Old House, New Fireplace
June 27, 2017 1:46 PM   Subscribe

We are re-doing our fireplace (cosmetically) and would love some advice on a few things.

We plan to do as simple ($$ cheap) as possible renovation on our fireplace. There was "faux" rock wall that we removed.

Here is what we are thinking.

To paint the inside of the firebox black. There is a fair amount of creosote in the existing chimney. I am planning to use a creosote removal material and then spray paint with high heat spray paint. I imagine the creosote removal is a bit of an ordeal, if anyone has notes on that it would be great. The helpful paint specialist at Ben Moore said no paint can be actually flame proof, he thinks it is not even worth using the high heat paint, but we are going to give it a shot.

We are going to tile around the opening and just have a mantle shelf above. My biggest concern is how to deal with the inner and outer edge of the tile, but this RONDEC edging material seems like it might be the way to go. Thoughts on that?

For the apron I was wondering if I can just pour a small slab of concrete? We want a slate grey look and the only larger tile Home Depot has is not much to look at. If concrete is an option then I am wondering about how to edge that pour as it will be butting right up to the hardwood floors?

Above the mantle we are thinking about a big mirror, kind of like this. For that I am wondering if I can just glass glue the mirror to the wall and then build a frame around it just for style. Is that a really horrible idea to pass along to the next home owner?

thanks MeFighters
posted by silsurf to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
An improperly vented and flued fireplace can kill you with CO and/or burn down your house. Get the flue lined by a qualified contractor. No paint inside the firebox - refractive brick with refractive mortar only.

If you don't know what that means, good god don't try this on your own.
posted by notsnot at 2:01 PM on June 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

thanks, there are no venting issues whatsoever in the chimney or flue. I completely understand your concern. My contractor was the one who suggested the paint in the first place. I will do my due diligence before moving forward on that one. I am sure you will suggest my contractor is not an experienced one and doesn't know what he is talking about, I will save you the trouble of doing that.
posted by silsurf at 2:42 PM on June 27, 2017

I don't think gluing a mirror to a wall and then adding moulding around it as a frame would endear you to the future owner of your house, no. An over-mantle mirror is not a universal-enough choice - unlike, say, a mirror over the bathroom sink - to use such an unalterable method.

Why not just get a mirror cut and framed to size and then hang it? If you're worried about weight, get a high-quality plastic mirror. If you're worried about drilling through plasterboard/drywall into masonry, get a masonry bit for your drill or have your contractor install it.
posted by minervous at 3:13 PM on June 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Please please don't glue the mirror to the wall. The previous owners of our house did that, and our living room is arranged differently from theirs and we don't want mirrors (pl!) where they put them, but moving them will mean repainting and maybe even replastering, so we haven't. But I curse those people every time I think about it. (Also, they glued one of the mirrors on slightly crooked, which drives me insane).
posted by lollusc at 5:44 PM on June 27, 2017

Please hire chimney professionals for this.
It's a very specialized business.
If there is a buildup inside the chimney, unless you have the specialized tools and knowledge to get the buildup out, you are risking a chimney fire.

If you plan to never have a fire in this chimney again go ahead and do whatever. These plans are fine, but add a step of bricking it over so it can never be used again.

But if you ever again want a fire, start with a professional cleaning of the entire chimney, firebox, check dampers and caps, look for CO leaks with a scope of the entire flue. Ask the chimney contractors what they think of the paint.

I've seen lots of chimneys and lots of chimney inspections. Here's the thing: you are inviting fire into your house. The right materials and proper installation keeps you safe. The wrong installation and materials could kill you with carbon monoxide or fires inside the flue that gets into the walls. I've personally witnessed a chimney fire. You do not want this.
posted by littlewater at 7:43 PM on June 27, 2017

thanks very much
posted by silsurf at 9:02 PM on June 27, 2017

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