DIY Fireplace Makeover on a Budget Using AirStone

If you have been following my blog for awhile you may recall decorating photos that I have posted about what I call the “House In My Head”.  It is the house I envision as the “perfect for me” house.  It isn’t high-end, big, or trendy – just a house that has all the components to fit with my personal style. The DIY project I completed for this post is getting that “house in my head” a little closer to reality.

The House In My Head – has a stone fireplace.

Stone-Fireplaces

Photo Credits: House and Home, Pretty and Posies, HGTV

The House in my Reality – has a brick fireplace.  I am doing a DIY Fireplace Makeover.

BEFORE

Fireplace Makeover Ideas

I gave it a semi-makeover about 8 years ago by painting it white.

How to Paint a-Brick-Fireplace

 

Back in April I was in Lowes – like I am what seems like everyday and saw a display for a new product called AirStone – OMG!!! I got so excited and had to learn more.

I watched the video on the display and smiled big time – a stone fireplace could be mine and no stone mason or special skills needed – plus I could afford it on my limited decorating budget!

Airstone Makes a DIY Fireplace Makeover on a budget a Reality!

Boxes-of-AirStone

 

If you can ice a cupcake and cut a French baguette in half with a bread knife then you have all the skills you need to create a stone façade just about anywhere in your home.

I gathered all the pamphlets to read when I got home. I went to the AirStone website and knew this would finally be my way to get a stone fireplace.

I did it this week – it took about 3 hours from start to finish.

AFTER

DIY Stone Fireplace Makeover

 

AirStone comes in two colors – I used Autumn Mountain. It feels like real stone, but is much lighter. It does not feel like foam or cheap versions of stone facades.

Airstone-Colors-Spring-Cree

 

Step-by-Step-Instructions-2

 

 

Supplies Needed:

AirStone – You can buy AirStone at select Lowes stores.  I needed  1 box Flat Edge and 1 box Corner Edge
1 tub of AirStone Adhesive
Putty Knife
Hack Saw with a new blade
Pencil
Wet Rag and warm water

Supplies-Needed for DIY Fireplace Makeover

1.  Clean the surface that you will be applying the stones to and let dry.

2.  AirStone comes in 3 different edges – Natural Edge – use where the side of the stone will be exposed. Flat and Corner stones.  There are also wide stones in each box so that you can create a realistic stone facade.

AirStone-types of edges

3.  Remove the stones from the boxes so they can acclimate to the air temperature as well as allow you to see the variety of shades in each box. You want to mix up the shades to create a realistic look.  There are little bumps on the sides of some stones.  Scrape them off – they are left over from the molding process.

4. Figure out your general placement. I stacked stones to see how the mix of size and color variation would look before applying them.  You do not want the edges of the stones to line up – cut them with a hack saw if necessary to vary where the edges fall.  I drew black lines on the photo below to show you where they should be cut.

How to makeover a fireplace using Stone

 

5. For a wall installation you may not need corner stones, but for my fireplace I needed them to go around the inner edge.  AirStone has a “Class A” fire rating and is safe to use around typical fireplaces.

Painted-Brick Fireplace-Before

 

When I got to the sides of the fireplace, I applied the corner pieces first and then added the rest of the stones to fill the sides,  cutting to vary the length of each.  When the front was covered, I added stones to the inside corner to make them even. You can see this in the last photo of the post.

Fireplace Makeover Ideas

 

6. Cutting the stones is as easy as cutting a crusty French baguette, but instead of a bread knife you use a hacksaw with a new blade.

How to cut AirStone

 

7. Use a pencil to mark the size stone you need.

Marking-where-to-cut-AirStone

 

8. Cut it on the face side of the stone, not the back side.  It is easy to cut.

How-to-cut-AirStone

 

9. For a wall installation start at the ground level and work horizontally. Make sure the first row is level, for it will be the foundation for all the rows above it.   I started to do this and realized when I got to the top of the fireplace – the last stone may not fit and I wanted the top stones to be whole since this is the most visible section of the facade.

Instead, I started at the top and worked down, so the top stones would be the perfect fit. Doing it this way provided a little bit of a challenge, but I figured out how to get around it so the stones would not slip down as they dried.

Stone Fireplace makeover using AirStone

 

10. To attach the stones  – use a putty knife and a thick coat of adhesive to the back of the stone like you are icing a cupcake, not buttering bread. Then press the stone firmly onto the wall allowing adhesive to compress.  If you get adhesive on a stone – use a wet rag and warm water to clean it off.

I placed all of the stones across the opening of the fireplace, then pushed them up since they did slip down a bit.

Fireplace makeover on a budget

 

11.  I added a piece of dollar store foam board cut a little larger than the firebox opening.  Make sure it is a snug fit and even bows a bit so it holds up the stones while they dry.

Fireplace Makeover on a Budget

 

Below:  You can see a few of the wider stones that come in each box that I added. Please ignore the dirty fireplace.  :)   I will get to that task eventually.

Firepalce makeover using AirStone

DIY Stone Fireplace makeover

 

12.  Once I got to the bottom of each side of the firebox, I used scraps of the stone to hold the last stone up until I got a few pieces of face stone cut to fit the space.  (If I had started from the bottom up – this gap would have been at the top, so you can see why I installed the stone – top down.    Here at the bottom – if it is not perfect – it does not matter as much.

How to make over a fireplace with stone

 

On Monday I will show you Part Two of my fireplace transformation:   How I made over the grey hearth stone that the builder of my house never finished off.

AirStone Fireplace Makeover

 

This photo shows how I added stones to the inside corner edges of the firebox to make each side even and a sneak peek at the hearth makeover in progress.

Here is a link on how I painted the hearth to go with the AirStone:   How to Paint a Fireplace Hearth

How to add stone over a brick fireplace

 

For more information about AirStone, check out their site – it has many tips and videos that show just how easy and affordable it is to create a stone facade anywhere in your home. 

Airstone DIY  Fireplace Makeover

Related Posts:

How to Make a Window Sash Fireplace Screen

How To Paint a Fireplace Hearth

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Charlotte says

    Can this product be used for the bottom half of exterior craftsman style pillars and does it come in more than 3 colors?

  2. shaina says

    I was just searching online for tips for using airstone on a fireplace and found your blog. We have the exact same fireplace!! And that is the color of stone I chose too. I will report back-thanks for the tips!

  3. Bill says

    AireStone now offers three colors and according to their website it is for interior and exterior use. I just did the bottom portion of my porch pillars (like Charlotte wants to do) and – according to my neighbors – it looks great. Naturally, the first thing I notice are the places I messed up. The only things you have to worry about are the type of adhesive you use and what backing material you stick it to. I used cement backer board. The AirStone website has most of the information you need.

    • says

      Thanks Bill for sharing this info. When I did my fireplace there were only two colors to choose from. I need to go over to their site and see what the new color is. I bet your porch pillars look great – AirStone is one fantastic product.

  4. Inga says

    Hi, this looks fantastic! I was wondering what the screen is you are using to cover the hole? I am from uk, we have an ugly fireplace that we don’t use, and something like that would be so useful! Thank you, Inga

  5. Tiffany Richey says

    What did you use for the hearth? I’ve applied my stone, but don’t know what to use on the flat surface. Looked at lowes paving stones, not sure I want to go that route. Did you have your “slab” cut to fit? Thanks for the fab instructions!!!

    Tiffany

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