When we moved into our house, it had a great fireplace. I mean a floor to ceiling, 8' high, 7' wide, and 2' deep fireplace. That was the first thing that you'd see when you walk into the house. A BIG BLACK HOLE ON THE WALL. Of course we wanted a fireplace, but not a monster that like that. We lived with it, for a few years, wondering what to do with it. My son suggested we tear it down for a media center. No way. My ex (wife at the time) suggested I paint it a light neutral color. But if we were to change the room color in the future, I probably would have to repaint the fireplace again. I wanted something I could do once and not worry about later.
So I poked around and found out it was Z Brick. What?! Anybody remember Z Brick? Fake slices if a lightweight cement made to look like brick. The adhesive actually became the mortar joints.
This is a view on how monstrous it looks.
Next to the fireplace was a small "cubby" area.
So I took a week off from work and started to demo. Took down the Z Brick and drywall down to the studs. UUGGHH!
There was writing on the 2 x 4's from the people who constructed the fireplace. Construction wasn't bad, but wasn't good either.
Family members wrote their names and date on the 2 x 4's. Built in 1968. I had to add extra 2 x 4's for extra bracing and where a mantle could be mounted.
Covered everything with drywall and added a border of ceramic tiles around the doors. Nice start!
Lots of drywall compound. Looking pretty good!
Above the doors are the 2 x 4's for a mantle. Perfect.
Shopped around for fireplace mantle parts. Price was too prohibitive. WHAT?! So, I bought my own oak boards and started making my own mantle from pictures online from scratch. Perfect fit.
Finished fireplace. No longer a big black monster. Painted it one shade darker than the room. The "cubby" has some handmade shelves and a bunch of collectibles and family photos.
I think it came out alright.
Published April 19th, 2016 6:01 PM
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