See a 50-year-old brick fireplace get a glowing update
After painting the walls of our living room a golden yellow, my wife, Beth, and I decided that the 50-year-old fireplace ― white-painted brick within a ready-made wood surround ― also needed upgrading. The masonry shell was well constructed, so the transformation could be largely superficial, like putting icing on a cake. The project took two weekends to complete and cost about $400.
MATERIAL CHOICES AND TECHNIQUES
Our new fireplace front has three main components: the material surrounding the firebox and covering the hearth (which must be fireproof), the new surround, and the mantel top. For the firebox and hearth, we selected African Prairie Slate, a richly patterned stone that is sold in gauged (evenly thick) 12-inch squares. The slate, which came from Echeguren Slate in San Francisco (www.echeguren.com or 415/206-9343), cost about $5.60 per tile. With a wet saw rented from a home improvement store, I cut the tiles to size. I attached them to the old brick with Marble and Granite Adhesive (from Liquid Nails Adhesives, www.liquidnails.com or 800/634-0015).