Whether you want to remodel a brick fireplace or add character to a 'hole in the wall', a fireplace makeover using Venetian plaster techniques can give your home some serious style. Why use Venetian plaster for a fireplace makeover you ask? Well number one, it's a fabulously frugal option and it can be tinted any color your heart desires, plus it can mimic stone, concrete, marble, even painted wood. In fact, you can give the whole fireplace wall a gorgeous new look. All you have to do is continue the plaster techniques from floor to ceiling, or wall to wall, always ending on an inside corner for the best look. For better adhesion, it's wise to prime or paint your surfaces before applying plaster. One thing you want to be careful of is not to get regular paint on the metal face or interior of the fireplace as those areas require a special high heat paint. Start with a base coat of inexpensive drywall mud if you have a textured wall, or if you want to remodel a brick fireplace. You'll want to fill in the grooves between the bricks or stones with the drywall mud first and let that dry, otherwise you're inviting cracks, plus thicker coats take much longer to dry. You want to get a good plaster base going with the cheap mud, and save the more costly Venetian plaster for the final color coats. When using medium to dark Venetian plaster colors, you can save time by tinting your drywall mud. This will also eliminate white spots from peaking through if you sand too hard in any one spot. Experiment with your plaster colors on a scrap of drywall until you get the perfect look. Apply thin coats and let dry, sanding lightly in between coats. When finished, remember to protect it with an appropriate sealer. When doing a fireplace makeover, don't forget about the hearth area. You can add interest to a plain wall by adding a raised hearth without breaking the bank. Start by building a box out of lumber and cover it with fire resistant gypsum board (type X), and the appropriate corner beads. Then go over it with a base coat of drywall mud and finally, the same Venetian plaster as your fireplace.
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