Chicago winters are legendary for their length and frigid temperatures, and few homes are without a fireplace as an alternate heat source. You don’t have to be a Chicago interior decorator to finish the area around your new cast iron wood burning stove; all you need are a couple rolls of painter’s tape, spray paint and some imagination. The finished product will look like brickwork, without the expense, labor and mess. |
Clean It Up You will want to start with a clean surface. Use a bucket of clear water and an old t-shirt to wipe down the gray cement board covering the sheetrock-covered walls behind your new wood stove. Any dust left over from construction or lint from a rough cloth may prevent the painter’s tape and spray paint from sticking.
Mark It Up Pull out the yard stick and marking pen. Carefully mark out horizontal lines across your cement board, as close to perfectly perpendicular to the floor as you can get. Step back often to get a fresh look at how square your lines look. Space the lines about five inches apart vertically, and about eight inches apart horizontally.
Tape It Up Now carefully place the tape in long strips along your penned lines. Make sure you always put the tape along the same sides of the lines; for instance, always work along the tops of the horizontal lines, and along the right sides of the vertical lines. This will keep all the blank spaces in between the taped lines symmetrical and even, like rectangular bricks.
Paint It Up Ready, aim, fire! Long, sweeping strokes work best when using spray paint. Traditional reddish or brownish hues will most mimic the realistic brick look. However, a vivid imagination to exceed even the best Chicago interior decorator may create color blends that bricks only dream of being: Vermont Camouflage, Seattle Rainbow, or Miami Sunset. When the paint is dry, pull off the tape. Now you have a beautiful bricked fireplace with tasteful gray mortar, all at only a fraction of the expense and work of the real thing.
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