There was a time when homeowners thought the best thing to do with an original, period fireplace, was to cover it up. These days, thankfully, people are more appreciative of the beauty of a real fireplace. If you’re lucky enough to discover one in need of renovation in your home, then here are five quick tips to help with your fireplace restoration.
Firstly, you need to uncover your fireplace. It may be as simple as removing whatever was put up in front of it. However, it may require some work if it was blocked up or drywall was placed over it to stop draughts getting in. And if it has been completely bricked up, it may require work that you might feel is beyond your expertise. If that’s the case, call a builder in to clear away all the earlier ‘improvements’ first.
Once you have exposed the fireplace, you will need to get someone in to inspect it professionally. Getting a surveyor or builder in to give it the once over will ensure that no work needs to be done to strengthen the area surrounding the fireplace. You’ll also need to check out your local building regulations as they will almost certainly have changed since your fireplace was built. Your surveyor or builder will be able to advise you about what you will need to do so it will pass any inspection.
You’ll need to start by removing any grease, grime, and old paint. This part of the process can try the patience of a saint, so be prepared for some serious elbow-grease. To remove old paint, your best bet is to use paint-stripper. Take care when you’re applying and removing it, and make sure you wear gloves because it is nasty stuff if it gets on your skin.
Remove the paint-stripper before it dries, and then wipe down the surface to see how it looks. You will probably need more than one application. And there are plenty of nooks and crannies in fireplaces which will have to be cleaned as well. When you’re ready, apply either paint or polish, whichever look you have decided to go for.
You will also need to have the chimney swept. Before you do this, make sure both the chimney and flue are in good condition. Look out for any damage to the chimney or cracks in the flue. If any part needs fixing, ensure you do this before you light any fires. If you don’t, you could well end up with a fire somewhere you don’t want one.
Finally, you’ll need to buy a poker and tongs. And don’t forget a fireguard too. You’ll want one that is both stylish and good quality, of course, but you will also want one that fits the character and colour of your new fireplace.
A fire guard from https://www.homediscount.co.uk/fireside/fireguards.aspx will add the finishing touches to a newly-restored fireplace and will also protect your home from any wayward sparks from spitting wood or coal.
A carefully-restored fireplace will add character to any room but be certain that you do the job properly and that your new fireplace is safe. If done right, you’ll be able to enjoy many years feeling warm and toasty in front of a real fire.