Cleaning a brick hearth

haus_proudDecember 23, 2007

We have a raised brick hearth composed of rather rustic looking brick. It's about 20 years old. I have 2 questions. First, how do I clean it of accumulated grime and one or 2 spots of paint dropped by a careless painter? Second,what, if anything, can I do to "dress up" the brick some, so it does not look quite so rustic and outdoorsy. We don't want to give it a highly polished or formal look. We just want to tone down the rustic feel a little bit. Any ideas?

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The advantage of a rustic brick hearth is that it's BRICK! You can use pretty much any kind of abrasive to scrape off the top level of material and expose a new layer.

For example, you can use another brick to do that and see what kind of results you get. A sander with a heavy grit might do the job.

However, how you make it look less rustic is a more ambiguous question. You could do lots of things, such as filling in the grout lines and topping it with a layer of tile.

It shouldn't be rocket science, but you might have to do it over a time or two until you get a result with which you are happy.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 9:51PM
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TSP and a plastic brush will scrub most grime off. If there is any soot you can buy a fireplace cleaner at a local hearth shop that will clean up well too.

As far as dressing the brick up, take a look at the link below. It's something I had considered using to dress up a brick wall in my basement. I'm going to be using mineral paint instead but it might be just what you're looking for. There's lots of info on the website but I am not sure of cost.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dye Brick

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 10:44PM
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Thanks to Seattlepioneer for the helpful advice. And thanks to nhyankee for the link to dye brick, which I will consider after I clean the brick and decide whether it needs further attention. You have both been very helpful. Best wishes for the holiday season and 2008.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2007 at 11:38AM
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