I'm going to be putting stone inside the house around the wood burning fireplace insert. The stones are all ones that my wife and I, mostly my wife, have collected here on Whidbey Island. These stones of course all have the natural matt finish that they got from rolling around in rivers, on the beach, and in glaciers. But my wife wants them to have a glossy finish. So, I'm asking the collective experience here if anyone has done this. I'm wondering if maybe there is a clear epoxy finish like what is used on garage floors. Anyway, I'll be using the Google but there's nothing like the voice of experience. Thanks, Eric
Eric R Snow wrote:
Whatever you do, DON'T use the stones where the chimney penetrates through the roof. Some IMBECILE built the entire chimney facing of our house, from the basement all the way to the top of the flues, out of some kind of limestone and fossilized coral stuff. What was he (not) thinking??!!?? The old coral is as porous as a sponge, and the rest of the stuff chips and weathers a lot, constantly leaving gaps where water can get in. When the roof needs to be replaced (soon), I'm seriously thinking of having a bunch of it chipped out and something, ANYTHING, put in in the area where it meets the roof. Probably need to replace the whole facing above the roof with something that weathers well and is non-porous.
Sorry about the rant, just wanted to warn you of this possible debacle. But, I'm sure any rational homeowner would know better.
Thanks for the advice Jon. However, it doesn't apply im my case because this stonework that I'm doing is only cosmetic and on the inside wall. The outside stonework is also just cosmetic and was done by a professional. The chimney is wood and hollow. The real chimney inside the wood is insulated stovepipe. Where the chimney pierces the eaves the roof runs right up to the chimney and there is flashing to prevent water penetrating the chimney/roof interface. This flashing directs any water that might flow between stonework and the chimney onto the roof. In fact, the flashing extends up to and over the top of the wood part of the chimney. I believe this is code now where I live. In any event, the county inspector actually went up a ladder to inspect the chimney. ERS
Eric R Snow wrote:
Well, that's the problem. I'm sure this job WAS done by a "professional", ie. a mason who subcontracts this kind of work from the general contractor. I don't know if he knew this could be a problem, but was just doing what the plans ordered, or he winged it on his own. The problem is not just water getting into the facing, I believe the water gets all the way inside the chimney, splashes down inside the thing until it hits a rock, and then comes out wherever it finds a crack. I don't know what the internal construction of the chimney is, all I can see is the facing and the clay chimney liners. What is between them (and there is a LOT of hidden volume) is a mystery. I'm guessing a whole lot of cinderblock, but there is no other block used anywhere on the property, so I have no real idea.
It sounds like your construction is quite a bit different than mine. I'm sure my structure can't be wood, as we're talking about tons of stone, the thing is 6 feet by 3 feet, and about 30 feet tall.
I used a product called Mex-Seal to seal mine when I built one of my houses. It did great, and it lasted shiny for ten years until I sold the house. Take it slow, and paint it in light coats, and wait about eight hours between. You don't want any runs. Mask anything you don't want it on, as it floats in the air. Good stuff, or at least I liked it.
Eric R Snow wrote:
I haven't coated any rocks, but I spilled a little clear epoxy on my concrete garage floor a few years ago, and I still think there is a puddle of water on the floor every time I go out there. I don't remember the name of the product, but I bought it at my local Home Despot. It was just a quart kit used for table tops, etc. Not sure if heat would be an issue.
On Sat, 30 Jun 2007 04:30:43 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric R Snow) wrote:
I used an inexpensive water based sealer on the red brick pavers in an unheated sunroom which worked very well to brighten the color of the bricks, though I wouldn't call the finish glossy. More like what you'd get if you wet the bricks. The sealer looked and smelled like thinned (Elmer's) white glue. I haven't noticed any difference in appearance after 15 years or so.
If she really wants glossy, I think the epoxy bar top finish mentioned elsewhere may be the way to go. Be very careful if you do go that route; an old friend who does high end stone masonry built a hot tub when he was starting out and sealed it with epoxy. The epoxy clouded badly, presumably due to moisture trapped in the fresh masonry, and it took a enormous amount of labor to remove it. Experiment first.
Ned Simmons Ned Simmons