|The Living Room: Before Move-In|
Evan and I recently stumbled upon a Lowe's display featuring a new product called Airstone. This is a composite stone material that is light enough to be adhered directly to drywall and easily cut using just a regular hacksaw. A whole wall's worth of the product isn't cheap, but is much less expensive than the alternatives. Therefore, we bought seven Airstone boxes in "Autumn Mountain" and five tubs of adhesive, and decided that now was a good time to get this project done!
The stones are available in individual boxes as flat, corner, or natural edges to create an authentic look. We wanted to cover the wall in a single column, and not wrap it around any corners. Therefore, we bought only flat and natural edged stones. The stones arrived in an assortment of shapes and colors, are lightweight, and are approximately an inch in depth.
Before we got started with the stonework, we first had to prep the area by cleaning the wall and dismantling the TV wall mount.
We wanted the electric outlet to mount over the top of the stone, so we turned off the circuit breaker to the room and unscrewed the outlet from the wall temporarily.
This wall is also adjacent to our staircase, so we cut off a portion of our banister using a sawzall to remove it from the wall. This would allow for the stones to be installed behind the banister rail.
Finally, since we wanted the stone to begin from the floor, we pried off the baseboard from the wall and discarded it.
Now, the real work began!
I started in one corner of the wall with a natural edge stone. To secure it to the wall, I slathered on a coat of Airstone adhesive on the back of the stone by using a putty knife. It was very much like icing a cupcake.
I applied the stone directly to the wall and held it in place for a few seconds. Then, I continued down the wall using flat edged stones until I met the opposite corner.
When I reached the electric outlet, corners, or simply needed to trim a piece of stone to make it fit, all I needed to use was a hand-held hacksaw.
I found it easiest to work on two or three rows at a time. That way, I could ensure that I wasn't repeating the same color or shape all the time. Some of the stones came in larger squares or rectangles that were double the size of the others. By having many options available on the wall, it was easier to tell where those larger pieces could fit nicely. I also kept a wet rag handy in case I applied too much adhesive and it began to ooze.
The installation of this stone wall couldn't have been any easier. All you have to do is sort, putty, occasionally trim, and then stick each stone on the wall. That being said, it was fairly time consuming, in that it took me eight hours to complete the wall. Well worth it!
Once the stonework was finished, we waited for the adhesive to dry overnight before setting everything back into place. The following day, we screwed the banister back into the wall, reattached the electric outlet, and re-installed the TV mount. All of which was done by drilling pilot holes into the stones first, and then using longer screws so that they reached the drywall and studs.
Remember the before?
Well, here's the after!
We recently installed track lighting in our living room, so the new fixtures really showcase this wall, too.
The wall looks and feels like it is made out of real stone. I had accidentally cracked a few pieces whenever I exerted too much pressure on its application; however, this resulted in a look that seems almost more genuine.
We don't recognize our living room now, and couldn't be more pleased with the result. The wall is beautiful, simple, and purely cosmetic, but it might very well be my favorite DIY addition to our house. It's the perfect accent wall.
I hope to have our living room completed within the next few weeks for the ultimate reveal. Stay tuned!
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