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How to tackle a fireplace restoration

Reclaim your old, damaged fireplace with our handy fireplace restoration guide. With tips and tricks to revitalise cast iron, marble and Victorian fireplaces.

marble fireplace restorationOver the last few years, fireplaces have shot up in terms of popularity. Instead of bricking over old fireplaces, many people are choosing to instead invest in fireplace restoration. Homeowners are now seeing the endless potential that comes with owning a fireplace and are pouring time and energy into creating a stunning focal point for their home.

If you’re lucky enough to have an old fireplace, we’re here to guide you through your fireplace restoration project. Whether your fireplace is cast iron, Victorian or marble, read on for tips and tricks to revitalise your little piece of history.

Getting started with fireplace restoration

Firstly, it’s important to know whether your fireplace needs to be restored. If the fireplace is old, damaged, unstable or dated, fireplace restoration is a great option. When planning to refurbish your fireplace, it helps to know what type of fireplace you own. There’s a wide range of different options including:

  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Wood burning
  • Ethanol
  • Gel
  • Freestanding
  • Wall-mounted
  • Open hearth
  • Tabletop
  • Hanging

Fireplaces can also be made of a number of different materials such as cast iron, marble, brick, stone, concrete, plaster and wood. This means restoring your fireplace may be a little tricky. This guide covers cast iron, marble and Victorian fireplace restoration as these are very common in homes.

So, is fireplace restoration for you? If you need to decorate, change the mantel or repair minor issues, then doing this job yourself can be a fun project. Alternatively, if your fireplace needs major reconstruction, the chimney liner is damaged or you plan to completely replace your fireplace, you will likely need the help of a professional.

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Tradesperson restoring a fireplaceCast iron fireplace restoration

Cast iron fireplaces are designed to be functional with excellent aesthetics. These fireplaces are very durable and tend to fare quite well over time as long as they are well maintained. If your cast iron fireplace is a shadow of its former glory, now may be the perfect time for a cast iron fireplace restoration project.

Thankfully, our cast iron fireplace restoration guide is the perfect option for anyone looking to revitalise their damaged, old fireplace.

Marble fireplace restoration

Marble is a striking material that is completely unique thanks to its luxurious patterns. Used to build fireplaces for many years, marble is easy to maintain and is very resistant to fire. No matter the type of marble you choose, you can guarantee your home will be instantly transformed from dull to sophisticated.

If you’re looking for a durable fireplace that’ll increase the value of your home, marble is the way to go. If your fireplace is looking worn and degraded, use the following marble fireplace restoration tips:

  1. The first step is to properly clean the marble and remove any stains that have built up over time. If your marble fireplace is dirty, use whiting mixed with bleach, for oil or grease use acetone mixed with whiting, or for smoke stains, use bleach and baking soda.
  2. Next, you’ll need to sand out any chips or rough patches. Be careful not to over-sand your fireplace or cause further damage.
  3. Finally, if there are any small cracks, you can fill these with white resin adhesive. Once the adhesive is dry, sand to create a smooth finish.

Victorian fireplace restoration

During Victorian times, fireplaces were found in the wealthier homes throughout the country. These fireplaces were fuelled with wood or coal and were the best way to stay warm during the colder months. Generally made of marble or slate, Victorian fireplaces were beautifully finished and today they make a stylish feature in any home.

Unless your fireplace was well cared for, it may now be neglected and damaged. The best Victorian fireplace restoration method will depend on what material your fireplace is made from. Most Victorian fireplaces were made from marble, cast iron or slate.

So, if your Victorian fireplace is made from cast iron, please see our ‘cast iron fireplace restoration’ section, or if it is made from marble, please see our ‘marble fireplace restoration’ section. Finally, if your fireplace is made from slate, use the below tips:

  1. Start by thoroughly cleaning your fireplace. Do this by using boiling water with washing soda, ammonia and powdered pumice mixed in. Spread this over your fireplace and wait half an hour before removing and cleaning with fresh water.
  2. If your slate fireplace is suffering from scratches, these can be removed by sanding. Gently rub with sandpaper until the scratches disappear, then, if needed, use mineral oil to cover any leftover traces in your slate.
  3. Finally, you can properly protect your fireplace by sealing it. You can even choose a seal with colour enhancements to really brighten up your fireplace. Paint the seal onto the slate, then allow it to sink in for at least 10 minutes before using a cloth to buff the surface.
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How to open up a fireplace

Need further assistance?

Fireplace restoration can be difficult, especially if your fireplace is old and fragile. If this is the case, hiring an expert to bring your fireplace back to life is a great option. Remember it’s never worth taking on a DIY job unless you‘re confident about what you’re doing.

In addition, hiring a professional will bring all their years of expertise to your project. You can look forward to top quality results in no time at all. If you’re ready to speak to a tradesperson, why not use our free search feature? You’ll be able to view all the relevant experts in your area, examples of their work and customer reviews, allowing you to make the best choice.

How much does fireplace restoration cost by a professional?

If fireplace restoration isn’t for you, it may be handy to know what you’ll need to pay to have it done professionally. Below are some of the average costs plus links to a few of our brilliant guides, full of helpful tips, prices and more:

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