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cwelte 07-30-2009 06:49 PM

Concrete over brick??? (updating a fireplace)
I want to update my painted brick fireplace and make it look more contemporary modern by skimming over it with concrete. Is that the best material to use to give it that clean look? I don't want to use drywall and I want it to look like a polished concrete floor…where you cannot see any aggrogate. Someone else suggested clay???

What is the best way to approach this as a DIY'er? Is there a big learning curve with getting that smooth, polished look to the concrete? (esp. if on a verticle surface?)


Mop in Hand 08-03-2009 11:24 PM

I would clean the paint off first. And yes there is a huge learning curve to get just about any cement material flat and smooth on a horizonal surface not to mention a vertical one. I doubt it could be done with concrete, unless forms were built. Maybe morter or thinset, not sure. That smooth surface you've seen on concrete floors comes with years of experience, it's not as if you have 2 or 3 days to get it right, more like 2 or 3 hours. I would come up with PLAN B if I were you.

Paragon 08-06-2009 12:21 PM


None of the home things we deal with is rocket science I will admit however it is all about knowledge and technique. The problem that arrises is you lack both. You could do a stucco or a dryvit or another technique but as stated before it does take skill, knowledge and equipment to get it right.

Now I know that you balked against drywall however you also stated that you wanted the look of a polished concrete floor have you thought about drywall with a venetian plaster? How about going with a faux finish of some other sort? You could pour some 1" concrete panels and stain them and ahhere them to the specific areas. You could go with some industrial looks like hammered metal or stained copper. You could get some corrogated metal and go with that look. You could also hire a craftsman that knows what he is doing and get the look you want and not have to worry about doing it wrong.

Sorry to be so abrasive but if you are looking for "another method" go to you tube or google and just start typing different ideas and I am guessing you will run into a wealth of various options.

Good luck and be safe!

stadry 08-13-2009 06:24 AM

w/o removing the paint, attach expand'd wire mesh ( overlap the edges by 2" ) then apply a polymer-modified concrete ( we use elitecrete exclusively because all systems're compatible ),,, yes, there IS a learning curve,,, you can get a ' shine ' thru the use of a good sealer - flatness is another issue.

cwelte 08-13-2009 09:38 AM


Originally Posted by itsreallyconc (Post 313754)
w/o removing the paint, attach expand'd wire mesh ( overlap the edges by 2" ) then apply a polymer-modified concrete ( we use elitecrete exclusively because all systems're compatible ),,, yes, there IS a learning curve,,, you can get a ' shine ' thru the use of a good sealer - flatness is another issue.

Thanks- this is what I thought I may have to do. (some sort of lath first)
How durable is the elitecrete? Does it use any type of fibers for structure or is it dependant solely on the mesh?

Paragon 08-13-2009 12:24 PM

Look at some of these links maybe they will guide you a little bit. (might give you something to work with see "installing the overlay" link) (there is a you tube video on this page which will show you a wall stamping. This is over styrofoam (basically) and is much like dryvit, might give you some ideas too) some design ideas here too kind of a "kitchy" stacked stone design but definitly a DIY project (and I think you could do better caulking than her too) showing them staining vertical concrete might be useful? remember the venetian plaster I mentioned? You could do this right over drywall or a similer surface. These are ideas to get you that stained concrete look without having to learn plastering, stuccoing or trowel work which to get a smooth surface takes not only technique but also knowledge.

I think you could teach yourself any method you want with some trial and error but in this case I think keeping it as simple as possible should be your key objective. Take a look at these videos and links and decide for yourself. Also, let your imagination be your guide & run a bit and I think you could create a beautiful end result no matter what you decide to do. You have a lot of teaching resources at hand in google and youtube and I especially think you will find great stuff on you tube that will guide your path and will lend itself to being absolutly invaluable in this situation.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do and I hope these links help.

I also want you to know that I am not advocating any of these products or sites, they are merely intended as references and examples for your reference.

Good luck and be safe!

stadry 08-13-2009 12:42 PM

generically, all polymer-modified cements're stronger than usual conc that's ordered - 5,600psi compared to 3,500,,, no fibers just strength,,, mesh's for grip over irregular surfaces,,, we've used other decorative mtls over the yrs but none can compare in our pro opinion.

cwelte 08-13-2009 03:33 PM

Wow all of this great info is going to keep me busy for a while.

I agree with keeping it simple, however that's not always the best solution. I only want to do this once! ;-) I've single-handedly done two complete bath and kitchen remodels so I'm not too concerned. I'll practice on some scrap first until I get the "look" that I'm shooting for.

Thanks again for all the great links!

Paragon 08-13-2009 03:36 PM

you are most certainly welcome. I by no means want to take you away from what you have your heart set on just wanted to give you an option to acheive some beautiful results with a much lower learning curve involved. Good luck and keep us posted options are plentiful here!

cwelte 08-13-2009 03:45 PM

Paragon, these links are great. Very helpful, thanks!

Paragon 08-13-2009 03:47 PM

no problem thought they might help took a little looking but thought they represented some good info for you to go on.

Soundwave 03-28-2010 12:34 AM

Hey cwelte, did you ever end up completing this project? If so, do you have any pics you would like to post? This was a helpful thread.

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