Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The house I own was built in 1786 and located near portsmouth New Hampshire. There are 6 fireplaces, one having a beehive oven. Most of them have been painted black but the paint is in poor condition. Anyone have an idea of what to do or what would look good? Is there a paint color out there or product that's supposed to be the same color as the original brick? I thought I saw that somewhere but I'm not sure. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'll try and take some pictures tomorrow. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
Welcome to ContractorTalk! It's the usual thing to post a thread in the Introductions forum, telling us a little bit about your business, what brought you to C.T., etc.

As for the fireplaces, what would you tell one of your customers, if they asked for advice about the fireplaces in their home? Do you do fireplace work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
582 Posts
If you're a mason, then you must realize that the mortars used in that time period were very soft (maybe lime-based) and you have to exercise *GREAT* care to not damage the mortar or you'll have a mess on your hands.

I'd find someone that specializes in restoring Colonial-era masonry and get their opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,654 Posts
The mortar will positively be lime mortar, and the bricks will not be like the modern, vitrified kind....blasting of any kind will damage the material. Also, some of the layers could have lead paint.

If it was me, I would call a company that specializes in that type of work and there are a few relatively close to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
How would I go about finding someone that does that? Is there any contractors on here?
You're not a contractor, are you? You can look online or in your local yellow pages. A good local fireplace dealer may be able to recommend someone. For more advice I recommend asking this question over on DIYchatroom.com.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,170 Posts
The mortar will positively be lime mortar, and the bricks will not be like the modern, vitrified kind....blasting of any kind will damage the material. Also, some of the layers could have lead paint.

If it was me, I would call a company that specializes in that type of work and there are a few relatively close to you.



Stonecutter is absolutely spot on. Portland cement was not invented until 1824 in U.K. . The first record of import to U.S. did not occur until 1871. And as SC. said,better not blast that brick with anything but cotton balls.:laughing:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You're not a contractor, are you? You can look online or in your local yellow pages. A good local fireplace dealer may be able to recommend someone. For more advice I recommend asking this question over on DIYchatroom.com.
I am a contractor but I've only been in the business for 10 years, I am currently 26. I've never heard of a mason around me that specializes in restoring old fireplaces. Just wanted to know the best method other contractors have used. I thought that's what this site was for? Lol. I've never had a job to clean paint off an old fireplace. I've only just dealt with cleaning burn stains. I've used several products to try an clean fireplaces that local brickyards have sold me and they never seem to work well. I've used acid to clean brick and it seems to do ok. I've always wondered about a dry ice blaster. Has anyone used one of them before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,170 Posts
I've always wondered about a dry ice blaster. Has anyone used one of them before?



I have used(or attempted to rather) to use Armex (backing soda and ice) did real small test on 100 + year brick and quickly nixed that idea.


As Stonecutter mentioned and I reiterated,do NOT try to blast that paint off. A chemical stripper from a company such as Prosoco may be your best bet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
I am a contractor but I've only been in the business for 10 years, I am currently 26. ....
OK. Well, then, again, Welcome to ContractorTalk. Go over to the Introductions forum and introduce yourself, please. Among other things, it helps people like me from jumping to the wrong conclusion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,654 Posts
I've never heard of a mason around me that specializes in restoring old fireplaces. Just wanted to know the best method other contractors have used. I thought that's what this site was for? Lol.
That's because restoration masonry is a very specialized craft within a craft, that doesn't translate to standard modern masonry practices.

At least call a few specialists and see what they say. The one thing you need to be aware of is that you can easily destroy the historical value of your home with a bad repair. At the very least, you will have some costly repair work...put some time into research, and get information from the specialists.
 

·
stacker of sticks
Joined
·
8,502 Posts
What about a heat gun? I'm more asking then telling him to use it.

And after it's cleaned up re point it. Use like mortar like they used in the old days.


I think the mix is 7 sand to 1 lime. I could be wrong on that, we used it in college as practice mud because you just get it wet again when it dries out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,654 Posts
What about a heat gun? I'm more asking then telling him to use it.

And after it's cleaned up re point it. Use like mortar like they used in the old days.


I think the mix is 7 sand to 1 lime. I could be wrong on that, we used it in college as practice mud because you just get it wet again when it dries out
There could be lead paint present, so I wouldn't use a heat gun. The brick could absorb some of the paint too....after the top layers come off...then you have real trouble. Gel strippers are one of the best for this type of job.

7:1 is a practice mix only.....and waaaay to lean. The lime mortar I have come across looked closer to 2-3:1.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top