{fireplace makeover using airstone: before & after}

May
24
19

This post was sponsored by AirStone.  All opinions are 100% mine and mine alone. Please see full disclosure below.

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When we bought our house the end of last summer, I knew right away that I wanted to re-do our fireplace.  I did not like the small tiles--they just weren't my style at all.. However, it's awfully hard to justify spending money to change something in a brand new house, and I wasn't sure when we would be able to do it.  So...when I was given the opportunity to try a new product called AirStone, I JUMPED at the chance. The results are amazing...I LOVE LOVE how it turned out!!

Fireplace makeover | airstone | simplykierste.com
  fireplace airstone makeover | simplykierste.com

What is AirStone?AirStone is an innovative, ultra-light product that transforms a complicated construction ordeal into a simple wall-covering project. Indoors or out, the patent-pending AirStone system offers the same look, feel and durability of real stone, but weighs 75% less. This allows anyone to install a beautiful stone veneer using only pre-mixed adhesive, a putty knife and a hack saw. No special tools or mixing are needed. I'M SERIOUS!  No big tools necessary!  I can't believe how much it looks just like real stone. You would never know if I didn't tell you!

 You're probably wondering how expensive it is, because I would want to know the same thing.  It comes in boxes that will cover 16 square feet, and each box retails for about $50, available at most Lowe's stores. We needed just over one box, so we purchased two of them, and spent just $100 (with some leftover for another project) on the stone. You also need a bucket of adhesive, which cost us $15.  There is a TON in the bucket, and was more than enough for our entire project with also some leftover.  Our fireplace is flat to the wall, with no corners, but they do sell boxes of corner pieces for those of you that do.

It comes in two different colors: Autumn Mountain (which is what we used) and Spring Creek.  Autumn Mountain has warm tones--creams, browns, and tans, while Spring Creek is of a cooler tone, and lots of greys.  I loved both, but the Autumn Mountain color matched the rest of our home better--our existing tile, carpet, and cabinetry--which we would not be replacing.  Our trim is also a cream, rather than white, and it made a big difference as well in what our choice would be.

When we bought it and brought it home, I wasn't sure how easy it was actually going to be. Even though I didn't like it, we would still be destroying a brand new fireplace, and once we started hammering, there was no going back.  But...I hated the tile enough that I didn't care.  ☺I figured anything would be better than that!  So...we went for it! I was pleasantly surprised at how straightforward it was, and while it does take some time to do right (what project doesn't?), it wasn't hard.  I'm going to show you how we did ours! ( Most of the work was one at night, thus the photo quality of some pictures...)

Step 1: 

We removed the front glass part of your fireplace, and put it aside.  Then the fun part began---demolition time!!!  We used several tools to help us remove the tile around the fireplace, including a hammer and dremmel.  We tried to keep the cement backer board, but it was impossible to remove the tile and keep it intact.  I didn't remove the tiles from the bottom floor of the fireplace--you'll see what we did later in the post.

fireplace makeover | airstone | simplykierste.com

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com

Step 2:
Once all the tile and backer board were removed, we needed to add new backer board for the stone to stick to.  We bought it in a large sheet at Home Depot.  We used a razor to cut it in pieces to fit.

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com

We used these anchors and a drill to attach the board:

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com

{Step 3}

At first I didn't know what to do with the bottom floor of the fireplace.  We couldn't put stone there, nor could we build up any kind of hearth due to the distance needed between the floor and the fireplace.  So...I decided to paint it.  I used an acrylic paint that matched the trim of the house, hoping it would look alright.  Fortunately, it did!

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com

{Step 4}
Once the paint was dry, we were ready to start adding our stone pieces!  We laid them out on the carpet to figure out the pattern we wanted.  This was a REALLY important, especially if we wanted to use up the stone we had and not waste any. We also didn't want to get started, and then realize our pattern wouldn't work. Once we we were ready, we cut pieces to size (if necessary) using a hacksaw, then applied the adhesive with a putty knife and stuck it to the wall.

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com
fireplace step 9 logo

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com

We repeated this step until we had finished the entire fireplace!

fireplace makeover | simplykierste.com

And done!!!

fireplace makeover | airstone | simplykierste.com

What a HUGE difference, and improvement!  I can't believe that it took only a little over $100,  a hammer, hacksaw, a putty knife, and a couple of days to do this! 

I'm a happy girl.  ☺



Disclosure: I was provided free product by Airstone to complete this project. All opinions are 100% mine.  Your experience may vary.

Simply Kierste
Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and most of her posts revolve around making her home a beautiful, organized, and fun place to be. When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.
Simply Kierste

@simplykierste

Blogger at Simply {Kierste}: Where you can find simple ideas and tutorials for DIY projects, holiday crafts, home & family, organization, recipes, and more!
Simply Kierste
Simply Kierste

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comments

  1. Wow! It looks AMAZING! I love it!!

  2. Love how it turned out!

  3. I love this! Thanks for the great tutorial too!

  4. VERY nice! I like it! Great tutorial and pix.

  5. Love it! We saw this at Lowe’s not too long ago and decided that’s how we’re going to update our fireplace…added it to the project list. :) Nice to see it in action. :)
    Kelly

    • simply {kierste} says:

      You’ll have to let me know what you think!!! Glad you got to see it before you tried it! xo

  6. Sandi Allen says:

    What a transformation. I love this!
    Your fireplace turned out beautiful.

  7. What?! This looks amazing!!! I would LOVE to do something like this to our firepace. Our is just black slate or something like that? I really want to do a brick looking Air Stone type of thing. Do they have that?!

    • simply {kierste} says:

      They don’t right now–just the stone in the two different colors. You should go take a look—you might like one of them! And who knows…maybe they’ll come out with a brick one day!!!

  8. Looks great! My friend want to do hers the same way and has the same problem with the bottom tile. How did you paint it?

    • simply {kierste} says:

      It was actually pretty easy! I taped off the carpet, pushing back the fibers to get right to the edge of the tile. I used our leftover trim paint from our house, so it would match the trim around the fireplace and just blend in. It’s an acrylic paint, so it took a lot longer to dry, but I think it will be a lot more durable. That’s it!! It’s holding up beautifully!!! If she has any other questions, please let me know!! xoxo

  9. Did you have to use a high temperature adhesive? Have you had a fire going yet and did the adhesive hold? I’m interested in doing the entire wall. What are your “cautions”?
    Thanks!!!!!

    • simply {kierste} says:

      The Air Stone adhesive is safe to use around fireplaces, so that’s what we used. We moved to Texas last year, and we didn’t use our fireplace the entire winter. :) Maybe this year, lol! You can get even more info on their site: http://airstone.com/faqs/

      You’ll have to let me know what you do!

      Here’s a quote from the the Air Stone site’s FAQ’s:

      Is AirStone safe to use around fireplaces?

      AirStone is non-flammable, non-combustible and safe to use around wood stoves and fireplaces. It has a Class A rating in accordance with ASTM E-84 standards. AirStone Interior Adhesive is rated up to a temperature of 120˚F. If the area in question exceeds this temperature, select an appropriate adhesive.

  10. How did prevent the row above the opening of the fireplace from slipping or sagging?

    • simply {kierste} says:

      We didn’t do anything other than use the adhesive to put the bricks in place, and it’s doing awesome–no slipping, budging, etc. It’s been a year and holding up perfectly!

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