Bob’s House – Laying A Simple Brick Hearth For The Fireplace

With my flooring installed it was time to turn my attention to the fireplaces. I had two Braxton Payne fireplaces in my stash. Both were painted to resemble wood and had brick detail. I chose the larger of the two for the dining room and dry fitted it in place. Once I was certain of the placement, I marked the floor where the hearth would be and removed it from the room. I had always wanted glowing embers in the fireplaces for realism and it was much easier to do the wiring before installing the hearth.

I used a pin vise to drill a tiny hole through the floor inside the fireplace area and fed the wires of the ember bulb through the hole to the tape wire previously laid on the bottom of the house. I connected the wires to my tape run with tiny brass brads and tested the bulb to ensure it worked. I chose not to use the flickering embers as that would have required a separate circuit (otherwise all the lights in the dollhouse would flicker too).

With the wiring for the glowing embers complete, it was time to decide on the type of stone to use for my hearth. I tried just about everything in my stash… slate, sandstone, limestone, marble tile, etc until I eventually realized the fireplace itself, with its brick detailing, had already determined the correct selection for the hearth – brick.

Fortunately, I had a bag of thin bricks in my stash… much thinner than typical 1:12th scale bricks. Each brick measures only 3/4″L x 1/4″W x 1/16″H.

Returning the fireplace to the room I installed it to the wall and floor using Quick Grip. I dry fit the bricks into place and used my Easy Cutter to snip the corners and ends of the bricks near the inside perimeter of the fireplace. I used Quick Grip to secure the bricks to the floor, intentionally leaving very little room for grout. I only used a tiny dot of glue on the back of each brick to avoid excess glue filling up my grout lines.

Any miniature grout will do. I used leftover grout mix from a Magic Stone kit and added a generous tablespoon of Aleene’s Tacky Glue and a bit of water. Mix well and add a tiny drop or two more of water if the mixture is too thick. To protect my flooring, I put blue tape around the bricks I had installed.

Using a 1″ wide plastic spreader, I pressed the grout in between the bricks and into the tiny gap where the bricks meet the inner walls of the fireplace. This process took only a few minutes and I left the mortar to dry overnight. As mentioned in a previous post on installing the stone feature in the kitchen of Bob’s House, the addition of glue strengthens the mortar. It will not dissolve if cleaned with water nor crumble over time.

Before I removed the blue tape I used acrylic paint in brown iron oxide and carbon black and dry-brushed random areas of the new brick hearth to match the sooty character of the brick on the inner fireplace walls. This gives the hearth a convincing, used appearance.

I repeated this project with the livingroom fireplace as well and remembering my father’s diligent lessons on fire safety, I quickly added a firescreen. The effect is inviting and I can hardly wait to stage my Christmas scenes in Bob’s House!

I especially wanted glowing embers in Bob’s House. Aside from realism, it gives these rooms a warm, welcoming glow reflecting the loving memories that went into its creation. Every room tells a story and my father is at the heart of each tale.

Love will always light our way.

Next up, Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, a bathroom mirror install!

♥ Robin

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IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell

About - IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell

Crown Jewel Miniatures by IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell. Fine 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures in ultimate realism! My blog is a compendium of new art, announcements, and advice on creating miniature food for the dollhouse and 1:12th scale shops, stores and scenes.
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