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Portus 11-22-2008 06:58 PM

need ideas for ugly fireplace
Hello. I need some ideas on what to do with this fireplace. Because of it's location it's the first thing you see when you enter the house. I would really love to take it out completely but the task seems pretty daunting and expensive. The brickwork itself is sloppy with big gobs of mortar oozing unevenly everywhere... so I'm looking for a way to cover it. Paint is the last option. I'm thinking maybe a stucco, plaster or tile. I like the look of tile in general but it probably wouldn't work too well because of the irregular shape.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Here's a pic

Also, this area of the house is over a crawlspace. I don't know how much weight plaster or stucco would add but it might be a factor. The brick does not go all the way to the ground. The fireplace sits on a large metal i-beam visible from the crawlspace.

travelover 11-23-2008 07:20 AM

I guess it is a matter of taste, but this doesn't seem so bad to me. Take a look around this site and see some of the disasters other people are fixing up. :D

I'd concentrate on the rest of the room and make it more visually interesting to reduce the dominance of the fireplace.

handyguys 11-25-2008 08:13 AM

I suppose if you really hated the brick. Paint would be chapest and easiest. Stucco would give it a completely different look. Sort of adobe style. You could mix stucco (on the primary mass) with tile around the opening, use doors instead of the insert and a mantle shelf that matches the beams above. That all would dress it up nicely.

ciera 11-25-2008 11:06 AM


You could mix stucco (on the primary mass) with tile around the opening, use doors instead of the insert and a mantle shelf that matches the beams above.
That's what I was thinking too. Would be nice to cover that extension to the side with wood that matches your beams, and then bring that all the way across the mass.

I think you do want to combine tile and stucco here. The reason why the brick looks strange is just because there's so much of it. Tile would have the same problem. Instead, tile the bottom (where it touches the floor) and around the opening, then stucco the rest and add the mantle all the way across. That way you break it up into a tile piece and two stucco pieces. Then just paint the stucco that neutral color you already have on the wall, and the wood beams should pop out nicely.

FreeStuffRockz 11-26-2008 01:45 PM

I love your room!
I wish I had that fireplace!
I have the beams but no fireplace darn it!

I have played around with your room & I love it!
Good luck, if you want me to try other colors let me know it is a very cool room good luck.
I have so much to do today lol I should not be playing with your room but it's so much fun :) Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

PortlandTradesmen 11-29-2008 12:15 PM


here are three fireplaces that I did that may provide you with some ideas.

The first one I anchored expanded metal lath into the brick. coated with two layers of fibered cement then two layers of American Clay's clay plaster with slate tile for the hearth. This method may be overkill.

The next one I troweled on two coats of a mixture of setting type joint compound and sand followed by a coat of gypsum plaster with the color mixed in which allowed me to get a sort of marbled affect. With the joint compound I find that the Sheetrock brand tends to perform much better than the others that I've tried. It can be applied very thick with no noticeable shrinkage or cracking. I definitely would not use a premixed compound in this way.

The third one I just primed and painted. When going this with this method I will some times use a grinder to clean up unsightly mortar joints. If there are any patches they can be ground to look like the rest of the brick.

Hope this helps

Here is a link to an online album that shows before and afters of these three projects:

FreeStuffRockz 12-01-2008 10:05 PM

I love the 2nd one.
I would def give that a try if I had a fire place lol
Great job!

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