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jmccleeary
Concrete over unpainted brick fireplace

Has anyone ever tried to mold concrete around a fireplace? I have an idea in my head to cover my behemoth of fireplace in stained concrete. Any thoughts as to the pros and cons?

ed21
Re: Concrete over unpainted brick fireplace

I haven't done it and suspect I never will, but I think it might be installed on metal lathe similar to stucco.
Another thing to do might be cover the brick with Arriscraft, a stone like product available different heights & lengths and 4" thick.

ma2804
Re: Concrete over unpainted brick fireplace

When you say "mold" concrete around the existing brick, I'm not sure if you really mean pouring concrete with a form or just plastering it.

Plastering it can be done and with a little work, you can put a float finish on it that comes out OK. If you're really talking about pouring concrete around it, yech! What a job! You're going to have to put up a form around the existing, that will be both strong and somewhat watertight. You should use a vibrator to make sure there are no voids in the concrete and you'll probably have to put in about 3-4" of concrete.

I'd also put in some reinforcing steel. Not a whole lot but some, maybe #3 rods, one foot on center, just to tie it all together. You might even get some welded wire reinforcing screen. Just use something.

Also, you'll want to make sure you tie it firmly to existing surfaces. The last thing you want is to see the whole front of the fireplace fall into your living room when it shrinks away from the existing surface.

Lastly, I'd give it some serious thought. Plastering it sure sounds like the way I'd go.

Good Luck.

Tony
Re: Concrete over unpainted brick fireplace

I would suggest you talk to a good cement contractor about your idea. As was previously asked, are you going to stucco or really pour concrete? Neither idea is something you do on a whim, if you've never worked with concrete products before. Good Luck! ;)

Calcats ;)

Dnew
Re: Concrete or plaster over unpainted brick fireplace

We are purchasing a home that has a traditional unpainted brick fireplace. We would like to add a modern touch by making it look like a smooth concrete finish. Another individual wrote you on this similar issue in February and you suggested using plaster. We are not wanting to stain the concrete or plaster but just would like it to look like concrete with a smooth gray finish. Would you still suggest plaster? If so, can it be spread over the brick with no preparation? And how thick would you suggest? Will it crack?

KCPumpkinStalker
Re: Concrete or plaster over unpainted brick fireplace
Dnew wrote:

We are purchasing a home that has a traditional unpainted brick fireplace. We would like to add a modern touch by making it look like a smooth concrete finish. Another individual wrote you on this similar issue in February and you suggested using plaster. We are not wanting to stain the concrete or plaster but just would like it to look like concrete with a smooth gray finish. Would you still suggest plaster? If so, can it be spread over the brick with no preparation? And how thick would you suggest? Will it crack?

It's very possible it will crack if you're just doing a skim coat. Thinner layers of concrete or other materials tend to get cracks as they dry and shrink. If you attempt it, make sure you mist the brick with water so it will stick better. The slower you can get it to dry, the less likely it will crack. Cover it with plastic if your house air is dry. You can also lightly mist it every couple hours to keep it slightly moist while it cures. Don't overwater it either though.

Dnew
Re: Concrete over unpainted brick fireplace

Do you recomend Plaster? Or is there some other type of mortar or something that can be used and still get a fairly smooth surface?

KCPumpkinStalker
Re: Concrete over unpainted brick fireplace

Plaster is usually not as hard as concrete so you might find it chunks or crumbles if knocked into. I would say your best bet would be to fill in the mortar grooves flush with the brick face, and not try to cover the brick itself. Then find a paint you like and paint it so it looks like it's solid rather than brick.

Someone with more experience might have a different idea...I'm a newbie :)

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