An old or dirty fireplace surround can make what is generally a beautiful asset to your home a liability. The surround of a fireplace, often made of brick or drywall, is what draws someone's attention. If they view it negatively, it may impact their impression of the whole room. If you have guests or are trying to sell your home, this can be quite prohibitive. You can improve the look of your fireplace surround without hiring an expert. A good cleaning can improve the look of a dirty surround, and a coating of concrete can renew an out-of-date fireplace.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Powder trisodium phosphate cleanser
- Nylon scrub brush
- Concrete bonding agent
- Straight metal trowel
- Prepared concrete
- Notched metal trowel
Create a paste to clean the fireplace surround. Combine two parts of powder trisodium phosphate cleanser and one part water in a large bowl. Scoop the paste onto the bristles of a nylon scrub brush and apply it generously all over the fireplace surround.
Scrub the surround well with the brush to remove all of the dirt and soot. Wipe away the cleanser with dampened rags until the surround is perfectly clean. Let the fireplace surround air-dry thoroughly.
Apply a generous layer of concrete bonding agent all over the surface of the fireplace surround with a paintbrush, but do not apply so much bond that it drips. Make the concrete bond level and even from one area of the surround to the next. Let the bond sit until it becomes tacky.
Trowel a layer of prepared concrete onto the entire surround in straight lines. Make the concrete about 3/8-inch thick. Smooth the concrete with the surface of the metal trowel.
Allow all of the moisture to evaporate from the surface of the surround. Drag the edge of a notched metal trowel in horizontal lines across the surface of the concrete at a 45-degree angle to create texture. Trowel on a second, ½ inch application of concrete all over the surround.
Use the straight towel to smooth the concrete surface of the surround again. Examine the concrete to make sure that it is even all over and that you are satisfied. Wait approximately five days for the concrete to dry completely before using your fireplace.
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