great, but that it wasn’t exactly our style. We brought my father in law with us to the inspection and we took a peek at the fireplace and agreed that we could gut this fireplace and redo it to fit the look we were going for!
The fireplace had some stone glued to the front, a wooden base, and grey plywood that went from the floor to the ceiling. It was obvious that the previous owner wanted to make the fireplace a focal point of the room, and they did a nice job! It just didn’t feel like us.
So we got to work! Joe & his Dad, Mario, started by taking down the white mantel and the plywood. When it came time to remove the stone we realized that the adhesive would be very difficult to remove from the brick.
Mario and Joe were able to install the wood shiplap that same day. We used pine trim for the corners and the top of the fireplace. To remove the adhesive on the stone, we used muric acid and then the Milwaukee Oscillating tool with a masonry grinding wheel attached.
We used Kilz primer and Benjamin Moore Semi Gloss Trim Paint to paint the shiplap. We did 4 coats of primer, and we are actually starting to see the knots of the wood poking through again! We are going to try BIN primer by Zinnser soon to cover up yellow popping through. To paint the brick we used a white masonry paint!
To build the beam mantel we used 2x4s and stacked them on top of one another. Then we used pieces of oak to build around the 2x4s. Mario & his Dad used to build homes, and were a big help with the intricacies of cutting the oak to have seamless edges.
We also used a high heat black paint to paint the inside of the fireplace. After we built the mantel, we stained it and hung up our TV.
Now, our fireplace is one of the focal points of our home. We absolutely adore it!