Monday, July 6, 2009

The Faux Fireplace Facelift.

June 2007 to July 2009. 25 months. That's how long it took to get this project done.

The actual beginnings of this project have been lost in the mists of memory. Prior to finding Apartment Therapy, I hung out at a website affiliated with the Canadian magazine House and Home. I was bemoaning the state of the "country" fireplace and longing for something more Arts and Crafts-like when a poster of impeccable taste and ahead-of the curve photoshop skills posted this mock-up of one of my own pictures:

At that time I stored my huge speakers in the fireplace cavity--thus the lovely screen she "made" for me.

Nothing was done for a long time, however. Here's a photo of the way things were during my first Cure in the fall of 2006.

(Wow. Funny how I thought that was "decluttered.")

The next known installment of the story comes in the summer of 2007. I remember reading about a woman at AT (Shelter Alex) who did amazing things to her apartment with only a few power tools and I resolved then and there to so something about the fireplace. I got a crowbar and removed the dentil molding that joined the mantel edge with the face front. (I finally got rid of that bit when I cleaned out the basement last year.) I got out my paint scraper--and just started ripping away at the plaster/faux rock. I took some paint remover and tried to see if there was any decent wood on the mantel. (There might have been. There was a strip of veneer which may have been passable if some bozos hadn't painted it Hunter Green without priming first.)

And then I sanded it.
And sanded it.
It was absolutely horrible. And then I gave up.
I left it. (Yes, this photo is pre-digital. That's how long ago this was!)

In the Spring of 2008 I asked for opinions on two schemes for the facade. I couldn't make up my mind: and the quest for curb appeal started consuming all my energy.

Then, the saw konked out. Hubby replaced it a few months ago and we started to rev back up. He bought the wood for the project. Most importantly, he bought into the project. Here it is with all the wood attatched:

It's all screwed together with toggle bolts in the plaster. He sunk the screws and then cut doweling as "plugs" to fill the holes. Then, he filled in all the cracks and sanded. I got to paint it!

So, from this:

to this:

25 months.
A baby elephant.


lorijo said...

this looks fabulous!

drwende said...

It may have taken "forever," but it looks great!

Anne (in Reno) said...

Great Googly Moogly that is such a huge difference! I would file that under, "pain in the rear, but absolutely worth it".

Colleen said...

looks fabulous!

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