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DIY Veneering a Stone Fireplace a step by step guide

In this article, we will be veneering a natural-stone fireplace with sheetrock. This project has been done in the same house for 25 years and both inside and outside surfaces have held up very well.  In addition to using sheetrock as the substrate, we also detail how to make an attractive mantelpiece from standard stock molding. The total cost of materials was about $500…If you’re going to tackle this job, do yourself a favor by picking up a masonry circular saw or renting one – it’s worth every penny! We’ll cover that tool along with some other tools that are either costly or readily available at your local hardware store. 

Plan the project

First of all you need to plan the project that when and how you are going to complete it. Arrange the necessary tools and material so that you should have no problem during the procedure. Only start it yourself if you have enough knowledge about this job. Otherwise you can hire your nearest fireplaces repair to avoid any issue.

Prepare the Surround

Preparing the Surround With masking tape, outline where you want your finished stone veneer fireplace surround to go. Next, remove the existing hearth, chimney breast and floor tile to expose the concrete surround. Finally, clean up all of the dust that you may have created when removing the old fireplace.

Repair Surface Cracks

To repair any cracks in the bare concrete around your fireplace, mix up a small amount of patching plaster and use a putty knife to apply it to both sides of the crack. For larger areas we recommend using exterior-rated mortar mix instead of regular patching plaster since it will be subject to moisture and temperature extremes. Allow this “mud” coat to completely dry before proceeding further with your project.

Concrete Sanding

Sanding The Concrete Once you’ve cleaned off all the dust from sanding and spackling the bare concrete, it’s time to sand the entire surround. Using a medium grit 60-80 sandpaper, start by rounding off all of the surfaces that you will be veneering with sheetrock. This step will remove any remaining sharp 90 degree corners and give your finished stone fireplace surround a more natural look.

Glue Sheetrock

Apply several coats of masonry adhesive to the back of your sheetrock substrate using a notched trowel – one coat every 8 hours. Position the sheetrock over the bare concrete so that about 1/4″ is sticking out onto each side of your fireplace surround.

Nailing Fireplace Surround

Homeowners who looking for an easy way to cut sheetrock to size should consider investing in a masonry circular saw.

Finish the project

Finishing Touches After thoroughly cleaning your new fireplace surround, you can paint the front edge with exterior grade primer-sealer followed by two coats of latex paint or urethane. Don’t forget to caulk the mortar joints outside. The final step is installing mantel trim – for this project we used standard 3″ molding that was readily available at our local home center.

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