Fireplace Paint Is A Critical Part Of Wood Stove Care – Part 2

In the first article “Fireplace paint is a critical part of a wood stove care” we were able to cover the first and an important point. The surface must be clean! When the surface is ready to go an understanding of the painting process is in order. We will look at number 2: Thickness of application of the paint.

When you go to the stove or insert store and pick out the one to take home the piece of equipment comes with a fresh coat of paint expertly applied at the factory. Most often this is the way you will bring home the stove and install it and wait for the first fire in the fall. However, as a service by the dealer, he or she may offer to customize your new stove with a coat of paint to match a different color. Maybe to match color for the room the stove is going into or who knows, maybe your college colors. This can lead to a problem for you the stove owner. Problems can start when the paint is too thick on the stove. If the thickness of the paint on the stove’s surface exceeds 2.0 mils the possibility of peeling greatly increases. The original coat of paint is.9 mils thick from the factory. If an additional coat is to be applied make the change only one time. After that the old paint must be removed for the new paint.


When looking at the existing finish and problems are detected an analysis of the paint can tell us what is going on. One of the typical sights is to see the paint peel away and look like shattered glass. This will come away from the stove in narrow strips. This is a result of several coats of paint. If the paint comes away from the cast iron surface in chunks it is a safe bet the surface was not correctly prepared. Rust can be a culprit. But this only happens when the surface was not made devoid of rust to start with.


When making a decision to change the color or add paint to a cast iron stove or insert consider what is already there. If it is the factory original paint a second coat can be applied. Prep the painted surface to accept a second coat. Remember, the paint needs a surface it can adhere to, it needs tooth so to speak. By doing this the operation will be a success.

We will continue in the next article with the proper application techniques. For a safe fireplace this winter, have your hearth rug in place and use a wide fireplace screen. Remember to have the chimney inspected and replace the smoke alarm batteries.

James Dahlberg

Building a Fireplace: 5 Key Design Elements to Building A Fireplace

When you consider design elements, you get to play with the rules and mix it up a little bit and have some fun. Most designers will tell you that good design is all about the mix not the match. The components that go into the art of building a fireplace is no exception. When building almost anything the rules to consider are form and function. The architect’s point of view is definitely function and how everything works or is engineered. However, the design is what makes it pleasing to the eye and comforting to live in.

There are 5 key design elements that make up the formula to building a fireplace.

The first element is the type of fire itself.

The consideration of wood or gas is most relevant at the final stage – the lighting of the fire. With an actual wood fire you will never lack the sound of a wood fire crackling and glow of real embers. The alternative is a gas insert. There are many new and different designs for gas flames as well models of inserts themselves.


The second element for consideration is the facing on the structure.

This is where there are the most trends, even regionally. Traditionally, brick has been the first choice among homeowners. With the advent of manufactured stone, the cost and availability has made it a popular choice. A coat of stucco has always been popular in the southwest regions. We even see a modern trend of poured concrete or even fabricated metals in very contemporary structures.

The third element is choice of mantle.

This is where the fun really starts. How much mixing and matching are you comfortable with? Something to keep in mind is balance and proportion. Mixing materials and even styles is smart and sexy, just make sure your mantle doesn’t outweigh your fireplace or the opposite.

The fourth element is the hearth.

Functionality can be a consideration when choosing materials for the hearth of a fireplace. A plus is that it will capture heat from the fire and release radiant heat for some time after the fire is out. Will it also provide for extra seating if it is long and wide enough? Additionally, will clean-up be an issue if you are burning real wood and have wood residue and ash?


The fifth element is add-ons.

These can include a wood box, shelving for books, a niche for art or for components like TV’s and audio/video equipment. Wherever these add-ons may be incorporated within your design, remember the heat that your fireplace can produce.

As with any other area of home design styles, fireplaces both indoors and outdoors can follow trends. Masonry supply yards and stores that sell fireplace gas inserts are great places to start looking for ideas as well as attending any home shows in your area. New or remodeled, fireplaces can be the gathering place of the home!

Outdoor Fireplace – A Wide Range To Ornate Your Exteriors

Adding a fireplace to your backyard area helps in increasing the dimensions of your living area. It creates a soothing and serene atmosphere to live in. Outdoor fireplaces are one of the most popular ones in the category of outside accessories. They are not only eye-catching but also add beauty to your exterior area.

There are a large number of outdoor fireplaces available in the market. Each type or design has its own benefits. You can choose the suitable fireside as per your needs. Here are some types of the outdoor inglenooks available in the market.

