Ya’ll, look at this finished fireplace! Something in this Misery Manor is finally DONE! I never thought this day would come.
We have been busting our behinds for what feels like years at this point, but it’s about to get good. I’m so excited to finally see some pretty stuff after all this scraping!
And I don’t mean that in a good way. This finished fireplace has caused a lot of drama, but she was worth it (I think).
When I bought this little home (off Facebook Marketplace AND while Mark was out of town hehe), I was so hopeful the fireplace had stood the test of time. But, nope. After we pulled the mantle off and started poking around, we discovered so much wood rot.
In addition, to the rot on the interior facing wall, the chimney also had major issues. You may recall we totally removed the two rear chimneys and redid the roof completely (you can read about that here). However, this larger chimney had to say for aesthetics (so dang pretty from the road) and cost.
Well, I’m so glad you asked! 😉
First, I had to remove the bricks used to cover the original opening. Thankfully, I was able to salvage a ton of brick to replace that ugly cover up! Then we ripped off that old mantle and surround (thanks to my Dad!)
We did have to hire a brick mason to do quite a bit of repair work to make it more structurally sound. The fireplace will still never be safe to use, but that is ok, because she is still pretty! And no longer crumbling, leaking or just otherwise falling to pieces.
I still can’t believe I had the perfect fireplace surround stashed in our barn already. I love it when my treasure hunts from months ago pay off. Sometimes I just get a good feeling and know one day I will have the perfect spot for something unique!
The best part in all of this to me (besides having something finished) is where the brick came from. The brick we salvaged for this fireplace makeover is from the building I took my very first art classes… in my elementary school! It’s such a sweet, full circle moment for me.
The main part of the school is still standing and is now a fully operating church. I discovered my love of creativity in the very building these bricks helped create. I remember so vividly the classes I took within these walls and my Art teacher, Mrs. West, who so lovingly poured into me. Now here I am, almost 30 years later, using it to restore an old home to it’s glory.
We’ve also saved some of the bricks to use at our future home in Beaufort. I am just truly in awe of this whole process and also so grateful. You can read more about these schoolhouse bricks and how we first acquired them here.
The last piece to finish off the fireplace was how to improve the bricked in opening. A way to make it look prettier and appear functional is by putting a sheet metal or cast cover over the opening. This option is also much more cost effective than removing the bricks altogether.
So, I went to one of my favorite antique stores and purchased a “Summer Cover.” I will eventually paint the cover a glossy black. Paired with the mantle and schoolhouse brick, I think it looks pretty stunning.
So thankful to be able restore this little home, even if it is taking over my life!