Do you ever feel like you’ve had one of those weeks where you were really busy, but don’t have nearly as much to show for it as you think you should? That’s my week.
We are continuing to trudge through this Never Ending Fireplace Makeover, but quite frankly, I’m tired. Tired of my family room being a disaster zone of wood, tools, dust, nails and masonry supplies. Tired of having a giant eyesore in full view the moment you walk into my home. Tired of taking a step forward in progress, only to take two steps back. Tired of my kids saying, “Mom, are you guys ever going to finish that fireplace?”
Have you ever had a project like that? It wears you down.
Take the mortar issues I’ve been battling here. We finally got the fireplace framed and the cement board up, and the next task was to mortar the joints – almost like taping drywall joints – simple enough, right?
I pulled out the mortar mix and decided to knock out this next task on the punch list. I followed the directions, but it just was a total mess – mortar everywhere, not sticking the way it should – I think more ended up on me than on the fireplace. It just wasn’t right, leaving me, you guessed it, mortarfied.
So, I ended up taking it all down (and crying on the inside). But setbacks like this take a hit on your DIY self-confidence and plant those seeds of doubt. Had we taken on more than we could chew with this project? What if we totally mess it up?
I did end up getting the joints done (with a premade mix), and decided to put off the mortar mixing task until later – with the scratch coat.
But, before the scratch coat, we had to install the metal lath (that keeps the stone from sliding down the wall). Again, one of those tasks that takes infinitely longer than you expect. My husband did most of it, but I finished it today.
And, I faced my mortar-fear by trying the mortar mixing again. I used a big plastic tub instead of a five gallon bucket, and that seemed to do the trick. I completed the scratch coat on the bottom portion of the fireplace (to aid in successful stone adhesion), and have made progress even since I took this photo (and subsequently ran out of mortar). A stone mason, I am not. This stuff is messy. But, it’s progress.
So, I guess there is a teeny tiny light at the end of the tunnel, because once the scratch coat is done, I will be able to get to the fun (hopefully) part – putting up the stone. However, I’m sure that will present its own set of unforeseen challenges
and lunatic rantings.
Sorry for the downer tone here – I do try to keep it light, but I also try to keep it real. And I’m ready for this fireplace to be done. For real.
Here is what I’m holding out for at the end of the day. This is what I’m really hoping the fireplace will look like when it’s complete. It’s images like this that keep me moving forward.
I’m really looking forward to hanging stockings on this new fireplace too. Fingers crossed.
Yes, I’m starting to lose my mind a bit. 😉 Back to work!
Have a great weekend!