Thursday, March 21, 2013

Third Thursdays with Tash: New face for our Fireplace

Remember, on the third Thursday of every month, my Sis-in-law, Tash, writes about her recent crafty adventures. Take it away, Tash!

Preston and Ashley weren't the only ones moving, Spencer and I moved too.  Instead of halfway across the United States, we only moved ten minutes across town, into our first house!  It’s said the grass grows greener on the other side.  It’s not true.  All sides of the desert are shades of brown.  But if we’re going to live in the desert we might as well live comfortably in a house where we can craft and woodwork to our hearts content.  Or if you're a Chandler boy move rocks to your heart's content.  
The house we bought is in good shape, it just needs some updating and a good coat of paint.  Which we found perfect!  But after buying the house we couldn't afford paint, much less updating.  So we had to find a home improvement project that was really cheap.  Would you believe me if I said refinishing the fireplace was free?  Well it was.

Meet the blotchy brick fireplace.  It was not relaxing to look at.  I’m not a fan of brick fireplaces, especially painted brick.  After seeing this eyesore I could understand why someone would paint it.  However blotchy is easier to fix than paint removal.  Here’s how…

I first sanded the surfaces focusing on the white bricks.  I’ve used very few power tools in my life, but Spencer’s fancy multi-head-sanding-and-oscillating-tool was a cinch.
After I turned the fireplace a lovely shade of pink, Spencer vacuumed the dust up.  A good scrub later and it was decision time.  My first thought was to dye it with concrete stain.  The problems were, no money, a tiny Home Depot that probably doesn’t carry it, and we didn’t want it really dark.  

Spencer’s solution was a can of shellac he bought for a different project.  One of the perks of being married to a rocket scientist, he likes to solve problems.  ;)

Using Shellac was brilliant!  It smells sweet, and dries in less than five minutes. So if you have kids or pets, a sensitive nose, or a tiny budget, grab the Shellac.  Oh and wear your ugly grungy clothes.  It’s not required, but it would make me feel better. :D

TA DA!  Well, almost.  We made it this far in half a Saturday.  The last row of bricks was completed the next day when the sun came back so we could see.  
It took a few days for the shellac to cure, and has consequentially lightened up a little.  However it still looks much better than it did.  Something we can’t say for the first wall color we tested.  I like pink, but not as my fireplace or my wall color.  Thank goodness for paint samples.

See you next month with some more “homework.”

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