Fireplace Preparations

by Josh on October 11, 2005 · 2 comments

in Fireplace,Living Room,Projects

There hasn’t been much actual home improvement progress around here lately, but I’m gearing up to start my first refinishing project. And what a first it will be! I’m going to strip the paint off our brick fireplace, which has been painted an unknown number of times and is currently painted to look like bricks. The effect, unfortunately, is that the fireplace looks like it’s made of plastic imitation brick. This is just unacceptable for the centerpiece of a craftsman living room. Oh, and those fireplace doors have got to go away, too…

Fake brick paint covering real bricks

They say that if you swallow a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you all day. I’m expecting this project to by the “frog” of my stripping/refinishing work. It’s going to be pull-my-hair-out frustrating, but every refinishing project that comes after it will seem painless by comparison.

Today I picked up some important supplies, including two buckets of Peel Away 1 and jug of neutralizer. This adds to the collection of scrapers, gloves, drop cloths, paint shields, and wire brushes I have acquired over the past few weeks in anticipation of this project. I picked Peel Away because I had read some good reports from other housebloggers about using it on fireplace brick and because it encapsulates and neutralizes lead paint.

This weekend is our son’s second birthday party. Once the guests leave the house, I’ll get the fireplace project underway. Expect to read some progress reports in the coming days/weeks.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian October 11, 2005 at 6:38 pm

ive sandblasted 3 new fireplaces. it gets off the slag mortar and supercleans the brick. all 3 times i had to build a tent around the fireplace. 2 times i had a presure relief vent pipe outside. the first time i just poked holes and had sand everywhere. also brick is not suseptable to the effects of heat.

if the brick has a finish on it the sand could damage it.


Josh October 12, 2005 at 9:55 am

Thanks for sharing your experience, Brian. I know sandblasting (or blasting with some other material) can be very effective. I hesitate to do that, at least at first, for the same reasons you mentioned: mess and potential damage to the bricks. So, for now anyway, I’m taking the chemical approach.


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