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Cleaning and painting stone work at back of fireplace

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Chuffy, 18 Mar 2008.

  1. Chuffy

    Chuffy

    Joined:
    28 Aug 2007
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    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi,

    I have recently removed an old coal fireplace and back boiler. The fireplace has been opened up and a gas pipe installed ready for a gas free standing stove. The chimney breast has been re-plastered on the outside and the inner sides have been rendered with sand & cement. To leave a nice neat rectangular opening. The stove will have 6 inch clearances all around, back & sides.

    The back has been left as exposed stone. The stone at the back is filthy with soot etc. The chimney has been swept and I'm now looking at cleaning and painting the inside of the fireplace before the gas fitter installs the stove.

    I therefore have a couple of questions. The first of which may be better suited in the plastering section, but i'll try here for now!

    a) The sand and cement render is almost smooth, but not really smooth. Is there anything I can use to get it really smooth ie plaster smooth?
    I've heard mention of fire cement, but would that be any good for using in a plaster type application? Are any of the retail plaster kits like finishing skim polyfilla, or quick set cement polyfilla suitable for fireplaces where you can't use normal finishing plaster?

    b) What is the best thing to use to clean the dirty stonework prior to painting? I've heard mention of an acid brick cleaner, should I use that or just loads of soapy water (fairy liquid)?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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