Imagine walking into a room that feels dark, outdated, and unwelcoming. The culprit? An imposing stone fireplace dominates the space and makes it difficult to decorate.
I faced this challenge too when I moved into my new home. I loved the open layout and natural light, but the stone fireplace was a major eyesore.
It was a bit of a design nightmare and clashed with every color scheme I tried. But after doing some research, I came up with a DIY solution that transformed the space entirely.
In this blog post, I’ll share with you a step-by-step guide on how to cover a stone fireplace with drywall, the same one I used!
With a bit of effort and some basic tools, you too, can update your fireplace and create a clean, modern look that complements your decor.
Step-By-Step Guide For Covering A Stone Fireplace With Drywall
Covering a stone fireplace with drywall is a simple and cost-effective way to update the look of your living space.
In this step-by-step guide, I will walk you through the process of covering a stone fireplace with drywall, including all the necessary tools and materials needed to complete the project.
|Measure The Fireplace||30 minutes|
|Remove The Mantel And Trim||1 hour|
|Cut The Drywall||1 hour|
|Attach The Drywall||1 hour|
|Apply Joint Compound||2 hours|
|Sand And Repeat||2-4 hours|
|Paint The Drywall||2-4 hours|
|Reattach The Mantel And Trim||1 hour|
Step 1: Measure The Fireplace
- Measuring tape
- Begin by measuring the fireplace height from the floor to the ceiling.
- Use the measuring tape to measure from the base of the fireplace to the top of the mantel or the ceiling if there is no mantel.
- Next, measure the width of the fireplace. Start at one end of the fireplace and measure to the opposite end.
- Make sure you evaluate the fireplace’s widest point.
- Measure the fireplace’s depth. Measure the distance between the firebox’s front and back.
- Add a few inches to each measurement to ensure you have enough drywall to cover the fireplace completely.
- Multiply the height, width, and depth values to determine how much drywall is required.
- This will provide you with the overall area that needs to be drywalled.
- Make the necessary drywall purchases in accordance with your calculations.
- Note any irregularities or obstacles on the fireplace, such as a protruding hearth or uneven stonework.
- You may need to adjust the drywall measurements to accommodate these features.
Step 2: Remove The Mantel And Trim
- Pry bar
- Begin by removing any objects or decor on or around the fireplace.
- This includes pictures, ornaments, and any other decorations that may be on the mantel or surrounding area.
- Locate the screws or nails that are holding the mantel in place. These may be located underneath or on the sides of the mantel.
- Use the hammer or pry bar to remove any screws or nails carefully.
- Once the screws or nails are removed, gently lift the mantel off the fireplace.
- If the mantel is attached with glue, use the pry bar to pry the mantel away from the wall gently.
- After removing the mantel, focus on the trim around the fireplace.
- Use the pry bar to remove any trim or molding from the fireplace carefully.
- Be sure to work slowly and carefully to dodge damaging the surrounding walls.
- If the trim is difficult to remove, use a hammer to gently tap the pry bar underneath the trim to loosen it from the wall.
- Avoid hitting the wall with the hammer, as this can cause damage to the drywall or plaster.
- Once all the trim is removed, check for any remaining nails or screws and remove them.
Step 3: Cut The Drywall
- Circular saw
- Measuring tape
- Straight edge
- Begin by measuring the dimensions of the fireplace using the measurements you took in Step 1.
- Mark the measurements on the drywall using a pencil and a straight edge.
- Make sure to measure and mark both the height and width of the fireplace and any irregularities or obstacles on the surface of the fireplace.
- Use the circular saw to cut the drywall to fit the measurements you took.
- Use a straight edge to guide the saw and ensure that the cuts are straight and even.
- If you need to cut a hole in the drywall for a vent or electrical outlet, mark the location on the drywall and use a keyhole saw to cut the hole.
- Once the drywall is cut, test-fit the pieces against the fireplace to ensure a proper fit.
- If the drywall doesn’t fit properly, make any necessary adjustments to the measurements and cut the drywall again.
- Make sure to cut the drywall precisely to avoid gaps between the wall and the drywall.
- Any gaps can create an uneven surface that will be difficult to cover with a joint compound.
Step 4: Attach The Drywall
- Drywall screws
- Start by positioning the drywall against the fireplace. Make sure that it is level and flush with the surrounding walls.
- Use the drill to make pilot holes for the screws in the drywall. This will help prevent the drywall from cracking when you insert the screws.
- Secure the drywall to the fireplace using drywall screws.
- Ensure the screws are placed evenly and at a distance of approximately 12 inches apart.
- This will help ensure that the drywall is securely fastened to the fireplace.
- Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws, but be careful not to overtighten them.
- This can cause the drywall to crack or pull away from the fireplace.
