How to Redo a Brick Fireplace

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If you are discontented with your brick fireplace, you may be considering hiring a professional to have it completely removed. Replacing a brick fireplace with another type is definitely a job for an expert. However, there are ways to make over your brick fireplace so that it has a completely different look. Redoing the surface of your fireplace is a task you can take on yourself and there are a couple of options you can choose.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrub brush
  • Trisodium phosphate cleanser
  • Water
  • Cloths
  • Masonry primer
  • Paint roller
  • Large paintbrush
  • Heat-resistant latex paint
  • Concrete bonding agent
  • Prepared concrete
  • Straight metal trowel
  • Notched metal trowel

Paint the Fireplace

  • Clean the brick of the fireplace thoroughly with a scrub brush and a paste made from trisodium phosphate cleanser and a little water. Remove as much soot and other debris as possible from the brick surround. Soak clean cloths in plain water and remove the leftover cleanser with them.

  • Let the brick air-dry for 24 hours. Apply masonry primer all over the bricks with a large paintbrush and be sure to work it into the crevices between the bricks. Wait 10 to 15 minutes for the primer to set.

  • Paint the brick surround with heat-resistant latex paint using a paint roller. Paint niches and deep areas with a paintbrush. Add a second coat of paint once the first is dry and let the finished surface dry two days before lighting a fire.

Skim Coat the Fireplace

  • Scrub the brick surround of the fireplace using trisodium cleanser mixed with water to make a paste and a nylon-bristled scrub brush. Scrub the brick until any sealer is removed, as well as stains and dirt. Wipe the bricks down well with wet rags until all of the cleanser is gone.

  • Wait 24 hours for the brick to dry. Cover the entire brick surround with concrete bonding agent using a large paintbrush so that you can get the bond between the bricks. Keep the concrete bond application thin and even.

  • Apply prepared concrete to the brick surround using a metal trowel once the bond is slightly sticky. Trowel the concrete on in fairly straight lines, making the layer level and about 3/8 inch thick. Rub the flat side of the trowel over the concrete to make it smooth and wait half an hour for some of the water to evaporate.

  • Hold a notched metal trowel at a 45-degree angle Drag the notched edge in horizontal lines across the surface of the concrete from the top of the fireplace to the bottom. Apply a second layer of concrete over the textured one with the straight metal trowel, making this layer ½ inch thick.

  • Smooth the surface of the second layer of concrete with the flat side of the trowel. Make sure that the concrete is level all over and that you are happy with the appearance. Let the concrete dry completely, about three to five days, before using the fireplace.

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References

  • Photo Credit finnish fireplace image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com
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