Monday 22 October 2012

Rebuilding Stone Work On Our Fireplace

We've got an old stone surround around our fire, it seems to be blonde sandstone but, I'll be honest, I am not a stone aficionado…that's cool, all you need to know is it is stone and it looked a bit crappy. It had been painted with a bitumen paint (basically a kind of tar)

Before the building work we painted it all white
(which never looked that great, but it was a trial and error thing)

Previous owners of our cottage had erected a huge wooden surround around the stone original, and to put up this wooden surround they had chiselled huge chunks out of the original stone.
I don't think it is quite visible in the photo but it was a terrible mess around the outside, particularly at the bottom of the upright sections

We took a while wondering what to do with it all:

Do we cover it all back up again?
But we would loose the original feature


Do we take a sledgehammer to the lot?
Which would be a bit foolish since it is a functional fireplace...
 and half the wall would probably have come with it.

We researched how to mend it and found Lithomex, it is basically a liquid stone and is quite amazing.

This is the work in progress, waiting to set a bit before working it to a better finish

It goes on not unlike a filler, or a plaster, over the course of a week hardens as tough as stone. It can be chiselled and shaped, like real stone. It is nice to know that is as hard as the real thing.

When I was working with it, it is a bit wobbly and gloopy... a bit like trying to spread thick custard.

The Nitty Gritty:

• We bought Lithomix from the same place we buy our Lime Plaster from, Masons Mortar in Edinburgh (now with a depot in Glasgow too) We had the powdered stuff but they now sell it ready mixed, which would have been easier.

I was listening to:

• I used to do wee listening suggestions... but I haven't for a while. So I was listening to, and singing along (Loudly I'll have you know) to The Ultimate Dolly Parton


  1. You folks in the U.K. Are so spoiled for products. I live in Ontario, Canada and have to travel over 2hours just to buy a bag of lime mortar.

    1. We are lucky here Lupin, to be so close to a company that manufactures and stocks great lime products. But I'm not sure how easily available these things are elsewhere in the UK.

      I do sometimes wish the big DIY chains would stock such things, even basic lime putty, it might encourage people back towards traditional techniques and methods.


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