- Continue attaching the drywall pieces to the fireplace until all of the pieces are in place.
- Make sure to keep the drywall pieces level and flush with each other as you attach them.
- Once all of the drywall pieces are in place, use joint tape to cover the seams between the pieces.
- This will help create a seamless surface for the next steps in the process.
Step 5: Apply Joint Compound
- Joint compound
- Drywall knife
- Dust mask
- Open the joint compound container and mix it thoroughly using a paintbrush.
- Ensure the mixture is smooth and lump-free.
- Use a drywall knife to scoop up some of the joint compound mixtures.
- Over the drywall, apply a thin coating of joint compound, making sure to cover the screws and seams.
- The joint compound can be leveled with the surrounding surface by using a drywall knife to smooth off the compound.
- Verify that the joint compound has no ridges or lumps.
- Give the joint compound at least 24 hours to dry. This will allow it enough time to harden and set firmly.
- Once the joint compound is dry, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or bumps in the joint compound.
- Wear a dust mask to protect your lungs from the dust.
- Apply a second coat of joint compound if required.
- This will help create an even surface for the next steps in the process.
- Make sure to allow the joint compound to dry for at least 24 hours between coats.
Step 6: Sand And Repeat
- Sandpaper (120- or 150-grit)
- Drywall knife
- Joint compound
- Dust mask
- After the first layer of the joint compound has dried, use 120- or 150-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.
- Make sure to wear a dust mask to protect your lungs from the dust.
- Once you’ve sanded the surface, use a drywall knife to remove any excess joint compound.
- Apply a second layer of joint compound following the same process as in Step 5.
- After the second layer of the joint compound has dried, use sandpaper to smooth the surface again.
- This time, you may use a higher-grit sandpaper, such as 220-grit, for a finer finish.
- Use the drywall knife to remove any excess joint compound, and check the surface for any bumps or ridges.
- If you find any, sand them down until the surface is completely smooth.
- Repeat the joint compound and sanding process as many times as necessary to achieve the desired smoothness.
Step 7: Paint The Drywall
- Paint roller
- Paint tray
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth or plastic sheeting
- Once the joint compound is completely dry, use painter’s tape to mask off any areas around the drywall that you do not want to paint, such as the mantel and trim.
- Cover the floor and any nearby furniture with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting to protect them from paint splatters.
- Stir the paint thoroughly to make sure the color is consistent.
- Apply the paint to the drywall using a paintbrush or roller. Start with the edges and corners, and then work your way inwards.
- Make sure to use even strokes and apply the paint evenly.
- Let the first coat completely dry before using a second coat of paint. This will ensure an even finish and full coverage.
- Once the second coat of paint has dried completely, carefully remove the painter’s tape and any plastic sheeting or drop cloths.
- Wait for the paint to dry completely before replacing the mantel and trim around the fireplace.
Step 8: Reattach The Mantel And Trim
- Finishing nails
- Nail set
- Wood glue (optional)
- Using a hammer and finishing nails, reattach the mantel and trim to the drywall-covered stone fireplace.
- If the original nail holes are no longer visible, create new holes in inconspicuous areas.
- If the mantel or trim is loose, use wood glue to secure it in place before nailing it back on.
- Countersink the nails so they are just below the wood’s surface using a nail set.
- The wood filler should be used to patch any gaps or nail holes in the trim, and it should be allowed to dry as directed by the manufacturer.
- The filled portions should be smoothed out and brought flush with the trim’s surface.
- You can paint or stain the mantel and trim to complement the new drywall once the wood filler has been dried and sanded.
That’s it! You’ve successfully covered your stone fireplace with drywall. This project requires a bit of effort and time, but the end result is well worth it.
Factors To Consider Before Covering Your Stone Fireplace With Drywall
Covering your stone fireplace with drywall can be a great way to update the look of your fireplace and give your room a fresh new look. However, before you jump into this project, there are a few important factors to consider.
Before you start this project, make sure to check the safety of your fireplace. Ensure that it is structurally sound and there are no issues with the chimney or flue.
You may want to have a professional inspection before starting any major renovation project.
Consider the Style of Your Home
Think about the overall style of your home when selecting the type of drywall and finish for your fireplace.
You want the new drywall to complement the existing décor of the room and not clash with it.
Consider consulting with a professional interior designer to get ideas on how to make the new fireplace look cohesive with the rest of your home.
Choose the Right Materials
Select the right type of drywall and finishing materials that will work best for your fireplace.
Some drywall materials are more resistant to heat, moisture, and fire than others, and choosing safe and long-lasting materials is important.
Consult with your contractor or home improvement specialist to ensure you choose the right materials for your specific needs.
Consider the Cost
Considering the cost of covering your stone fireplace with drywall is important. This can be a serious investment, depending on the size and complexity of your fireplace.
