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We absolutely LOVE our new fireplace, and are so proud that we can say we did it all ourselves!
To use Air Stone, you just need to start with a clean surface.
There was termite damage and the studs were practically chewed all the way through and were just hanging there. To top it all off, there was also loose electrical wires hanging in the wall, AND it wasn’t even framed correctly.
My husband framed the wall with new pressure treated lumber and went a little overboard by doubling the 2×4’s and using 4×4 pressure treated lumber.
After that we did some touch-ups, like giving the firebox itself a fresh coat of its original color (Benjamin Moore’s Temptation)Update: A few folks are asking if we considered widening the tiled heath to match the width of the built-out sides of the fireplace – we did, but since it’s just a bit of shoe molding (which also extends around all of our cabinets) it didn’t bother us enough to rip up cork to make it happen.
We wanted to make sure that we adhered the brick to a strong surface that wasn’t going to crumble or wear away over time.
My husband rewired the cable and added some new outlets towards the bottom middle of the wall for the tv and cable. Our old mantle was small and pretty insignificant, so for our new fireplace we wanted a big, chunky beam for our mantle.
We bought the thickest beam they sold at Home Depot, then cut it down, stained it, and framed it in. Our old brick fireplace had a tiny little hearth, and we knew with our new fireplace we wanted a large, substantial hearth.
He pulled off more drywall, only to discover extensive termite damage and an old rats’ nest. He pulled off more and more of the wall, until the whole front wall was torn off.
We couldn’t believe the damage that had been hiding behind that wall!