22Jun / 2015

Case Study – Formal Fireplace gets a Rustic Makeover

This Fireplace has a Dramatic Transformation!

There’s just no other way to put it, this was a fireplace that screamed for stone! This fireplace had the same builder grade materials most fireplaces from the 90’s had, with the pretty white mantle and the painted wall going up to the ceiling. The client wanted to create a more relaxed feel in their living room where the focal point was this massive fireplace, so it was time for stone.

Off With the Old and in With the New

We started by protecting EVERYTHING. We moved the furniture and put down plastic, thick paper and JIT board to protect the floor from falling rock fragments.

Next we removed the old mantle and old tile and ferred out for the new distressed cedar mantle. Then we covered the front wall with wood, paper and wire lath (as you can see in the photos above).

Ready for Stone

After a good coating of mud (cement) had dried we started applying the stacked stone from bottom to top and installed the cedar mantle. This part of the project takes the longest and is done by artisan craftsmen with years of experience as masons.

Nothing Left But the Cleanup!

And by 6:00 in the afternoon we are wrapping the install up, putting the debris into the dumptrailer and loading up. All we leave behind is a beautiful new fireplace and good feelings!

PS. There was another fireplace on the other side, just a bonus feature!

It was a small little guy and we just did a quick remake on the hearth and around the inside of the mantle. We removed it and ferrred it out to accept the new stone application. i have a few pics of that too!

These you have to be really careful with. Because the wood used to build them is thin and small. So where you’re pulling it away from the wall be careful of the way the caulk comes off. Some are easy and others have a good bond. make sure to use a razor knife to score it first.

This takes a few hours to get it looking good. While there isn’t a concrete process here’s what we do, it’s better to sand all of the burrs off before you start the process if making it look like an older piece of wood. After you have all of the burrs off its time to break out the toys. We use chains and punch tools to mimic wear and tear of the years, it gives it interest and charm. If you really want to get crazy we can introduce a butane torch to really add character!

This is a challenge not because it’s hard but because if we don’t take the time to install ferring then the stone doesn’t line up and look as if it was supposed to be there. When doing fireplace makeovers we use this all the time to produce that finished look that everyone really likes.


Finished Product plus the Bonus Fireplace!