I also love to listen to music when I work so I'll be sharing what songs I rocked out to while working.
*Note: I know it's polite to share the finished project picture first, but I like the suspense. You can always scroll to the bottom.
As I was taught the trade from a young age, I decided to bring my son (6yo) with me. He mostly just spent our time at Lowes finding all the good hiding spots and "bases". We may have hid together and scared an old man but that's another TIFU story.
Also as the title suggested, the was the first of 6 trips in a few days span. Good thing Lowes is only a few minutes away.
*Note, drop plastic is so key in all my projects. I just tend to make a mess with everything I do.
Music of choice: The Darkness, "I believe in a thing called love". Rocking out LOUD for demo-day.
Funny side note: Once the fireplace was exposed like this my 6yo looked at me, very serious and said, "How does Santa get through that tube?…." I had to explain that just like in the movie "The Santa Clause", the fireplace magically changes so he can just come through. No follow up questions meant I explained it good enough for now.
Music: "60's pop" AKA, Guardians of the Galaxy Spotify Playlist. Just because it's fun, you can sing along, and my kids were around.
Next step is to create the frame of the mantle. I wanted to be able to screw the pine in the wall studs so I could make sure the mantle was secure. As the finished wood is only nailed on with small brads, the structure needs to be solid. Also, using a level is necessary in all steps!
Music: Marshmello "Alone"
Music: Jim Croce, Best of Jim album
Music: Lil Dicky's new album. My family left the house at this point so explicit music was prevalent.
Patio furniture is a great worktable and for some reason, Colorado right now (October) has been 75-80F so working outside was perfect! My daughter also was "helping" by holding a block of wood I gave her. By letting your kids help with things, you will learn a lot about what they like and what they value (time, gifts, talking, etc).
Music: My own cursing and "This old house" clip playing over and over
Music in headphones: The Roots, Common, Jurassic 5, etc. Just a good mix of 90's hip hop. Headphones because the family was around.
Note: You REALLY get what you pay for with paint brushes. I don't think a weekend warrior like me needs to pay $25 for a brush but also don't go cheap. $10-15 will get you a brush that lasts a long time and is just so smooth.
Music while painting: Me First and the Gimme Gimmies, "Are a drag". A fun punk-style cover band that plays pop songs (i.e. Madonna and others) but punk rock style.
This stuff was hard to work with. It is SUCH a soft stone that cutting it was really slow and tedious process. I have a wet tile saw with a brand new blade ($45!) and it was still chipping out when I'd make cuts. But the wife wants, she gets, and I just say "yes dear"…
The other difficult thing was this is a "grout-less" product. So any chips or joints that aren't perfect, just show like crazy. All cuts were triple measured, and cut slowly.
I used a pre-mixed mortar which I have used in the past. It seemed to work well (since my kitchen backsplash is still on the wall) so I decided to use it again.
Other tools: 1/4" trowell, putty knife, razor blade, and a wet towel.
Music: Trampled by Turtles, a bluegrass band which calmed me while I moved as slow as…. well, a turtle…
So, Instead of keeping this advice to myself, I thought I'd share with the masses (that's you!)
Total cost was $640, 12-15 man hours, 6 trips to Lowes.