Fireplace Project – Phase II – Concrete winning the battle but not the war

Here is an update to the fireplace project.

Before I get to the concrete part, I did paint the surround with a high temperature spray paint that I bought at an auto store. It is a very nice, flat black. IMG_1227

On Wednesday, I picked up my 10lb bag of Ardex and it turned out to be the grey – not white. I decided to make a batch to play with it that evening and made too much since the stuff starts to harden and is not workable after about 30 minutes. IMG_1229

Rather than continue into the night, I decided to wait until the next day to work on it some more. Bad mistake – whether it is the fact that I used water from a garden hose instead of my sink or any other number of reasons, I got a different color.

IMG_1243IMG_1244 Then I ran out of it – on the Fourth of July so I headed to the quickest big box store knowing they didn’t have the exact stuff and found some Quikrete brand cement topping that also has a polymer in it. Well, it wasn’t. This stuff was supposed to be trowelable but nope, half of it would fall and was no longer usable. It was horrible and had a rougher finish. And that dark patch of cement never dried lighter so now I have this crazy piece.


So I debated last night whether to order another bag of Ardex and wait until next week to continue. Or should I just stain it even though the upper left corner area has a very think layer and you can still see the stupid texture. I went to a different home improvement store – they were closed yesterday but this place has a lot of green living supplies. They introduced me to this stuff –  Deco Poz – it is another microtopper product but this one uses less Portland Cement and has some recyclable content. It also has a longer work time of about 2 hours. The 5 gal bucket was $30 something with the polymer about $90 – yeah it is spendy but Ardex was $40 for 10lbs.

The guy there was really helpful and told me that this stuff does work on walls. Since I had different products on the fireplace, it was best to keep it consistent even if I was going to stain – in case the stain ended up darkening the darker patch. My plan is to use a slightly thinner layer just to keep the color the same and the surface would be the same material. Plus, that crappy stuff that I used was mostly on the bottom half of the fireplace and some of the cement backer board tape is sticking through so yeah, I do need to add another layer. Then after, I could either stain it (which won’t pick up on the trowel marks that I like) or I could add stain to the seal so it is like a color wash. I’ll think about it when I get closer to that step.

The Quikcrete stuff was awful on the tile floor too. Even though it is a slate, it was bad. I’ll use the DecoPoz on the floor once the vertical space is done and the hearth is washed and scraped of the nasties.

Can’t think about the metal yet. Gotta get this looking nice before I can advance.

Le sigh.


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