• Brick Firesides

These fireguards are one the oldest models available in the market. These hearths provide a classy touch to your garden area. They are stand alone type of fire hearths. These hearths are physically strong and can withhold high level of heat. These are easy to maintain and clean.


• Stone Hearths

These are one of the most widely popular outside fireguards as they are non combustible and are long-lasting. Fire accidents are avoided because these firesides do not swelter. Choice of material has to be made as there are number of stones available like marble, granite etc. from which these firesides are crafted.

• Heat Proof Glass Fireplace

These firesides are made out of specially crafted glass custom made in order to handle high heat level. These are not made out of normal glass. These special glasses are considered to ensure good ignition.

• Readymade Inglenooks

These custom made firesides are added to your domiciles in order to avoid any hassle. Natives have a choice of either selecting professionals to build you a fireside as per your requirements or to purchase readymade firesides available in the market.

• Stainless Steel Fireplaces

Stainless steel firesides are a durable option for your outdoors. It is not only rust free but also an eco friendly technique to enhance the beauty of your exterior area. Portable fireplace available in different designs are an excellent option to select from.

• Cast Iron

These free standing cast iron firesides date back to centuries. These are available in different designs and you can easily find the one suiting your requirements. These can be fixed at one place or can be portable. They are highly durable and can resist high temperature. It is important to prevent these fireguards from rusting in order to enjoy their benefits for longer duration.


• Chiminea Firesides

Chiminea are one of the several types of hearths available in the market. They are crafted out of clay, stone, or metal. These hearths are available in two parts which need to be carefully installed. These chimineas enhance the outlook of your outdoor area. Aluminium made chimineas are gaining wide popularity these days as they are light weighed and rust free as compared to the cast iron firesides.

Outdoor fireplaces not only provide a rich outlook to your garden area but also help in creating a comfy cozy environment. Various types of outdoor fireplaces are available as per your needs and lifestyle. Knowing your budget and area limits will assist you in making a wise choice from the available types of outdoor firesides.

Hearth Accessories

The amount of hearth accessories available is amazing. For instance, have you ever heard of Fatwood? Fatwood is a resin enriched kindling that will actually instantly ignite thus it does away with other kindling, newspapers and chemicals that pollute.

There’s a special hot ash vacuum cleaner that enables you to suck up even hot ashes thanks to its special filter system and fireproof steel holding chamber. You can use it even in small pellet stoves, as it has a special hose to facilitate that job.

Everyone with a wood-burning fireplace needs a special rolling wood cart, right? How about getting hand forged marshmallow or hot dog long handled toasting forks?

Ever singed your eyebrows, or burned your fingers by kneeling on the hearth and trying to blow embers back to life in a wood burning fireplace? Well, now you can get your very own long firetool jet that even is said to work better than bellows.


Cast iron andirons come in all sizes and definitely in all shapes. No matter where your interests lie, there are andirons that fit your interests. There are dog, cat and horse andirons, among hundreds of others.

There are also some incredible hearth candelabras that you can light instead of a fire when it’s too warm for a fire, yet desire the romantic flickering of firelight to fill the room. Gives off a warm and pleasant glow too.

Completely fire resistant fiberglass hearth rugs come in many different styles to match your décor, yet will keep flying embers and sparks off of your floor. This will save you from having scorch lines too.

You will be very happy that you own fireman’s shield gloves if a log come rolling out of the fireplace. They are made so that you can actually pick up that log without coming to harm and throw it back into the fireplace where it belongs.

The manufacturer claims that you can reflect 80% more heat from your wood-burning fireplace if you use these stainless steel panels behind the burning wood. They also claim that the panels will also amplify and promote the ambiance of a fire in your fireplace.

Especially beveled glass fire screens allow you to watch the fire yet be totally protected from flying embers and sparks emanating from the fire. Beveled glass allows the beauty of the fire to come through beautifully.


Where would a fireplace owner be without the ubiquitous fire tools? These of course include a stand, broom, tongs, shovel and poker.

Incredibly dry air is one of the problems of having heat in the house, especially when you have a wood or pellet stove. Thus, they now make the most delicate looking cast iron steamers that you may even leave on the stove all night as they have a three-quart capacity.

Natural iron firebacks are often found in the nicest European castles. They fit in the back of your wood-burning fireplace and have incredible designs worked into them. Part of the reasoning for firebacks is to keep the heat from rising up the flue, and to actually protect the firebrick in the fireplace.