Refacing ugly stone fireplace
Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how to reface a stone fireplace where the rocks are very uneven and stick out randomly. We really want to remodel our ugly anthropomorphic stone fireplace with small stacked stones.
See pictures here of current fireplace and desired stacked stone fireplace.
I have no idea if the current stone is just a facade or what is underneath it. I do not know the best way to smooth everything out so that I can tile the stacked stone on. Any suggestions for what I should do? Take a chisel and hammer and chip the rocks away? Fill in the gaps with mortar and smooth it out? Demolish everything and start over?
I also want to get rid of the vents because they make the fireplace looks like a man with 2 eyes, the hearth looks like a mouth, and the mantle looks like a uni-brow. LOL.
Thanks in advance!
Btw if you have any good recommendations for a contractor to help us, I would also appreciate it. We prefer to DIY but this may need professional help. We live in Phoenix, AZ.