How to Restore an Antique Stone Fireplace Mantel How to Restore an Antique Stone Fireplace Mantel

What You'll Need
Stone filler materials
Caulk and caulk gun
Sandpaper
Brush and dustpan
Rubber gloves, goggles and face mask
Buckets
Trisodium phosphate cleaning solution
Scrub brush
Soft cloths

A stone fireplace mantel is one of the most prominent and unique fixtures in virtually any room. These mantels are not only large and imposing, but they are also a central focal point for any room that has a fireplace. In many cases, the mantels themselves are antique or very old, as there is frequently an emphasis placed on maintaining the look and feel of traditional mantel fixtures. In order to ensure that your antique mantel looks its best, you'll need to know how to properly restore and maintain it.

Step 1 - Clean the Surface of the Fireplace

You'll need to first clean off any debris or dust that may have collected on your stone fireplace mantel. This can be done relatively easily by brushing it off. Do not worry at this point about deeper stains or other damage to the fireplace, as you're simply cleaning the surface in a basic way. Use the brush to sweep off all debris, cobwebs or other items that are on the fireplace mantel and collect them in a dustpan for proper disposal later on.

Step 2 - Examine the Surface for Cracks

Look to the surface of the stone mantel for your fireplace to see if there are any cracks or weakened areas. It's crucial that you repair these properly so that they don't contribute to damage to the mantel later on. If you see any, purchase specialized caulk or sealer for the type of stone that you have in the mantel, then apply it directly to the crack. Once the caulk dries, use sandpaper to sand it down to the level of the stone mantel around it, to minimize the difference in appearance.

Step 3 - Replace Broken or Damaged Areas

If there are parts of the mantel that may have chipped away, you'll need to carefully fit replacement stone filler into the area. Finding the proper size and shape for the correct type of stone can be somewhat difficult, but it is necessary to restore the look of the mantel. Install these filler pieces into place using the caulk and caulk gun, then clean up any spilled caulk before it can dry.

Step 4 - Scrub the Surface of the Mantel

Trisodium phosphate, also known as TSP, is a powerful chemical cleaner used for stone mantels. It is noxious and can be very dangerous if used incorrectly, so be sure to open up all windows to allow ventilation, and to wear goggles, rubber gloves and a face mask while you work with it. Mix the solution in a bucket according to the cleaning product instructions. Use a scrub brush to scrub at the surface of the stone with the cleaning solution. This should eliminate stains and deeper set debris from the stone. Wipe down the stone surface with soft cloths and allow it to dry completely.

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