LESLIE: Renee in Texas has a fireplace project. What can we help you with?
RENEE: Hi. Yes, I’d like to know if I can – I have a brick front fireplace and I’d like to cement over it so that it looks like stucco and matches the wall. Is that possible?
TOM: Sure. Why not?
RENEE: OK. So how would I go about doing that?
LESLIE: Are you sure you want to do it? Because once you put it on the brick you’ll never be able to get the brick back again.
RENEE: Positive. We’ve changed the entire look of the house and it no longer matches.
TOM: OK. Well, I think that you can stucco right on top of the brick without any material underneath of it. So you wouldn’t have to put in a mesh or anything like that because you usually get good adhesion to the brick. Has the brick ever been painted?
RENEE: No, it has not.
TOM: Alright, well I think you can stucco right over that. There’s – you know, you can choose your stucco color, mix up the one that you want and go ahead and apply it right to the brick and it should adhere perfectly and you’ll just stucco right over it. It’s really a pretty easy project to do.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Is there anything special for the texture?
RENEE: Yeah, I like the texture. Because that’s sort of what the walls look like.
RENEE: They kind of have that rough, cementish kind of a look.
LESLIE: Is it sort of spiky?
RENEE: Yeah, it is kind of spiky.
LESLIE: Is that done, Tom, with those brooms or how is that done? I know they have a lot of different stucco finishing products. You know, when it’s done in a circle it’s done with sort of a broom that’s twisted. There’s a lot of different techniques that you can use that sort of create that stipple.
RENEE: This one …
TOM: Well, that’s true and one way to do it is after you put the stucco on is to hit it with a wallpaper brush; one of those thick, wide brushes. And you do it sort of in short twists of the wrist and that gives you a different kind of a stipple effect to it. But generally, applying the stucco; pretty easy job. Mix it up. You might want to look into some of the epoxy-based stuccoes because you’ll probably get better adhesion there. Mask off the floor. Mask everything off and put it on in thin coats and probably do a couple of coats to it.
RENEE: Well thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Good point though, Leslie. You want to be very careful about taking that step because once you go you can’t go back.
LESLIE: Ooh. We’re going to get a call 10 years from now, “I just bought a house in Texas and the fireplace is stuccoed.”
LESLIE: “How do I get rid of it?”
TOM: If we were doing this show 20 years ago we would get all these calls where people say, “You know, that new textured paint out there, I just love it. How do we apply that stuff.”
TOM: And what do we get now? Everybody wants to get rid of it.
LESLIE: How do I apply paneling to my walls? (Tom laughs)
TOM: “Hey, I was just out at the carpet store and I saw this great product. It’s called shag. It’s great.”
LESLIE: “I’m looking at a three-inch pile. Is that a good idea?”
TOM: “Instead of a door, I want to put in beads.”
LESLIE: (chuckling) “I got a lava lamp.”
TOM: That’s right.