Make sure to budget for all the materials and labor costs before you start installing the drywall. You can also compare prices and quality of materials from different suppliers to get the best value for your money.
Before you start covering your stone fireplace with drywall, it’s important to check your local building codes and regulations.
Some areas may have specific rules and regulations regarding installing fireplaces and chimneys. If you need clarification on your area’s codes, consult a professional contractor or building inspector.
Stone fireplaces can generate a lot of heat, so it’s important to make sure that the materials you use for the drywall and any other coverings are heat-resistant.
Drywall is typically fire-resistant but not fire-proof, so you may need to install additional insulation to protect against heat damage.
Stone fireplaces are often quite heavy, so you need to ensure that the appropriate structural elements support the drywall and any other coverings you install.
This may require installing additional framing or supports to hold the weight of the drywall and any mantels or trim.
Stone fireplaces often require proper ventilation to function properly and prevent the buildup of dangerous gases like carbon monoxide.
Before installing drywall or any other coverings, make sure that the ventilation system is adequate and functioning correctly.
How Much Does It Cost To Cover A Stone Fireplace With Drywall
Considering covering your stone fireplace with drywall already? It’s important to understand the factors involved and the associated costs.
In total, the cost to cover a fireplace with drywall could range from approximately $380 to $1100 or more, depending on the specifics of your project.
For a fireplace, which is typically smaller than a room, the estimated cost by drywall panel is $60 to $90.
Assuming you use two 4ft by 8ft panels, your cost for this part of the project would be $120 to $180.
The cost associated with sealing off or securing the fireplace can range from $160 to $750.
This may involve sealing off the flue or additional repairs, so seeking professional advice is important before proceeding.
The project requires several supplies for hanging and finishing the drywall, including:
- Drywall panels: $15 per 4ft by 8ft panel
- Screws: $10
- Masonry drill bits: $30
- Glue or drywall adhesive: $5 per tube
- Drywall tape: $3
- Drywall mud: $7
- Drywall texture: $15 per can
- Paint: $20 per gallon
Alternate Options For Covering Your Stone Fireplace
If covering your stone fireplace with drywall isn’t your preferred option, there are other alternatives to consider.
Let’s take a look at the list:
Whitewashing or Painting
For a more modern look, you can whitewash or paint your stone fireplace to give it a new look without covering it up completely.
This can be a great option for those who want to freshen up the space without investing in a complete renovation.
If you still want the look of stone but want to cover up any unsightly stains or damage, a stone veneer may be a good option for you.
It is lightweight, easy to install, and can be applied directly over the existing stone.
Another option is to install tile over the existing stone. This can be a great way to add color and texture to your fireplace while also covering up any damage or discoloration.
Plus, there are a wide variety of tile options to choose from, so you can find a style that complements your home’s decor.
Plaster is a traditional and classic choice for covering a fireplace. It can create a smooth and seamless look and can be finished in a variety of textures and colors to match your decor.
However, plaster can be a bit more difficult to work with than other materials, and requires some skill to apply correctly.
Wood paneling is a popular option for those who want a more rustic or traditional look for their fireplace. It can create a warm and cozy atmosphere and can be stained or painted to match your existing decor.
However, wood paneling can be expensive and time-consuming to install, and requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.
Shiplap is a trendy and modern option for covering a fireplace. It can create a clean and contemporary look and can be painted or stained to match your decor.
Shiplap is also relatively easy to install, making it a popular choice for DIYers. However, it may not be suitable for all types of fireplaces and may require additional insulation or fireproofing measures to be safe.
As a homeowner who is looking to transform your home with a modern look, covering your stone fireplace with drywall can be a great option.
With the help of this DIY guide, you can confidently tackle this project on your own, saving both time and money.
Remember to consider all factors before starting and choose the best option that suits your style and budget.
Good luck with your DIY project, and enjoy your newly transformed living space!
Is drywall very flammable?
If you’re constructing a house, planning for home renovations, or simply curious about fire safety, you may be wondering if drywall is flammable. The answer is that all types of drywall are inherently fire-resistant.
What kind of drywall do you use for a fireplace?
The type of drywall recommended for use with a fireplace is commonly known as fireproof drywall or Type X drywall in the industry. This drywall is 5/8-inch thick, including all layers, and contains glass fibers that help slow down the spread of fire. Additionally, Type X drywall is denser than regular gypsum and paper drywall, which means it takes longer for the fire to destroy it.
Is plaster better than drywall fireplace?
Plaster walls are considered better than drywall for fire resistance as they burn three times slower, as per UL standards. Although drywall doesn’t burn quickly, it doesn’t provide as much protection as plaster. However, plaster is not commonly used in new homes, which could be a drawback, but its longevity is an advantage.