Monday, January 7, 2013

DIY Stone Wall!!

It's been a little over three months since we moved into our house here in Florida. As I've mentioned before, it's overwhelmingly gorgeous and breathtaking, and more than I feel we deserve. I love everything about it! Well, ALMOST everything. Sure, there are a few things here or there that I could do without or would like to change. 

One of those things was the living room entertainment center. It was custom built around a standing big screen TV...yea, one of those TVs that was the top of the line TVs...in 1990! It's archaic! And even though the shelving unit was custom made, it too was old looking and bulky. It had to go!

This is what the living room looked like BEFORE we moved in (old owners decor)


This is what it looked like right before we moved in

Another close up the day we moved in. 
Silly Phil US didn't take a picture before the project began!




First things first, the wall unit had to be taken out! That was ALL Phil. He took care of that while I was at work. Now all we had to do was decided what to put in the nook in its place! 


We discussed painting it, among a few other ideas. But I have always loved the look of stone bricks! Usually they're for a fireplace, but I still thought it would make a nice accent wall/nook for our TV. 

Since we've become frequent Lowe's costumers with all the little home improvement, we decided to take a look one evening while we were there. We came across this amazing product called AirStone. Self described on their website as:

AirStone is an innovative, ultra-light product that transforms a complicated construction ordeal into a simple wall-covering project. Indoors or out, our patent-pending AirStone system offers the same look, feel and durability of real stone, but weighs 75% less. This allows anyone to install a beautiful stone veneer using only pre-mixed adhesive, a putty knife and a hack saw. No special tools or mixing are needed.



Box of bricks

Bricks!

This is our left over box

This is the glue

This was exactly what we were looking for! A bit pricey at $50 per box of bricks which covers 8 square feet and $15 per gallon of glue/adhesive. The website has a little calculator to help you figure out how much of each you'll need. It projected us to need 10 boxes of bricks and 3 gallons of glue...

We ended up using 10 boxes of bricks (but having almost half of one left over) and 8 gallons of glue! I guess we went a little crazy on the glue! So a total of roughly $620 for the project. Again, yes it is an investment, but I can't imagine the cost of getting this done professionally. 

First thing we Phil did was sand the entire wall. It only advises you do this step if you have a certain type of surface, such as acrylic paint, which we did. We didn't learn this important piece until the end of the project, but a FACE MASK would make working and breathing much easier! Highly suggested with all the sanding/grinding of the stones throughout the project!




Sanding the wall!

Next step...apply adhesive to the back of the stones and press firmly to the wall. And then repeat this step until finished! You are also told to alternate sizes, shapes and colors of the bricks as you work (Each box comes with a similar variety). 
The wall we did this on wall that is roughly 80 square feet. 
We had no idea at the start of this project how time consuming it would be. We figured maybe a full day of working, like 8 or so hours. WRONG. It took us over 3 days to complete this project and total work time of actual glue to brick to wall was easily 24-30 hours!! Then throw in the time it takes to cut pieces to fit, file pieces, etc. Easy and straight forward, YES. But oh so tedious! You've been warned!





 Phil signing the wall!


Me signing the wall!




ALMOST DONE!

Phil adding the last brick!!


While this entire project was a TEAM effort, Phil gets all the credit for getting the stones to fit up at the top curved arch! (Well, him and the Dremel!) He also gets ALL the credit for the wiring and placement of wall plates! Such a handy man, that husband of mine! 

Phil's wiring and face plating! 

Phil also had to patch up massive holes left behind the old unit!


After cleaning up all the dust and debris, and after we put everything back together, (and after Phil mounted the TV to the wall!) we were finally able to take a step back and admire the finished project! We could not be happier with the way it came out! Much less bulky than it was before and way more modern!

I think we like it just a little bit more knowing that WE did it! No professional or nonprofessional help...JUST US!