BURN­ING BRIGHT

USE THESE TECH­NIQUES AND TIPS TO GET PRO­FES­SIONAL-LOOK­ING FIN­ISH ON YOUR OUT­DOOR FIRE­PLACE

The Shed - - Outdoor fires - By Lach­lan Jones Photograph­s: Tony Lowe

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

Plas­ter per­fec­tion

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

Key-coat mix

The six-inch broad knife used for mesh-coat ap­pli­ca­tion and the trowel used for sand and ce­ment ap­pli­ca­tion

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