{fireplace makeover using airstone: before & after}

This post was sponsored by AirStone.  All opinions are 100% mine and mine alone. Please see full disclosure below.
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When we bought our house the end of last summer, I knew right away that I wanted to re-do our fireplace.  I did not like the small tiles–they just weren’t my style at all.. However, it’s awfully hard to justify spending money to change something in a brand new house, and I wasn’t sure when we would be able to do it.  So…when I was given the opportunity to try a new product called AirStone, I JUMPED at the chance. The results are amazing…I LOVE LOVE how it turned out!!
Fireplace makeover | airstone | oldsaltfarm.com
 fireplace airstone makeover | oldsaltfarm.com

What is AirStone?AirStone is an innovative, ultra-light product that transforms a complicated construction ordeal into a simple wall-covering project. Indoors or out, the patent-pending AirStone system offers the same look, feel and durability of real stone, but weighs 75% less. This allows anyone to install a beautiful stone veneer using only pre-mixed adhesive, a putty knife and a hack saw. No special tools or mixing are needed. I’M SERIOUS!  No big tools necessary!  I can’t believe how much it looks just like real stone. You would never know if I didn’t tell you!

 You’re probably wondering how expensive it is, because I would want to know the same thing.  It comes in boxes that will cover 16 square feet, and each box retails for about $50, available at most Lowe’s stores. We needed just over one box, so we purchased two of them, and spent just $100 (with some leftover for another project) on the stone. You also need a bucket of adhesive, which cost us $15.  There is a TON in the bucket, and was more than enough for our entire project with also some leftover.  Our fireplace is flat to the wall, with no corners, but they do sell boxes of corner pieces for those of you that do.

 

It comes in two different colors: Autumn Mountain (which is what we used) and Spring Creek.  Autumn Mountain has warm tones–creams, browns, and tans, while Spring Creek is of a cooler tone, and lots of greys.  I loved both, but the Autumn Mountain color matched the rest of our home better–our existing tile, carpet, and cabinetry–which we would not be replacing.  Our trim is also a cream, rather than white, and it made a big difference as well in what our choice would be.

 

When we bought it and brought it home, I wasn’t sure how easy it was actually going to be. Even though I didn’t like it, we would still be destroying a brand new fireplace, and once we started hammering, there was no going back.  But…I hated the tile enough that I didn’t care.  ☺I figured anything would be better than that!  So…we went for it! I was pleasantly surprised at how straightforward it was, and while it does take some time to do right (what project doesn’t?), it wasn’t hard.  I’m going to show you how we did ours! ( Most of the work was one at night, thus the photo quality of some pictures…)

 

Step 1: 

 

We removed the front glass part of your fireplace, and put it aside.  Then the fun part began—demolition time!!!  We used several tools to help us remove the tile around the fireplace, including a hammer and dremmel.  We tried to keep the cement backer board, but it was impossible to remove the tile and keep it intact.  I didn’t remove the tiles from the bottom floor of the fireplace–you’ll see what we did later in the post.

fireplace makeover | airstone | oldsaltfarm.com

 

fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com

 

Step 2:
Once all the tile and backer board were removed, we needed to add new backer board for the stone to stick to.  We bought it in a large sheet at Home Depot.  We used a razor to cut it in pieces to fit.
fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com
We used these anchors and a drill to attach the board:
fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com
fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com
{Step 3}
At first I didn’t know what to do with the bottom floor of the fireplace.  We couldn’t put stone there, nor could we build up any kind of hearth due to the distance needed between the floor and the fireplace.  So…I decided to paint it.  I used an acrylic paint that matched the trim of the house, hoping it would look alright.  Fortunately, it did!
fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com
{Step 4}
Once the paint was dry, we were ready to start adding our stone pieces!  We laid them out on the carpet to figure out the pattern we wanted.  This was a REALLY important, especially if we wanted to use up the stone we had and not waste any. We also didn’t want to get started, and then realize our pattern wouldn’t work. Once we we were ready, we cut pieces to size (if necessary) using a hacksaw, then applied the adhesive with a putty knife and stuck it to the wall.
fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com
fireplace step 9 logo
fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com
We repeated this step until we had finished the entire fireplace!
fireplace makeover | oldsaltfarm.com
And done!!!
fireplace makeover | airstone | oldsaltfarm.com
What a HUGE difference, and improvement!  I can’t believe that it took only a little over $100,  a hammer, hacksaw, a putty knife, and a couple of days to do this! 
I’m a happy girl.  ☺

 

Disclosure: I was provided free product by Airstone to complete this project. All opinions are 100% mine.  Your experience may vary.

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27 Comments

  1. I was wondering if you had to support the top section (above the open section of fireplace) until the adhesive dried?

    1. No, we didn’t! The airstone is pretty light, and it was really easy to work with!

    1. Is the slate completely flat? Or is it uneven slate? Here’s the FAQ’s for Airstone, and it doesn’t mention slate, so I’m not quite sure. It might be worth reaching out to them and asking!

      http://airstone.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/AirstoneInstructons.pdf

      http://airstone.com/faqs/

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