A couple years ago, I redid my fireplace and everything seemed okay. Fast forward to most recently when I realized the faux beam was actually coming off the wall.
I had to do something before it caused an accident so I started to research on an entire surround piece and over the weekend, finally put it up.
First I had to take down the old piece. I did save the reclaimed wood to be used in future projects.
Once it was up, I was going to leave it until the morning but the two toned thing was driving me crazy so I primed it. (Only, I didn’t use real primer, I used some ceiling paint since it was super-duper flat.)
The next morning I painted it a smoky navy color (Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore).
Paint was still drying when I took this picture but it is done and looks pretty cool. I wanted the unexpected pop of color to make it less traditional.
I worked on the mantle this weekend and completed it!
Once again, the before pic –
Then I revamped the fireplace itself last year and this was what I saw for most of the year.
It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I added the beginning of the mantle.
Going into the weekend, I still wasn’t sure what I’d come up with and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to build it out. I went to a local store that specialize in being green. They had a few pieces of 1×6 reclaimed, vintage boards for sale. I grabbed a piece along with a 2×4 piece (for some, undetermined future project) and took them home.
I sanded down the rough spots and then built out a “frame” for the mantle.
Puck also decided to help out by testing the weight limit.
I could have left it at that and waited until next time to finish but I was so close! I went back and bought another 1×6 piece and put it together.
I added vinegar-steel wool solution to the wood to age it more. I also added some nails up top to some of the existing nail holes.
To age the nails, I used a copper sulfate solution (the stuff I used to give the zinc patina). I also used an oil stain instead of polyurethane to protect the wood.
Some of the lag screws were purely decoration but there were a few that supported the façade. I also built out a small “channel” if I ever decided to hang stuff. (It’s also a good place to stow a fireplace lighter as well.)
I started on the fireplace mantel tonight.
The old mantel seemed too small for the fireplace so when I revamped the area, that quickly went to the donation pile.
The before pic.
The wood was leftover from the coffee table I cut down months ago.
Right now they’re just being held by a couple lag bolts but will have a couple more before the end of the weekend. I will probably do a weathered wood look at the end (after stacking a few pieces to create the shelf). The final idea is still not finalized but it will look a little rustic. My goal is to use as much reclaimed wood as possible to give the mantel a unique look.
The top piece of the fireplace was attached yesterday and it now has a nice zinc surround.
What a difference from this.
I still need to add a piece that will stand off from the cement. But for the most part, this is complete. 🙂
CORRECTION – I’m not quite done. I still need to solder the seams together and add some caulk to the sides but the main part is done.
I hadn’t given up on the project. It has been tedious bending the pieces of metal to shape. Then afterwards, getting them to adhere to the cement facade was another story.
I don’t think I used contact cement properly the first time so it didn’t stick. I just put a layer on both sides and then tried to put them together. Didn’t work.
I didn’t realize I had to let the cement dry a bit so both sides will stick immediately.
That seemed to work a bit.
I still had some loose areas so I used epoxy today and that seemed to work.
I still need to shape the top piece and then add the last piece of metal.
Slowly but surely…
I’m one step closer to getting the fireplace complete.
I just finished cutting out the metal pieces that I’ll use for the surround.
The machine in the pic is a sheet metal cutter and greatest thing ever! It took me less than an hour to get everything cut. Had I used tin snips I’d still be cutting, I’m sure.
There is still a 3′ x 5′ piece left over. I think if I find the perfect salvaged desk, I’ll top it with the remaining.
Working with zinc for this project will also determine if I want to continue using it (spare bath surround? Kitchen backsplash?) or not.
The last pic I had of the hearth, it was pretty plain. I added a little more of the leftover concrete mix to give some trowel marks and to soften some of the harsher ridges.
My intent was to use something to stain it and then seal. At the same time, it was a small area so I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money buying some sort of stain. So I grabbed some pennies and added them to a solution of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to create a pretty blue color. I wasn’t sure if it would add color to the concrete or not. I also had some alcohol inks I made that didn’t work on my intended project. There was no rhyme or reason on how I added the color. I knew it would be hit or miss but I really wasn’t spending any money so it didn’t bother me.
This pic shows some of the blue from the copper solution but it didn’t last. I added some of the black alcohol ink (which turned out to be a murky, green color) and also some dark blue. Then I added some sealer that had the pigment added, using some of the more concentrated stuff in random areas.
I followed up with another coat of seal. As you can see, the blues and greens did stain the concrete and give it some character. There is still a shadow of the grout lines but I think it still works. 🙂
Taking a break this week but next week should be the beginning of the metal phase (hopefully the last phase of the project).