Google+ Nine Red: River Rock Fireplace

Thursday, October 3, 2013

River Rock Fireplace

While the kitchen has been hogging up all my brain time, string art & the rest of my life have put the progress at a standstill.  The weather has suddenly decided that yes, fall is actually here, and it's getting chilly! So other projects have taken precedence, like gutter cleaning, wall building (ugh!), and heater buying (totally caved...).  So today I want to share a quick update we gave our fireplace recently. This is a really easy, non-permanent update you can do in a weekend, and I haven't really seen it anywhere else.  Perfect for renters!
When we white-washed the fireplace I mentioned this idea, and finally one Sunday afternoon we just went for it. When I say it's easy, I mean.. really easy. The hardest part is rinsing the rocks. Which, was easy. Rocks, being naturally non-flammable, should hold up to the heat that the stove gives off.  The bricks around the stove are never really HOT in the winter, so I'm not worried.  The rocks don't go UNDER.... just around.

Here's how easily you can throw this together, you need:

  • Rocks. Your choice of style. We chose Mexican river pebbles.
  • Wood, for the border. We used 1" x 4" 
  • Stain & Poly (or use the Vinegar & Tea recipe)
  • Miter saw, or miter box, to cut 45 degree angles.
We started with our stove sitting in this brick area, which, if you look closely, is pretty beat up...
The front right corner there. Seems the last owner chopped wood (and missed..) non stop on that area, and has totally broken up the bricks. Replacement at this time wasn't in the forecast, so covering it was the next best thing.  First, a border had to be placed, since we didn't want stones all over the carpet.
Whoah, blurry photo! Ah well, you know how it goes.  All we did here was measure the area, mark that on one side of the wood, and cut at 45 degrees inward (meaning, the measurement will be on the LONG side), and set it in place.  The fit was perfect, and didn't need any securing.  If yours does, I suggest a little super strength double sided tape. That should hold it still.

Meanwhile, we washed our rocks by putting a few hand fulls in a bucket full of water, and placing them on towels in the sun after.  That took forever, but was necessary.  Look at our clever way of bringing them in, it's like a little hammock!
So that's it really, you just start spreading your rocks around.  Super complicated, huh? I know...
A large part of me wanted to stray from the original plan to stain the border, and keep it natural. But being on the floor, I figured it's better to have some protection on it. (side note, anyone know how to fix that ever growing crack in the ceiling? It's like, the drywall tape or something...)  Here's the stain:
Much better! I did the Tea & Vinegar stain technique from the antique crate post, I just love that trick. Then I coated in a semi-gloss Minwax Polycrylic, one of my favorites.
I cleaned the glass, but the inside was pretty dirty, and now in plain view. So for the summer I just adhered a little wrapping paper in there, which, of course, will NOT be there once we start using this bad boy. (duh!) You probably noticed the back isn't filled in with stones. Yep - we didn't listen to the guy at the store when he recommended an amount for this size area, and we had to go back. Boo....
But you get the idea. Isn't that neat? I've always loved rocks, especially river rocks.  Just another way to bring the outdoors in, and add a little texture in here.  It actually feels really good to walk across these, like a little massage.. ahh....
All done!  Just for fun here's what we started with, less than a year ago, before the whitewash:
Yea, so nothing terribly tricky, or tutorial worthy... pretty much just cut a frame, popped it in & filled it up. When winter comes (right around the friggin corner!) I am thinking of putting one round concrete stepping stone near the door (on the right side) so I can split kindling. Something the last owner did NOT think of. 

That's about it... 

What do you think? Before you say it - someone already asked "how on earth will you clean that?!" and someone else suggested using the vacuum with the brush attachment. Problem solved! Perfect too, because I had NOT even thought about cleaning.  Thanks guys! 

Enjoy your day, get something pumpkin-ey, because it's October, so everything is pumpkin.  Shouldn't be hard. Seriously, yesterday I saw pumpkin bagels... who knew?

-Jesse



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9 comments:

  1. I love this! It adds the perfect finishing touch!

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  2. LOVE the stain that you did. I almost like the brick exposed in the back too.

    For the ceiling, we deal with that in our modular home at our ranch all the time.
    It's just a matter of plastering it as smoothly as you can. It may keep separating until you get it really good. Sorry I'm not much help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you! that is a big help, someday I want the ceiling gone... haha

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  3. So I've said it before and I'll say it again... When can I move in?! This looks fantastic! Do you really cop wood right there next to the stove? You must be good because I make A GIANT mess when I chop wood.

    The ceiling should just need some more mud under and over the seam. I have worked with drywallmud before and so I would probably just run some E6000 along the edge and glue it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! hehe.. we dont' chop wood near the stove, someone before us must have. The brick was in really bad shape! We do chop kindling, but that's teeny tiny stuff.

      e6000, perfect!

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  4. dYou really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would always like Ashley Wood Stoves something special and good things in iot which i always like

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  5. I have to admit, the first thing I thought about when I saw the river stones near the fireplace was a sauna. Haha! That being said, the only problem I can foresee in this setup is if you have curious pets roaming around when you’re using it and the rocks heat up and cause burns when touched. Otherwise, it looks great! It certainly adds a certain charm to the room!

    Eugene Head

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    Replies
    1. You know, I thought that might be a problem too, but when the fireplace is roaring even the rocks right next to it aren't hot at ALL! I think because the stove is raised and is designed to send most the heat out the back and out the top front... guess we lucked out :D

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