How to Restore an Old Faux Stone Fireplace

A faux stone fireplace adds style and charm to the interior of your home. Artificial stone is produced from a mixture of natural rock aggregates, cement and iron oxide pigments. The mixture is poured into moulds to create artificial stones. It weighs much less than real stone and can be used on various stable surfaces with excellent results. The virtually endless variety of texture, style and color allows you to create a distinctly attractive fireplace. The use of faux stone for fireplace decor costs much less than genuine stone, yet it is usually hard to tell the difference between faux stone and real stone. If your fireplace looks old and lackluster, you can restore its original beauty as outlined below.

Materials Needed:

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Mild detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Old towel
  • Clean cloth
  • Cold chisel
  • Hammer
  • Wire brush
  • Mortar
  • Grout bag
  • Damp rag
  • Replacement faux stone
  • Wet saw
  • Whisk broom
  • Putty knife
  • Plastic sheet
  • Painter's tape
  • Paintbrushes, wide and thin
  • Sealant for faux stone

Step 1 – Remove Dirt and Stains

Place 3 cups of water in a spray bottle and 1 teaspoon bleach. Add a small amount of mild detergent. Cap the bottle and shake the contents thoroughly. Spray the solution onto the faux stone. Scrub with a brush to clear dirt and stains. Dip a towel into a bucket of warm water. Wring moderately, then use it to wipe away the soapy solution. Remove excess water with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 2 – To Repair Cracked Mortar

Place the tip of a cold chisel on the cracked mortar. Tap the chisel firmly from the back with a hammer. Use a wire brush to clear the old mortar. Prepare new mortar and place in a grout bag. Carefully squeeze out just the required amount into the grout line. Avoid overflow of grout into adjacent stones, as it creates a messy appearance. Clear away excess mortar with a damp rag.

Step 3 – Replace Damaged Stones

Place the tip of your chisel along the stone. Hit the chisel firmly with a hammer from the back to loosen the mortar. Once the mortar disintegrates, remove the chisel and position it a few inches away from the initial point. Repeat the activity all around the stone. You can eventually pry it off easily from the fireplace wall with the chisel. Clear loose mortar and debris with a wire brush. Obtain a stone that fits in the space. You may need to use a wet saw to cut the new stones to size. Apply a thin coat of mortar onto the wall with a putty knife. Attach the new stone in place. Hold firmly for about one minute for it to adhere properly.

Step 4 – Apply Sealant

Be sure the mortar has dried completely before you apply sealant. Lay a plastic sheet on the floor around the fireplace. Secure with painter's tape. Attach tape onto the wall adjacent to the faux stone. Brush clear sealant onto your faux stone with a wide paintbrush. Use a thin paintbrush to reach inner crevices and awkward areas. Let the sealant dry for 48 hours before you use the fireplace. The sealant helps to protect the stone. It also gives your faux stone fireplace a fresh new look. Remove the tape and plastic sheet.