I Just Want BRICK!

Hello all!  Many have asked how did we refinish the chimney?  So, I thought I would share what we did!

But first a little background story on getting to that point 😉

I have to start by saying, poor Doug.  I will admit, I was one of those nagging housewives, begging him to start on a few house projects.  I didn’t like anything.  From the vinyl floors to the cheap wood paneling and wallpaper.  It was a constant battle trying to make your new home “your own,” all while fighting the ugly blue wallpaper that made decorating for Christmas a nightmare.  Well, after a little too much DIY telvesion and Nichole Curtis on Rehab Addict, I think he had enough.  If you have ever watch Rehab Addict you would know at the beginning of each show, they show her uncovering brick behind a wall saying, “I just want brick!”  Doug had always known we had brick hidden behind our cupboards, yet I was oblivious of this the entire time.  He had watched a few of her shows unwillingly to say the least and after he spilled the beans to me that we ourselves had brick hidden, I wouldn’t let it go!  Every day I would chant, “I just want brick!!!”  Then finally he had it.  While eating steak dinner I made for us in our simple old farmhouse he got up and at that moment decided he would show me.  With the cupboards full of baking supplies he unloaded the shelves on the floor and said, “Well here you go!! There is no turning back now!”
Sadly to my disappointment, the brick was nothing like what I had seen on Rehad Addict or any Pinterest photo I had seen.  The brick had pink plaster stuck to it and the mortar was corroded.  Even the bricks themselves weren’t the pretty red I had imagined.  They were orange and brown and stacked crooked.   Doug named it, “The Leaning Tower of Pisa,” and he too wanted to remove it.
This photo is a few days later after much more mess and demolition.
Now that you have seen the before photos and a long and probably boring story, here is my how to-
We used wire brushes and muriatic acid to clean the brick.  I think I’ve heard the saying, “a little bit of elbow grease goes a long ways.”  Well that may be true.  But with this mess it was most like A LOT of elbow grease.  After hours of using scrapers, flat blade screw drives and wire brushes it finally was starting to look better.  Next, it had to be re-grouted.  To do this Doug had to purchase a tool called a “Tuck Pointer.”  He then spent hours removing the old grout and then re-grouting.  He told me he lost his finger prints with this job and was now somehow “unidentifiable.” (My husband thinks he’s funny.)  After the new grout and another good cleaning, the brick was finally looking better!
Lastly, he used an oil base cement sealer and rolled it on with a paint roller. The fumes were SO bad so if you are going to do this, I would highly advice being gone  with windows and doors open as long as possible!
Here she is 🙂
There was a whole in the chimney for a vent for a wood stove I am assuming back in the 1800’s, so I covered it with this clock.  Good thinking right?!  I bet you never would have guessed!
Thank you again for stopping by!  I hope you have a wonderful day and feel free to ask any questions!
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