4.23.2012

Fireplace Candy

On the list of to do's in order to finish up the front room is to get a fireplace screen. But who would have thought new ones would be $100+? Not me. So I quickly rejected that idea and though I'd hit up my favorite local salvage yards to see what we could work with. There were many sections of fencing to be sorted through and I thought that might be an interesting option, but none were quite the right size.

I held out hopes for what Ohmega Salvage would have. Ohmega is where we got the awesome center light and sconces for the front room and they have really awesome historic stuff for great prices. And I was super lucky because they actually had historic fireplace arch thingies (I can't remember the "official" name of them) that would have fireplace blocks sitting inside of them. A fireplace block would be awesome, but the ones they had were circa 19th century and French, so you can imagine the price tag. I did snag this baby for $65 though! (I got him down from $75)

It obviously needed a bit of cleaning up and a screen put on it, but nothing I can't handle. I brought out some sanding tools and got to work

After about 30 minutes of good elbow grease I got a good amount off. There were some areas that I couldn't get totally cleaned up

But for the most part it was looking good

I gave it a good hose down to clean it all off and propped it up to dry

It didn't take too long to dry because it was such a nice day. I set it up on a saw horse and brought out the rust reformer spray paint (it turns rust into a paintable surface)

The rust reformer spray paint takes 24 hours for the chemical reaction of changing rust into a paintable surface to go into effect, so I had to wait for the color coat until the next day

But once it was finally ready a nice coat of glossy white went on

And it ended up taking FIVE coats till everything was nice and covered, but it's looking snazzy

The project wasn't done there however, it still needed a screen. On the back of it there were these 4 small ring holes (2 on each side)

I resolved that I'd use some wire mesh we had leftover from another project and stretch it across the opening and then tie it in place at each of the 4 ring holes


After I was finished I had to trim the bottom a bit because the bottom of the screen didn't properly line up with the bottom of the frame. I had meant to so that the finished edge of the screen hit right into the finished edge of the frame, but things got a little wonky as I was attaching it to the frame and so I had to trim the bottom. As a result the bottom was jagged

And I didn't want it to scratch the tile so I used a pair of pliers to bend up the edges

And then, it was done! Chris was nervous that it would be too skinny in place and look weird. I told him it was probably going to be about 2-3" short on each side, but that I thought it would look fine. Here it is in place, what do you think?

I love the shape and style, but I do think it's skinniness looks a little weird. Chris and I both think the frame itself is really cool, but I think the jury is still out on how it fills the space. I won't buy a new one for a while if that's what we decide to do, but what do you guys think? Too skinny and looks weird? Or skinny and looks okay?

8 comments:

Shasha Kidd said...

It seems like if you painted it black the skinniness would be less obvious. I'm sure it will work until you find the good deal someday...

Cheryl said...

Is this a working fireplace? If so you really want the screen frame to be slightly wider than the opening so that no sparks can pop out. And is the screen mesh fine enough for a working fireplace?

Not sure I really like the arched shape with the square opening - but that's just me. I agree with Shasha that if it was black it would blend better - it really should play a supporting role rather than try to grab all the attention.

Shasha Kidd said...

I'm just curious, did you try craigslist? It looks like there's lots on there for under $100. Though, maybe you looked and didn't see anything you liked or everything was too far away. I saw a couple on there that would have tempted me... =)

tigergladys said...

It looks a little strange because of the arch on top of the fireplace (which looks SO cool) and the arch of the screen being different angles. I also agree with Cheryl, if you are going to use this as a working fireplace it needs to be wider so no sparks pop out & get on your refinished floor. ;)

Sarah said...

I like the color but it does look weird to me. I would probably like a square one. It's super pretty.

meryl rose said...

Good suggestions all around ladies. Thank you! I think some changes may be afoot....

jenne said...

Meryl,
I have been staring at your pics and I seem to remember someone on the OLD houseblogs site who was on a mission to find one of these once...YEARS ago..she called it a "summer cover" and it did not have screening. I have one similar to this, but mine is square, and copper-y. That houseblog lady's, and mine, both have "doors" that bolt on to the frame when not in use...I've never seen a screen....not that the screen doesn't make sense, it's totally a good idea..

http://midwestcottageandfinds.blogspot.com/2010/09/vintage-fireplace-summer-covers.html
http://www.ourvictorianhouse.com/ReceptionHall.htm#The%20Fireplace

Filda Meels said...

It just need a little chimney repairs but the result of the work looks fine. You just need to accessorize it a bit then it will be completely beautiful.