Friends! We have finally finished our once brick fireplace and I am so excited to share with you how we did it! This has been one project that I wanted to tackle for a very long time, and Mr. Kirk finally made it happen. Let’s be honest – without him – this would never have gotten done. 😉 We actually purchased the stone veneer when we bought the house years ago, and it’s been sitting in our garage ever since. I decided that once we wrapped up our kitchen makeover, we had to do this as part of our family room facelift. It felt really great to get 2 big projects done this winter!
The stone veneer we used is by StoneCraft and we bought it on sale at Lowe’s. Like I said, it’s been in our garage for a few years, so I’m not sure that they sell this same one anymore, but I did a quick search and Lowe’s does offer lots of different veneer options.
This project took a few weeks to complete, only because with three kids and full time jobs, it was a weekend project (for a few weekends, ha). I’m going to detail all the steps out for you below. Here’s our before photo:
Step one: Remove the mantle
Step two: Because we wanted to relocate our TV above the fireplace, and because Mr. Kirk didn’t want to ruin the brick, we decided a wall needed to be built. He framed out a 2×4 wall against the fireplace and lagged it to the brick wall. (that’s a fancy way to say he bolted it to the wall – I’m learning haha!)
Step three: Cover your framed wall with plywood sheathing (another fancy word).
Step four: Use a nail gun to fix metal lath wire to the wall. I didn’t get a picture of this one, but this is essentially a huge sheet of wire mesh, and it was kind of a pain to get up.
Step five: Cover the wire mesh with a scratch coat. We used Type-S mortar, did a smooth coat over the top then brushed in a texture. Voila – you have your scratch coat. This takes about 24 hours to dry, you’ll notice a color change back to light gray once it’s fully dry.
Step six: This step is optional but highly recommended. We taped off an area on the floor that was the same size as the fireplace wall, and laid the stones out and rearranged them until we were happy with the pattern. This is essentially going to only be a guide, because depending on the size and type of your stone, grout lines will affect the spacing of the stones. Nonetheless, I’m glad we did this step, because there were a few stones that I didn’t care for and others I wanted to move around.
Step seven: Stick your stones to the wall! We used Type-S mortar for this as well, and Mr. Kirk used a spray bottle to dampen the wall a bit as he stuck the stones on.
Step eight: Once the stones are all placed, you’ll need to let the mortar set or dry again, for about another 24 hours. Then comes grout! We used the same Type-S mortar to grout between the stones, but added a little bit of liquid concrete color (charcoal) to darken the mortar. It looked super dark going on, but again, lightened up as it dried.
Here is the finished product with wet grout:
And here is the finished product, dried, cleaned up and with the TV hung!
You’ll notice that we changed the wall color too. You can see our entire family room facelift here, it’s a pretty amazing transformation!
I hope these steps help you transform your blah brick fireplace into a stone faced beauty. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below! Here’s a before an after photo to pin for later on Pinterest. Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for more fun DIY projects!