How to Repair an Old Outdoor Rock Fireplace? 

When your rock fireplace is looking a little worse for wear, it may be time to make a few minor repairs. These can help prevent a complete tear out or a costly refacing job. 

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Whether you have an old stone surround that needs a fresh coat of paint or a brick fireplace that’s in need of repointing, there are many ways to repair an older outdoor rock fireplace. The key is to understand your options before you start and to choose the best option for your budget and timeline. 

The first step is to thoroughly inspect your old fireplace and determine what kind of damage is necessary for repair. If you’re unsure, ask for advice from a professional. 

If your stone is still in good condition and only needs a few small cracks to be repaired, you can do it yourself with minimal tools. The process is fairly simple and involves removing the top piece of the stone and cutting out a new section. 

You’ll need to clean out the fireplace and its surrounding areas, as well. Vacuum out all ash and dirt from the firebox, and use a linoleum knife or putty knife to scrape out any loose mortar from the wall of the fireplace. 

Next, apply a sealant to the damaged area to keep water from entering the stone. Some sealants can be applied directly to the stone, while others need to be mixed and poured on top. If you use a sealant, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and wait for it to dry. 

Then, you can patch up the damaged part of the stone with a layer of mortar. Depending on the material you’re using, this can be done over the old masonry, or it can be done directly over the drywall. 

Before you begin, read the label to ensure that you’re using the right type of mortar for your project. You’ll want to mix a ratio of about three parts water to one part mortar. You’ll also need a bucket, a trowel, and a paintbrush. 

Choosing the right color for your project will be important in achieving your desired look. The mortar will have to blend in perfectly with the masonry, so you can’t choose a too-dark or too-light shade. The mortar will also have to be smoothed at the joints to create a neat finish. 

Your local hardware store should carry refractory mortar in the color of your choice. This mortar is designed for fireplace applications and can resist heat from the fireplace. It can be purchased in a variety of colors, and it usually has a strong smell that won’t appeal to young children or pets. 

Once the mortar is set, you can paint or stain the fireplace. The easiest way to paint a stone is with a roller or sprayer, but a brush is also an option. Before painting, scrub the stone with soap and water to kill mildew and prepare it for application.