Tag Archives: fireplace

Refurbishing the fireplace

The dining room fireplace was no longer in use, we had the chimney capped but we wanted to keep the fireplace as a decorative feature, here’s how it went…

Firstly, here’s an old photo of the old fireplace, from pre-extension days.  Nasty.

First we removed the old wooden surround and painted it. We wanted the paint to match the colour of the Wickes Heritage Grey units in the kitchen, and found that Farrow and Ball French Gray was good (maybe exact?) match.

Once the fire surround was removed we ripped out the old fireback and hearth:

Boarded out the opening:

After this we had a cream marble hearth fitted professionally.

We then ordered some decorative logs from The Little Log Company, and mounted them on a board that snugly fits in the fireplace opening:

We sanded and filled the holes in the plasterboard on the inner fireplace surround, then painted it using a metallic gold paint.  Once that was dry we inserted the board with the logs mounted to it, then attached some beading which had been cut to fit with a mitre saw and painted gold – this hides the rough edges of the plasterboard.  Here’s the end result, complete with the painted fire surround:


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Relight my fire!

Next up, it’s time to sort out the manky fireplace in the living room – it’s days are numbered!

And here is progress after day one: old fireplace is ripped out, chimney lined, fireplace opened up, lintel and brickwork done.

And day two, opening is lined, walls rendered, hearth fitted, mantelpiece fitted:

By the end of day three it’s all done (bar the painting):

We are really pleased with the end result – excellent work from Carl Cox… no not him – I mean this Carl Cox.

The stove is a Woodwarm Fireview Slender 5KW – the “slender” bit is the depth, meaning we get a visually wide stove but it isn’t too big (and hot) for the size of room.

Frustratingly we can’t light the fire for over a week, while we wait for the plaster to dry.

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Doing the dining room

The poor dining room was quickly getting left behind by progress in the rest of the house.  Glancing in to the dining room from was like looking into a timewarp, complete with two-pin sockets (and probably a few ration books, threepenny bits, etc).

So we set about ripping up the carpet, removing wallpaper, fireplace, shelves – pretty much everything went!

After patching up the rough bits of wall we set about painting.  White (of course).  Unfortunately the ceiling wasn’t too keen on being painted white – it much preferred to keep the 40 years of nicotine staining, despite several coats of emulsion.  Two options to solve it were:

A) Sugar soap and a LOT of scrubbing

B) A coat of some potent Zinsser Cover-Stain primer

We went with option B, which worked a treat but the fumes from the Zinsser paint were absolutely horrendous, the Tesco groceries delivery driver certainly got a smelly shock when he came to the door that evening…

Once the painting was done we boarded out the fireplace opening – this will be purely decorative as the chimney will be capped.

And finally, we got to work on the flooring.  The existing boards are actually quite sound, albeit stained a drab matt dark brown, but we didn’t fancy sanding them down – couldn’t face the mess after doing this in the living room.  So we opted for laying a new solid wood floor on top of the existing boards.

After perusing the samples in B&Q we went for the “Hand Scraped Wheat” solid oak flooring.  These boards are quite light in colour and have a slightly rippled uneven surface, giving them a slightly aged look.

The instructions gave a few options for laying solid wood flooring on existing floorboards: glueing the tongue and groove joints, using a self adhesive underlay or using secret/hidden nails.

The first two options sounded messy and a tad unreliable – nails seems like the best solution.  A quick trip to the local tool hire shop and we were equipped with one of these:

It quickly became apparent that secret / hidden nailing was a good solution – it was really quick and easy to make progress – time for an action shot…

As per the instructions it was important to leave a gap around the boards to allow for expansion of the wood.  The absolute best way to hide this gap would have been to remove skirting, board up to wall (with gap), then put skirting over the board to hide the gap.  However we opted for the easier option of using some beading tacked on to the skirting – gives a perfectly good finish without the hassle of removing skirting…

Still plenty to do – like the fireplace, hearth, light fitting, mirror, remainder of beading, threshold bar, etc.  However the floor is down and furniture is back in – hooray!

Oh, the next instalment on Barnacles Choice will show you our brand new windows!

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