Fireplace Collage

Our fireplace was pretty blah run of the mill.  I wanted to take our fireplace from, “Oh there’s a fireplace” to “Wow, look at that fireplace!”

We couldn’t really afford real stone, but that was my dream.  I have been on Pinterest pinning photos of country style big ol’ stone fireplaces, and boy, I loved that look, like this one:

Inspiration Fireplace

Inspiration Fireplace

(source unknown)

Or this one:

Another inspiration fireplace

Another inspiration fireplace

(source)

And this was the style I was striving for with the mantle we were going to use.  More on that later.

And this inspiration fireplace

And this inspiration fireplace

(source)

Well, in looking around Pinterest, I found a few people who used a product called Airstone that is sold through Lowes.  They don’t pay me a thing for telling you this, I just want to let you know what I used.

In particular, I used the suggestions and great how to from Diane at “In My Own Style” We used a chop saw with masonry blade (although we went through a couple of them since we did a lot of cutting).

So this is what it looked like before.  Of course, we had already started our ceiling project (which you can see here) so hubby is on the step ladder, and this is the only photo I have with the fireplace intact before I started ripping it apart.

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

It was an ok fireplace, very traditional, but not very exciting.

So I took it apart. The old mantle is on the left.

Fireplace in Transition

Fireplace in Transition

Then the fun began.  We removed the ceramic tile hearth in front of the fireplace and laid a slate tile purchased from Home Depot. Again, I don’t get paid for that, just providing the info for you.

Then, as mentioned, we used Airstone in the Spring Creek color.  I love all the variations of grey in the stone.  My only caution would be to order new boxes online.  We ended up with a box that we think had been returned to the store and the pieces were all the same color instead of the variations of colors.

 It was easy to use.   We used corner pieces on the edges, cutting them so they laid against the wall, giving a more three dimensional look on the outside edge.

Fireplace in Progress

Fireplace in Progress

Next came the mantle.  We found this driftwood plank on the beach a couple of years ago.

I knew when I saw it that it would be our new mantle.  It has so much character, and after aging a couple of years in the basement, and a couple coats of poly, it is perfect.  We built out a ‘shelf’ to help hold up the mantle and something to anchor it to.

Sorry, I don’t have much for photos on this process, but we built a box with 2×4’s and mounted it to the wall and then the mantle piece to the box to hold it up along with a couple of unfinished Stockport wood corbels.  I painted them with leftover paint from other projects which was flat black and a metallic bronze color, then a couple coats of poly.

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Here’s another close up of that great reclaimed wood!

Reclaimed wood and shell

Reclaimed wood and shell

It has all the wood grain with crevices and holes–just so much character!  Don’t worry, I sanded it very well to avoid splinters!

So, here is the before

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

And here is the after

Fireplace Awesome!

Fireplace Awesome!

I’m still working on the vignettes and this is not the permanent artwork.  The artwork going up there was in storage and I’m still rounding up all the treasures I want to display on the mantle, but I couldn’t wait any longer to share our progress.

Fireplace Collage

Let me know what you think!

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