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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Project 4: Fireplace Refresh - Part 1


My poor husband.  I convinced him that we should really install glass fireplace doors, since we were losing a lot of heat unnecessarily through the unsealed fireplace (we were using a tri-fold screen for the fireplace borrowed from my in-laws).  After 2 months of crazy heating bills, he anxiously agreed -- especially, since this sounded like a simple, straightforward project for us to tackle.  I found a great set of doors on Amazon. Soon they arrived, and we got ready to start a 'simple' project to install the doors.

However...as I was contemplating the process to install the doors, I realized how much I really disliked the ugly brick surround.  I had painted it black awhile back, since 50+ years of smoke, dirt, and grim didn't really budge after several hours of scrubbing.  I found a couple of gorgeous surrounds on Pinterest, and remarkably...convinced hubby that this would be a great project for us to tackle ourselves (our first time tiling anything...exciting!)

Of course, in order to tile over the ugly brick, we needed to take down the builder-grade, nondescript mantle.  In case you're keeping track, here's our current to-list for this project:

  • Rip out existing mantle
  • Re-tile over ugly brick surround
  • Build new mantle & install
  • Install new set- of fireplace glass doors and screen
Here's how it all turned out...


Not so awful, but definitely doesn't add any excitement to the room


When we took down the 50+ year old mantle, several patches of drywall also came down (notice the lovely blue tape).  Step 1:  Apply a layer of thinset mortar over the brick to smooth any uneven surfaces


Step 2: Install the mosaic tile sheets (we chose a gray marble mosaic).  Love the action shot - go hubby!

Steps 3 & 4: Grout the tile, and then install the new doors.  HUGE improvement, and we haven't yet tackled the mantle.




Now...on to the mantle design.  We were going for something clean and classic (and hopefully, easy to build, since this is our first wood-working project!)  This was our inspiration:


And here's what we came up with...
I'm a visual gal...always need a picture to keep me on track!

Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!




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