How to Restore an Old Fireplace | This Old House

15November 2020


The old fireplace in the Arlington living room was once beautiful but over the years it has lost its charm. Mason Mark McCullough is in the process of repointing the bad spots and repairing the broken decorative pieces.

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Kevin O’Connor finds mason Mark McCullough working at the original fireplace in the Arlington living room. The fireplace has settled over the years and looks a little beat up. Some of the bricks need to be repointed. Mark matches the original reddish color of the mortar by gradually adding powdered dye into his mix until he finds the right color. The clay mantel broke in a few places and some pieces are missing. Mark had some new sections made offsite using a mold from the original piece. The newly produced pieces are made out of cement and Mark lays them right into place. Once the mantel is painted, the new pieces will blend right in with the old.

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This Old House is America’s first and most trusted home improvement show. Each season, we renovate two different historic homes—one step at a time—featuring quality craftsmanship and the latest in modern technology. We demystify home improvement and provide ideas and information so, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring out contractors, you’ll know the right way to do things or the questions to ask. Our experts including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor give you the tools you need to protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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How to Restore an Old Fireplace | This Old House
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