USE THESE TECHNIQUES AND TIPS TO GET PROFESSIONAL-LOOKING FINISH ON YOUR OUTDOOR FIREPLACE
In the previous issue of The Shed (Issue No. 76), we built a kitset block fireplace from Aztec Fires. This month, we’re putting on the finishing touches.
A quick Google search will return thousands of finishing options for outdoor fires. From brick to timber to polished concrete, the options seem endless. It is, of course, ideal to tie the look of your fireplace in with the surrounding area, as the outdoor fire will undoubtedly become your main entertaining area in the summer months and can’t be beaten on a still winter’s evening.
Regardless of the desired finish, you will need a few hands on deck to ensure levels are just right and that everything is in good shape from every angle. You’ll only get one shot at finishing so it’s certainly worth ensuring that you do it properly.
You’ll only get one shot at finishing so it’s certainly worth ensuring that you do it properly
Our owners of the newly built fire decided to go for a sand and cement plaster finish on their fireplace, so here we’ll step you through what’s involved and give you a few expert tips and tricks for the plastering process.
If you’ve decided a plaster finish is what you’re after, there are two options to consider. One is a bagged product that has a fibre called ‘Putz’ in its mix. This makes it easier for the non-professional to use because of its formula that uses fibres to help to bind the material as opposed to concrete, which can be quite tricky.
Always check your structure is level first — it may have sunk into the dirt as it has settled over the time since installation. Our one was 25mm different, so we were able to make up this difference with the plaster.
We used a steel trowel to apply our plaster.
Always check your structure is level first — it may have sunk into the dirt as it has settled
Grind high points off the mould, then put a fine 100mm fibreglass mesh over the joins Once this is applied, apply a flick coat (or scratch coat) Use the flick-coat method only for a sand and cement system
This is the sand cement used for the key coat only
The six-inch broad knife used for mesh-coat application and the trowel used for sand and cement application