Having the bricks in their “original” sate would look good. Sandblasting probably too harsh and I suspect pressure (water) cleaning would not be a good idea indoors - have you tried detergent and a scrubbing brush on a small area?
Hi Paul, yes I have tried detergent and even some ‘harsher’ chemicals because, like you, I believe the bricks would look good in their original state, alas nothing works
If you do use tiles Ann, make the gap between them wider than normal, and use grout made for the purpose, it’s flexible, so will tolerate the expantion of the tiles, with heat
Ann, before giving up hope, try some oven cleaner, used for cleaning gunk built up on ovens it worked very well on our lime stone and left some character behind. Sorry I never thought to take a picture before and after.
I use woodash to clean burnt on stains on glass and aluminium, it might be worth trying it in the bricks as well.
The slate tiles don’t need any gaps, they fit together with a “step” at each end. Effectively, they are 4 strips of slate, 2.5 cm wide, 20 cm long glued together. As long as the surface behind is sound, normal wall tile adhesive works.
Muriatic acid should do it, eventually.
You could render it, I would seal it first with universal primer or PVA. You could paint it after if you like or just leave it a natural sandy colour.
Thank you everyone, owing to the very cold weather the fire (poêle) has had to be put back in place. The project has been ‘shelved’ until the end of the season. However the other decorating goes on …
If you have (or can rent) a reasonably powerful compressor, sand blasting tanks are relatively inexpensive depending on how much use you think you’ll get from them.
Machine Mart do them for just £170
There are two very important things to remember;
- Get a very good respirator/dust masks (not the 5 for £5 stuff from Brico,). Your blasting material falls to the floor pretty quickly once ‘fired’ but the dust from what you’re blasting (lead paint, oak beams etc) will hang in the air for hours and will be in your lungs without a very good sealed mask.
- NEVER EVER use sand as the abrasive - you will die of silicosis.
I have some ultrafine powdered glass that is safe to use and re-use at our place in 47 and you couldf have a sack or two if you fancy. Just pm me.
Nice Villager . Does the fan make a difference ?
Because we are all being polite these days I haven’t said anything about some suggestions.
Hydrochloric is particularly nasty, and so are the fumes. This is indoors so not a good idea. Also hydrochloric is not so good on sticky tar and soot. Oven cleaner or caustic soda is great on tar and soot that’s why its used in ovens. It still takes time and a fair amount of old rags and paper but you can work around the fire when its not burning as I did and gradually remove the gunk. Wear gloves as a minimum as caustic can burn but also your hands take up the black soot and tar looking most unattractive.
Shifts the air around very effectivly Leslie, generates its own power from the heat.
Ours works a treat
Thats exactly what ours is James, our stove is in the atrium, so the heat naturally rises through there to the first floor level, the wee fan distributes the heat better round the ground floor, practicly silent.
We call ours, The Punkah Wallah
We have one as poêle is set back so helps push the warm air into the room. And also sold one to the local firm who relined our chimney as they’d never seen one before.
Thanks for the reply .
Bill , Thanks for the reply .
I wonder: the work you’ve done around the fireplace looks wonderful, if I understand correctly, you’ve re-faced or covered over some holes and such, and painted the fresh white all around. To my view, the fresh white and the clean brick are the focal points, rather than the inside that seems dirty and in need of cleaning. I guess it’s because the inside of the fireplace naturally is that way, by way of its function. I’m thinking that perhaps once things are set up back in place, the focus will settle back to where it really belongs, in terms of aesthetics and how things look… That, to me, would be the great job around the fireplace. A fireplace, after all, is…a place to burn things and things get you know, smoky and blackened… Perhaps I’ve missed the point.