Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the day for laboring.

another long weekend made for the perfect time to knock out some more of the fireplace room to-do list. this weekend, the fireplace itself was due for some lovin'. we had decided a while ago that the gold finish on the fireplace was just not quite our style, and figured that since we were doing so much in this room already, we might as well try to modernize it just a little bit to make it look more like it belonged in our house and less like your grandmother's fireplace.

our weapon of choice was a can of heat-resistant black spray paint. we taped over everything that we wanted to stay its original color, or anything that was going to be exposed to open flame at some point, to lessen the chances of lighting the house on fire. 

after the first (very thin) coat of paint, it was still looking rather shiny, and more than a little splotchy, but it wasn't drippy so i was feeling pretty confident that our investment in that one can of spray paint was going to be worth it.

since it was raining, we couldn't paint outside, so we set up a secondary spray station in the basement to spray the doors so we wouldnt have to wait for a nice day. because we're nothing if not determined to get this project done in a timely fashion. and also kind of stupid for putting that many fumes into a not-very-well ventilated area. (don't worry Mom, we took plenty of fresh air breaks on the front porch)

four (very thin!) coats of paint later, and the doors looked like this:

and the fireplace surround looked like this:

so then we put it all together and whaddaya get? a brand-spankin'- new fireplace thats what! i'm still kind of amazed that it's the same fireplace, just a different color. i'm a little bit in love. (i would be even more in love if the spray paint hadnt also left a coating of black paint/dust all over every horizontal surface in the room, but i'm just going to take a big breath and not get into that rant right now) 

while i was busy painting the fireplace and watching paint dry, Mark tackled the crown molding and trim that went around the fireplace. first, he used some paint stripper to remove some of the paint that the previous owners had so kindly left on the brick when they had painted their old trim. this was the most time consuming part of the process, and the results were subtle but i think it made a big enough difference to be worth the effort.

then, because there were no joists in the ceiling right along the fireplace and because you can't shoot a nail gun into brick, Mark made some backer pieces out of an old 2x4 and super glued them to the ceiling to make sure the nails would have something to grab into and keep the crown molding from falling down over time. oh, and those blocks on the corners were necessary because of there will be trim running vertically around the fireplace as well as the crown around the top, and there is no other way to make them look nice where they all run into each other. there are similar blocks at the bottom to tie into the baseboard and quarter round too.

because i got to be a helper in the actual putting-up-the-trim process, there are no pictures of that. so thanks to the wonder that is the internet, viola! here's the fireplace as she looks right now - all painted, doors on, crown molding up, and cove trim along the sides.

sorry the picture's not the greatest, and please ignore the tape on the ceiling and the giant mess that is the whole floor in that room. but honestly, that's what the room looks like at this very moment. we didnt have time to clean it up and stage a good shot, heck we just barely got all the pieces up before we had to rush out the door because we were late for a labor day picnic. 

Mark and his blue-glove buddy that i made him on a fresh-air break outside are proud of what we accomplished with our weekend. Mark is already itching to get to work on the last big part of this room: fix the doors.


Abi said...

I think "Blue-glove Buddy" is evidence that there weren't enough 'fresh air breaks'. ;) It looks great. What a handy husband you have!

Miss Brenda said...

Aunt Vi and I are so proud of you.