Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hung by the chimney with care

We’ve had a slow spring here in rainy Seattle, but we have managed to get some work done on our cinderblock chimney.  I know I’ve mentioned before that we've needed to do SOMETHING with the chimney, and after much debate we decided to cover it in some faux rock (a rock façade), but in order to do that we’ve had to go through a lot of prep work. (although as of today, our plans might be changing!!!)


Since the cinderblock was painted, we knew we had to strip off the paint in order to allow the thinset (basically cement) to adhere the rocks to the chimney.  We spent WAY too much time at HomeDepot trying to decide which paint stripper would be the best, and after consulting a few HomeDepot employees, we concluded that they were all about the same and walked out the door $15 poorer, but enthusiastic to get started on our project.

After spending way too much time applying the paint stripper and trying to remove all of the paint, we gave up.  The stripper would soak right into the cinderblock and the paint didn’t loosen up at all.  The two pictures below where you can kind of see the difference between the top two rows of the base and the rest of the chimney show several HOURS of work!

chimney-2 chimney-3

If we had removed all of the paint from the cinderblock, we would have basically been able to adhere the fake stone directly to the cinderblock.  Giving up on the paint stripper added another (exciting!) step to the project…hanging up galvanized wire mesh; or as I simply call it – chicken wire.  Back to HomeDepot we went – looking for the right wire mesh and screws that could go into cinderblock.  We eventually found the mesh (about $10 per sheet), and decided that galvanized roofing nails that we already had at home would be sufficient to hold up the mesh.

First we held the mesh up against the part of the chimney we were working on and cut it to size using a good set of wire snippers.  We trimmed around trim and other gaps; but didn’t worry if we didn’t get the mesh right up against the wall.




After getting the mesh cut to size, we nailed it right into the chimney; taking care to stay away from mortar seams.  We put the nails close enough together to make sure the mesh was flush with the chimney and all gaping was avoided. 


Getting all of the chicken wire up against the chimney took several hours, but Joel and I split it up over a few evenings since it was a project that didn’t need to all be done at once. 



Up next – covering the chicken wire in mortar.

1 comment:

Tabasco said...

What did the elder chimney say to the younger chimney?

You're too young to smoke!