stained brick fireplace needs help
This fireplace is in our small cottage. The bricks have smoke and water stains. There is quite a bit of crumbling mortar that needs to be repaired/replaced too. It is frequently damp along the river and we also do not heat the cottage in the winter, so any recommendations for mortar would be welcome.
We plan to add some decorative trim to the sides and top where the painted paneling meets the brick.
I would prefer to paint the bricks ivory with black mantel and vents, but my husband really wants to keep the natural brick. Is there any way to 'refresh' the bricks without sandblasting or painting? I tried a natural stone cleaner, and it helped remove some of the soot but not the blotchy color variations.
We also have pretty much zero budget for this refresh project...
Any suggestions would be appreciated.