My fireplace was in need of a desperate makeover. My living room felt bland when I looked at this wall and it is to the left of the TV, so you are always forced to look at this blank, not so cute bare cream wall. I tried EVERYTHING to make it look full and cute. Constantly changing out the decor. Frames, candles, vases, pictures and even faux taxidermy, but still nothing changed the fact that it was a blank wall. I wanted something gorgeous, eye catching and something that would change the feel of the room. Even make it grander and more rich feeling.
After taking a stroll through my local Lowes, I came across AIRSTONE. They had a TV tutorial going and I stood there watching and wanted to squeal! It was perfect! It showed that you could get the stone look without all the brick & mortar hassle and it is even light weight.
"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."
I then went home and measured my wall to see how many boxes I would need.
There are 3 types of boxes available in 3 different colors.
1. Corner Stones - these are for if you are wraping stone around a column or wall.
2. Natural edge stones, these are for stones at the edge of the wall that will be seen. They give a naturally finished look. I used these on both sides of my wall.
3. Flat edge- these are so all the stones match up nicely together in the center of your wall. You use these for everything except the side edges of your walls.
The height of my wall is 105 inches and the width is 76 inches. I did use the calculator on the AirStone website. That is such a great tool and I highly recommend using it before purchasing your stones! It projected 7 boxes of flat stones, 2 boxes of the natural stone edges and 3 gallons of adhesive. I would not be needing the corner stones since I wasn't going around my wall. My wall is estimated somewhere around 9x6ft so roughly 54 square feet. I chose the "Autumn Mountain" color collection for my fire place makeover.
Here is my wall BEFORE. A candle had left it's mark around an ornate frame that I had hung there. As you can see. DRAB. It lacked the rustic glam feel that I was looking for.
My Airstone arrived and I was ready to roll! I must admit, I had never worked with stone before but was excited to try it out and see if a stay at home mom, like me could do it! Adding a rock wall to your house seemed like a huge task but once you get going, it really is super easy with this product. There is nothing complicated about it.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED:
-Airstone ready to use adhesive. You MUST get their adhesive to ensure the best quality durability. Let me just say, these babies aren't coming off the wall!
1. level, super important. Nobody wants lop sided stones.
2. measuring tape
3. hand saw
4. pen or pencil
5. circular saw if you want the fast way of cutting!
6. Wet rag for any adhesive showing on the side edges
7. Drop cloth or old sheets for your work area.
If you need to make curves...
8. drill with small drill bit
10. flat head screwdriver
Now let's get started!!
Create a work area.
Lay out your drop clothes and start unpacking boxes of stones. Lay out your Flat edge stones on one cloth and your natural edges on another. That way it is easy to find what you need.
Also, the stones has a dust to them from the packaging so that is why I laid down the cloths.
You also want to lay out a ton of stone before you get started to be able to see all the different stones to choose from.
Grab your first stone and with your spatula, ice the back of the stone like a cupcake. It should be pretty thich,,, just like cupcake frosting! ICING TIP: Don't goop it up by the side edges of the stone. When you press it against the wall it will spread more. This is especially important on the natural edge stones. It will seep out the sides and you would be able to see it on the side of your wall... not pretty!
Then slap it on the wall, starting at the bottom and press it firmly so that all the adhesive nicely smooshes up against the wall. Your bottom stones are going to set the tone and pattern for your entire wall! As you can see I used natural edge on the side small stone and flat edge for the big one.
I didn't have to cut these stones but you might have to cut your stones to fit into your space.
We started moving up the wall, little by little creating the color and size pattern that I liked. I then needed to make my first cut, so I made my husband try it out. We sawed and sawed but it was a lot of work because of the blade that we had... making a million cuts with that terrible hack saw was not going to do it for me. I needed this project to go as fast as it could.
As you go, on ever row use your level and make sure the stones are level. You will thank me when you get to the top of your wall! Also, you just eyeball the stone choices as you go. I didn't want a lot of the darker stones touching each other so I spaced them out.
Now onto the hard part. Rounding fire place corners. I racked my pretty little brain a million ways to do this. I also had the round metal place where you turn the gas on to go around to. Finally I called my dad and he sugguested drilling small holes the curve that you need, then gently tapping it away with a hammer and screwdriver.
I also added in and cut small pieces to make things level and fit.
Drill small holes...
Now gently tap. You can also sand the edge a little to smooth it out. You will also have to try a few times to get the right side piece. Sometimes it breaks when tapping. Patience is key here!
Then once you are past the curved areas you are FREE! Seriously, it feels like the homeward stretch. Keep eyeballing the pattern and create as you go. Slap on the adhesive, press on the wall. Grab the next one and make cuts whenever you need to. You also make cuts not just for fit but for look too. If you have a brown stone and you want it smaller for the look you are going for, for the pattern then cut the longer one. The possibilities are endless and it really is custom! You literally pick every stone!
Once you are about to put on THE VERY LAST STONE, it's OK to cry. It's mixed emotions of the completed project and knowing the work is over and YOU DID IT!
Here is my AFTER! So much better. It's seriously gorgeous in person and it made my small living room feel so much bigger! It also make the ceiling feel taller. It really is miracle stones!
I am absolutely in love with the finished product and I cannot thank Airstone enough for providing me with all the the stones.
You can check out your local Lowe's to purchase your own Airstone stones for your projects or check them out HERE for color options and even more project ideas and inspiration. CLICK HERE for the installation videos to make it even easier for you.
You could even use them for an outdoor project such as house columns and indoors on walls, kitchen islands, bathtubs and more!
If I could do it than so could you!