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Brick fireplace to plaster with uneven surface

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

This is my fireplace. I would like to either plaster or tile over it but the sides are recessed as well as the bottom part of the hearth. Is there a typical way to make the surface all flush? Fur it out with wood? I worry that if it's made flush no fireplace inset will fit anymore due to the extra depth from the sides.

Thanks for any suggestions how to do this or if there is a nice design that this fireplace could accomodate.

EDIT: I really don't like painted brick so don't want to go in that direction. The plan is to remove the brick on the two sides and add bookcases there

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