Restoring Craftsman fireplace

artemis78June 15, 2008

We're in the process of trying to strip many layers of paint from the fireplace in our 1915 California bungalow, and have hit a few glitches--wondering if anyone has ever tackled a project like this and might have pointers! Our fireplace is some type of cut stone (not brick) with a hearth that seems to be made of sandstone tiles, or something similar. If it matters, our neighbor has the same fireplace unpainted, so we could find out in more detail what type of stone it is.

First, we stripped the tile hearth, revealing beautiful rose tiles--with big soot/creosote stains on them. Is there any way to get these off? We've sanded it down and tried bleach, but the stains remain...worst case scenario, we'll just go ahead and seal it with them--more "character"--but we'd love to get them off first.

Second, we've tested paint stripper on the main fireplace in a few places without much luck. Has anyone ever stripped a fireplace like this? (Stone--maybe fieldstone or granite?--cut with many rough crevices, so nothing smooth to strip or sand.) If it's not even worth bothering with, are there techniques for painting this to look more natural, or will that just look sillier than keeping it the white that it is now (it currently matches the built-ins and panels in the room, which are also all covered in white paint).

Any ideas or experiences would be welcome--thanks!

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Maybe post this question under the bathroom section and hope Bill or Mongo - Tile gods - see it and respond with their expertise. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 5:36PM
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The previous owners of our old home hired someone to sandblast the fireplace to remove all the layers of paint off the stone. Then they decided they didn't like the look of it and repainted it. We heard the story from them because they told us never to try it since the stone was ugly and that the sandblasting blew off ceiling tiles in the basement. I don't think it cost that much because these folks were pretty frugal.

Also, we had a special product at our old house to remove creosote stains. The previous owners left it for us when we bought the house because the fireplace was so smokey. It worked much better than regular cleaners. I don't remember what it was called, but they bought it at a fireplace store.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:57PM
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Our fireplace has been painted at least three times. It is composed of bluish-grayish large stones, probably granite. I would like to try a sand blaster on it to strip it. Any previous experiences?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 9:15AM
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Artemis: I would suggest posting your problem on forums. There are many experts there that might be able to help.

Have you ever thought of refacing the fireplace? I know you're goal is to restore the original facade, but if the previous owners are correct, refacing might be an option. There are wonderful Arts and Crafts tiles out there. In fact, we are using decorative Motawi tile on the fireplace in our new home.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:35PM
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What about refacing your fireplace? Facing material either can be mounted covering the existing facing material, or you can get rid of the old material and replace it with new facing material. There are also some fireplace kit that can be bought in the market for easy installation.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 6:21AM
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