Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

After tearing the fireplace apart and figuring out what it should look like, we had the electrical work temporarily cleaned up and decided to eliminate the sconces on either side all together since it was going to be a lot of extra work to get proper electrical boxes installed.

We framed out the upped half with 2x6 studs so that it would be strong enough to support the mantle that was sandwiched in between and so the overall finished product would be the some width/depth as the brick below.

Framing installed

We definitly put in a bit more that was required, but knew that eventually there would be a tv mounted up above (since there's no other place for it sadly). And yes, I became an expect with a miter saw and drill thanks to this.

Wiring, patching, priming and insulation. This picture is the best representation of the finished wall color (on the left wall) than any of the others but still not exact.

We were able to have the remaining switch for the fireplace's blower closer (bottom left corner on the 2x6s) and added a switch so I can be a holiday light junkie. We patched the previous electrical box hole as well as a couple places where the plaster had broken away. A tub of joint compound later, a little texture work with a putty knife, after priming the wall you would never have known. A little under halfway up the fireplace we added an electrical box for one of these beauties below for when the TV gets mounted. 

Leviton 15 Amp 1 Gang Recessed Duplex Power Outlet from Home Depot

My parents had done some work at their house and had some leftover insulation that they were happy to depart with so it was time to get it closed up. When looking at different materials to us, we ended up going with some tongue and grove paneling and by a matter of luck (the boards being turned backwards) I decided that I preferred the side of the paneling that didn't have any groove, rather than the side with a middle grove. It felt a little more modern and less country bumpkin.

Home Depot sells the boards in either 8 or 12 foot lengths so we were thankfully able to buy the 12 footers and have them cut them in half since the end product is slightly under 6 feet in length. This saved on waste as well as cost. It also left us with a 6 foot piece not needed that we cut to cover the sides first.

Tongue and groove going up on the edges
To attach all the paneling, we used liquid nail on the studs where they came into contact with the tongue and grove and then used a nailed with finishing nails to secure each piece. My dad tends to get a little trigger happy so I took over that part so as to not have some many nail holes to have to fill later. You can also see above where we shortened the mantle by about 10 inches so it didn't overhang as much. A little stain + poly later and you would never know.

Paneling all installed
Every nail hole got patched as well as any imperfections or knots in the boards. Then the paneling was primed and the wall got it's first coat of paint to match the rest of the room. I scrubbed all the brick with a cleaning solution to prep it for primer and paint as well then used paintable caulking to fill any large cracks in the grout or crevices in the brick that would be tough to paint.

Walls drying, paneling primed and brick prepped for paint.
We also added some thin pieces of trim around the edges and bottom of the paneling to cover any exposed groves and corners. Then it was a caulking fun time - trust me, it makes a HUGE difference in the look of the finished project, as you can see below.

All of the pictures make the walls seem much more green then they are in real life. I blame this due to taking most of them on my iPhone as well as taking them super late at night with some floor lamps as the only lighting. Fear not - I have a new camera so they will look better in the future. The color is called Tropical Bay from Valspar color matched to Sherwin Williams Emerald paint in a matte finish and the fireplace is painted in Behr's Semi Gloss trim paint untinted, Ultra Pure White.

While there are still a few things that need to be finished on the fireplace wall:
  • adding crown molding around the ceiling as well as the top of the fireplace
  • installing matching baseboards (there are some in a back closet we will be stealing from)
  • mounting the tv (I'm not worried about cords as I will be getting Roku instead of standard cable and can hide the small box easily on the mantle and have a small portable DVD player which can be stored when not in use)
  • Figure out what can be done with the hearth (it's a huge slab of polished stone but looks dirty in comparison to the white fireplace - replace it? Paint it? Resurface it?)
It's certainly looking a lot better than it used to though.

- Lea

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