The old fireplace

Rental unit fireplace, as purchased

 

The building is a duplex.  We plan to live in one side and rent out the other.  I’ll refer to these two sides as the “owner unit” and the “rental unit”, respectively.   As purchased, the units were mirror images, each with < 560 square feet comprising one bedroom, one bathroom, a living room, a kitchen, and a laundry area.

This post is about the rental unit fireplace, which we’re trying our best to restore.  The photo above shows the living room wall with the fireplace, as purchased.  Lots to notice in this picture, including the luxurious carpet, the state-of-the-art heating system, designer window shades, and the cheerfully painted walls.  Our favorite feature, in fact the deciding factor to put in a bid for this place, was the artistic mantel lighting:

Mantle light - left

Mantle light – left.   The cinnamon dust was an added bonus.

Mantle light - right. The perfectly complementary colors were an appreciated flourish

Mantle light – right. The perfectly complementary colors were an appreciated flourish

We were advised by several trusted sources that under the multiple strata of paint were century-old craftsman tiles, so we really wanted to restore the fireplace rather than replace it.  Here’s a close-up of the central picture tile:

Picture tile with details obscured by countless paint layers

Picture tile with details obscured by countless paint layers.  Trees, perhaps?

Finally, a view of the fireplace from another angle:

Conversion of wood fireplace to space-age gas heater

Conversion of wood fireplace to space-age gas heater

In the background there’s a glimpse of the original hardwood oak floors.  Details await in a future post.

Any advice how how to restore these tiles?  Please comment!

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