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Old 04-16-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Fireplace/drywall holes


Hi, guys, just moved into a new (to me) house and have been slowly getting around fixing things, amongst the unpacking (ugh).

Here's a problem: there are two holes next to the fireplace:



The largest one is about 1/2" wide, couple of inches long. Inside, the best I can see, there's some brick + crumbling mortar. I'd like to seal and paint these holes - doesn't have to be pretty, but don't want to half-ass it.

I tried searching online, but most people's issues are with gaps between mantle and drywall. The question is, what should I use to fill the holes? Polyurethane foam? Fire-resistant caulk? I don't even know how hot the fireplace gets. Can someone point me to a product, please?

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Old 04-16-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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Fireplace/drywall holes


That part of the mantle is not going to experience any substantial heat as it will be contained in the firebox. You do not need anything heat resistant.

You could buy a tube of caulking and caulking gun (don't mess around with those little squeeze things) and use any good quality flex and paintable caulking. You can stick a nail down the end of the caulking tube and use it again later. Wire nuts also make great end caps for caulking tubes. Or you can pay $3 for fancy ones.

Or you could use drywall compound.

For larger holes like this we that do this (or used to) use "hot" mud which is sold in bags rated for the time it takes to set from 5-120 minutes or so. It is not expensive and if you store a bag in a moisture proof plastic container you will find it comes in handy around the house and will last you probably the time you own the place. The nice thing about hot mud is you control the consistency. Beware though, while 5 minute mud sounds attractive, the clock pertaining to its setting up starts the minute the powder feels a hint of moisture. As a newbie I would start with 20 or even 45 minute compound. Just let it sit a bit to cure if you made the mix to moist.

You will need to invest in a good mud pan and drywall knife or two. Don't get little ones as you can sponge off excess drywall. 4" is about the smallest I can think of being useful. Again, if you take care of them, they will last longer than the house.

You can use pre-mixed drywall compound too but it is usually not dense enough for larger holes like this and it will take a few passes as it sucks in on itself.

Good luck!

- Steven

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Old 04-19-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
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Fireplace/drywall holes


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Wire nuts also make great end caps for caulking tubes.

Neat idea Stephen..Thanks

Another idea would be to fill the gaps wth something like Durabond and put a line of painters tape vertically where the brick meets the drywall. Then get a tube of masonry caulking and run a small bead so as to replicate a mortar line.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:36 PM   #4
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Fireplace/drywall holes


Thanks, Stephen, that's a very detailed response. I've gathered the supplies, now I just need some free time

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaclub View Post
Neat idea Stephen..Thanks

Another idea would be to fill the gaps wth something like Durabond and put a line of painters tape vertically where the brick meets the drywall. Then get a tube of masonry caulking and run a small bead so as to replicate a mortar line.

That's a great idea, I didn't think about that!
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